Jan 30, 2006
On January 17, lawyers for Mumia Abu-Jamal filed briefs with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals challenging his conviction on charges of murdering a Philadelphia cop. Mumia is the black radio journalist and political activist who had long exposed police corruption and brutality in Philadelphia.
The facts of his case show clearly that he was arrested only because of this activity and that the Philadelphia police and a known racist judge conspired to get his conviction.
Since his arrest in 1981, he has been denied even the appearance of a fair trial and appeal. No one should believe this latest hearing will remedy the injustice of what has been done to him. The rulings of the court so far show this.
The court did agree to hear his case, but only regarding three of 29 reasons Mumia’s lawyers raised.
But the court refused to consider 26 other issues, including evidence that the state’s only eyewitness admitted lying when she accused Mumia of murder and the confession of another man that he had murdered the police officer, without any involvement by Mumia.
At the same time, the court agreed to review an appeal by government prosecutors to reinstate the death sentence of Abu-Jamal, which had been lifted by a lower-level federal judge in 2001!
Abu-Jamal is alive today only because his case has gained so much support around the world. Even the European parliament, hardly a radical organization, has called for his conviction to be thrown out.
Mumia was framed-up 25 years ago for a crime he didn’t commit. This legal lynching will finally be stopped when protests make it too difficult for the courts to carry it out.