Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mumia Abu-Jamal Court Date Set For May 17 On Federal Appeal



Please Distribute Widely!
3/31 - Organizing Meeting - SF
Legal Update from Attorney Robert Bryan
4/15 - Hip Hop for Mumia - NYC
4/21 - Writers for Mumia - NYC
4/24 - Strategizing Event - Mumia's Birthday - Philadelphia
**5/17** Oral arguments - 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals - Philadelphia

Dear Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal,

The letter below from Attorney Robert Bryan indicates that oral arguments have been set for May 17, 2007 for Mumia Abu-Jamal's case. We have been waiting for this moment for over a year. There will be a mass mobilization in Philadelphia - details TBA (for now, see other important dates in NY and PA below). We are planning events in northern California in solidarity with MUMIA and need your help.

Organizing Meeting:

Sat, 3/31, 10:30 am
298 Valencia St. (at 14th St., near 16th St. Bart Station)
San Francisco, CA

Please join us as we plan future events including a celebration of Mumia's 53rd birthday, April 24th.


In solidarity,

Jeff Mackler and Laura Herrera
The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
San Francisco, CA
The freemumia.org website will be available on Saturday night, 3/24 (very sorry for temporary tech problem)

[Note: "help 'em fry the ni - - er" is misspelled only to avoid email profanity filters that would prevent this message from reaching some recipients if the text were to be copied for email distribution]

March 22, 2007
Legal Update

Re: Mumia Abu-Jamal v. Martin Horn, Pennsylvania Director of Corrections
U.S. Court of Appeals Nos. 0 1-90 14,02-900 1 (death penalty)

Dear Friends:

Today notification was received that oral argument in the case of my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is scheduled on Thursday, May 17, 9:30 am, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Ceremonial Courtroom, 1" Floor, U.S. Courthouse, 6"' and Market Streets, Philadelphia. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and the National Lawyers Guild, which have filed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs, are also participating.

This case concerns Mr. Abu-Jamal's right to a fair trial, the struggle against the death penalty, and the political repression of an outspoken journalist. Racism and politics are threads that have run through this case since his 1981 arrest. The complex issues under consideration, which are of great constitutional significance, include:

Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied the right to due process of law and a fair trial under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments because of the prosecutor's "appeal-after-appeal" argument which encouraged the jury to disregard the presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt, and err on the side of guilt.

Whether the prosecution's use of peremptory challenges to exclude African Americans from sitting on the jury violated Mr. Abu-Jamal's rights to due process and equal protection of the law under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, and contravened Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).

Whether the jury instructions and verdict form that resulted in the death penalty deprived Mr. Abu- Jamal of rights guaranteed by the Eight and Fourteenth Amendments to due process of law, equal protection of the law, and not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and violated Mills v. Maryland, 486 U.S. 367 (1988), since the judge precluded the jurors from considering any mitigating evidence unless they all agreed on the existence of a particular circumstance.

Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied due process and equal protection of the law under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments during post-conviction hearings as the result of the bias and racism of Judge Albert F. Sabo which included the comment that he was "going to help'em fry the ni - - er".

Recently the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office sent a letter to the court suggesting that the entire Third Circuit should disqualify itself from deciding the case of my client. We filed a reply strongly objecting to this absurd request, explaining that the position of opposing counsel was "utterly unfounded and should be rejected." On March 10 the court rebuked the prosecution, advising that it had failed to follow proper procedure and thus no action would be taken.

Professor Judith L. Ritter, associate counsel, and I are in this case to win a new and fair trial for Mr. Abu-Jamal. The goal is for our client to be free. Nevertheless, he remains in great danger. If all is lost, he will be executed. Your interest in this struggle for human rights and against the death penalty is appreciated.

Yours very truly,
Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

The New York Chapter of the National Writers Union has issued a call, WRITERS FOR MUMIA, in preparing to host a birthday celebration for renown journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 21 (details to follow).

All poets, fiction and non-fiction writers interested in participating should contact Susan E. Davis (sednyc@earthlink.net) or Louis Reyes Rivera (Louisreyesrivera@aol.com). There'll be a ten-minute restriction on speakers.

The FOP Attacks Donald Payne, one of the 31 representatives who opposed the House Resolution condemning the naming of "Rue Mumia" in Saint-Denis, France

The Fraternal Order Of Polive (FOP), having successfully intimidated Chaka Fattah, is now going after Donald Payne, former chair of the Congresssional Black Caucus, signer of the 1995 Fattah pro-Mumia letter, a clear ally in the past, and having recently been one of the courageous 31 who opposed the House Resolution condemning Saint-Denis. See below for the details of this campaign in the form of the FOP press release.

Call Congressman Payne's office, write, fax, etc. to express your support. Details will be forthcoming. This is the government/FOP terrorism. Note how the FOP describes its power to intimidate those who might even consider opposing them.

Please call, fax, or e-mail Congressman Donald Payne of New Jersey, to thank him for his principled "no" vote re the December 6th vote to condemn Saint-Denis for naming a street in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Urge him to stay strong in the face of the FOP attempts to punish and intimidate him.
Donald Payne's contact info:
phone: (202) 225-3436
fax: (202)- 4160

Long live the people's resistance! We will not be intimidated by these cowardly, fascistic, organizations and individuals that pretend to be defenders of "safety". They are violent defenders of the war-making, prison-building, torturing, and killing that violates international law and all standards of justice but which they try to pass off as "law enforcement".
Suzanne Ross, for the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition




The Fraternal Order of Police * New Jersey State Lodge has asked organizers of Newark's St. Patrick's Day parade to reverse their decision to dedicate this year's parade to U.S. Congressman Donald M. Payne.

The police organization made its request by letter to Kevin P. Frey, general chairman of the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee."Congressman Payne does not deserve this honor," said FOPNJ president Edward R. Brannigan. "His disrespect for police officers and apparent sympathy for a convicted cop killer is repugnant and undeserving of any honor."

On December 6, 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives voted to condemn a decision by St. Denis, France to rename a street in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Known at the time as Wesley Cook, Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering 25-year-old Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981.The House resolution condemning the street renaming passed by an overwhelming 368-31 vote. Payne was one of the 31 House members to vote against the resolution."Congressman Payne's vote against condemning an honor for a convicted cop killer is a slap in the face of every law enforcement officer and the family of Daniel Faulkner," said Brannigan, a retired Newark police officer and Grand Marshal of the city's 2004 St. Patrick's Day Parade. "Newark's St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee should reverse its decision to honor Payne, or risk sullying it's own reputation by disrespecting Officer Faulkner's sacrifice."

The Fraternal Order of Police is the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 318,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges. The FOP is the voice of those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving our communities. It is committed to improving the working conditions of law enforcement officers and the safety of those we serve through education, legislation, information, community involvement, and employee representation.

CONTACT: Ernest Landante, Jr., Novita, 609-989-1000

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) * info@freemumia.com * (212) 330-8029


An Open Letter To John Conyers, Jr.
Chair, House Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives

1. We the undersigned demand that you initiate formal hearings and inquiry to reconsider House Resolution 1082 (December 6, 2006) that condemned the city of St-Denis, France, for naming a street in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and also called upon France's national government to take action against St-Denis.

2. We denounce the Resolution's intervention into St-Denis' municipal affairs and into those of a foreign sovereign nation. We would not expect the U.S. government to take action against one of its own cities because a foreign legislative body disagrees with a decision made by a U.S. city, and it is outrageous for a U.S. legislative body to now call for French governmental action against St-Denis. We commend the 31 House members who voted against such an unacceptable resolution.

3. We reaffirm what was clear from St-Denis's inaugural act for creating "Mumia Abu-Jamal Street:" its intention to express opposition to the death penalty world wide, and appreciation for Abu-Jamal's exemplary advocacy for justice. We applaud St. Denis for its vision and courage in highlighting Abu-Jamal's struggle.

4. We protest the haste of the Resolution, a condemnation of St-Denis that was rushed through the House of Representatives in the last three days of the previous, 109th Congress, and under a suspension of rules without benefit of a single hearing or of any of the usual considerations by the House Committee on the Judiciary.

5. We disapprove of the Resolution's interjection of legislative powers into a judicial matter that is still alive and pending before a court of law. H.R. 1082 conveniently hides this fact, being silent about four crucial claims in Abu-Jamal's case that are now being considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

6. We object to the Resolution's false claim that Abu-Jamal was tried by "a jury of his peers." The truth is that this very issue was accepted as a ground for appeal of his conviction by the Third Circuit. In fact, Abu-Jamal's jury was purged of 11 qualified African-American jurors by the prosecutor's unconstitutional use of peremptory challenges, leaving only 2 African Americans among the 12 who decided on his case and his sentence in a city that is 44% African American.

7. We find scandalous that the language of the Resolution has such careless disregard for the facts that it invents new inflammatory rhetoric about the case, claiming wrongly, for example, that Abu-Jamal "struck Officer Faulkner four times in the back with his gun," a point not even made by the prosecutors at the original trial.

8. We register our grievance that this Resolution was passed over your vote and spurns past actions of support by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL). In 1999, the CBC claimed that in Abu-Jamal's case "treatment of evidence and application of justice had been arbitrary and inconsistent," and a 2004 resolution of the NBCSL joined with organizations the world over to call for a new trial and his release from prison.

9. We deplore how this hastily-enacted resolution entangles the U.S. Congress in making Abu-Jamal more vulnerable to a hasty execution. The rush to judgment and execution leaves numerous issues insufficiently addressed by the courts, even by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, whose comprehensive rulings against Abu-Jamal, according to a meticulous study by Amnesty International in 2000, were sullied by the connections of at least five of the Pennsylvania justices to the Fraternal Order of Police that still campaigns openly for his execution. One of the justices ruling against Abu-Jamal, Ron Castille, did not recuse himself, even though he was a former Philadelphia D.A. who had previously filed briefs against Abu-Jamal. Among the issues still awaiting adequate and full airing are these: (a) the failure of police to do basic investigative acts like ballistics checks, fingerprinting, and securing of the crime scene; (b) the bribing, exclusion or intimidation of important witnesses against Abu-Jamal; (c) prosecutors' intentional efforts to prevent African Americans serving on Abu-Jamal's jury; (d) the existing and mounting evidence that yet another man was in the car stopped by Officer Faulkner on the night of his killing and that Faulkner had this other man's driver's license in his pocket; (e) a court stenographer's affidavit that she heard the original trial judge, Albert Sabo, say about Abu-Jamal's case, "Yeah, and I'm going to help them fry the ni - - er"; (f) the fact that the original prosecutor, Joseph McGill, has been quoted as saying in the Philadelphia Inquirer that Abu-Jamal "could have been convicted of a lesser offense" had he waged "a true defense."

10. We renounce the Resolution's false claim that honoring Abu-Jamal with a street name in St-Denis is an affront to law enforcement. On the contrary, St-Denis' action guards the integrity of law and justice, and even the legacy of Officer Daniel Faulkner, by insisting that all claims about violations of Abu-Jamal's due process and Constitutional rights be investigated and aired fully in courts of law.

THEREFORE, we reaffirm our demand that the House Committee on the Judiciary begin a formal hearing to reconsider the egregious misstep of H.R. 1082, which was passed so hastily by the 109th Congress. The formal inquiry would have the following purposes: (1) to allow all sides, especially representatives from St-Denis, France, to be present and give expression to their views before Congress, and (2) to allow Congress to find an appropriate voice on the matter of Abu-Jamal's case - a voice that respects House legislative processes that are free of hasty decision-making, a voice that does not interject itself into the active legal case of Abu-Jamal, and a voice that would respect the sovereign matters of another nation's city.

Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Suzanne Ross, Free Mumia Coalition (NYC)
Mark L. Taylor, Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Julia Wright, CO

Hip Hop for Mumia!

Join us Sunday, April 15, 8 pm at the Remote Lounge for a Fundraiser for Mumia!
C Rayz Walz
Immesiah Soul
Queen Godis
Seeds of Wisdom!

The Remote Lounge 327 Bowery St (Between 3rd St. and E. 2nd St), NYC
$12, all funds go to International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal
Spread the word!


April 24 -- Be in Philly! Save the date!
We will be at the Clef Club, 738 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA. If you can't be in Philly, organize where you are!

Ron Hampton, of the National Association of Black Police Officers;
Danny Glover, acclaimed actor and activist;
Sonia Sanchez, reknowned poet and revolutionary;
Linn Washington, award-winning journalist and professor;
Harold Wilson, recently exonerated 18 year death row resident;
Ramona Africa, MOVE member and May 13, 1985 survivor!
DeLacy Davis, founder of Black Cops against Police Brutality

View "Framing of an Execution," Learn where Mumia's case is at and what we can all do to bring him home!


1 comment:

Daniel said...

How rediculous it is ! I couldn't imagine how it happened.

Best wishes to Mumia.

Daniel Pennant