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"This Is No Victory"--Analysis of Third Circuit Court decision re. Mumia Abu-Jamal

By Linn Washington, Jr.  Posted by Hans Bennett (about the submitter)     Permalink       (Page 5 of 5 pages)
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Abu-Jamal can appeal the panel’s ruling to the entire Third Circuit Court hoping for that full Court to overturn the panel’s ruling. Further, he can appeal any Third Circuit ruling to the US Supreme Court.

There is a slight prospect of new action in Pa state courts.

The Third Circuit issued an order stating Abu-Jamal will receive a life-sentence unless Philadelphia prosecutors hold a new penalty phase hearing seeking to reinstate his death sentence within six months.

This mini-trial style hearing would allow Abu-Jamal to present evidence, including new evidence of innocence that has emerged like a flood since his first trial.

But it is unclear if prosecutors will pursue this route that could create evidence and procedure that could secure a new round of federal appeals for Abu-Jamal.


Sadly, the federal judges at the trial and appellate court levels, like judges in Pa state courts, have refused to uphold the most fundamental issue in the contentious Abu-Jamal case: the right to a fair trial.

Critics of Abu-Jamal’s conviction from Philadelphia’s Francisville section to France all feel he was denied a fair trial.

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Police and prosecutors blatantly engaging in misconduct to secure a conviction destroys fair trial rights. A trial judge openly biased towards police and prosecutors destroys fair trial rights. Court applying the law in the Abu-Jamal case differently from applied in other cases destroys equal justice rights.

The Pa Supreme Court declared in a 1959 ruling involving a Philadelphia murder case that every defendant is entitled “to all the safeguards of a fair trial…even if evidence of guilt piles as high a Mt Everest…”

Abu-Jamal was four-years-old when the Pa Supreme Court issued that 1959 ruling against judges and prosecutors cutting-corners during a trial.

Abundant evidence documents that corners-cut by the prosecutor and judge during Abu-Jamal’s trial and by judges during his appeals corrupted his rights to a fair trial and equal justice – rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.

In June 2007, state courts in Pennsylvania overturned the 200th death penalty case since 1978 when that state reinstated executions, the ACLU stated.

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It is incredible to contend that 200 death penalty cases contained errors egregious enough to be vacated but not a single element in the Abu-Jamal case warrants either a new hearing or a new trial.

-The End-

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Thank you for this extremely clear explanation of ... by Michael Lubin on Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 12:04:37 PM