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General News    H2'ed 3/6/14

U.S. Senate Uses Abu-Jamal to 'Tar' Obama Nominee

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LDF President Sherrilyn Ifill, when expressing her disappointment about Adegbile's rejection by the Senate, cited the "rule of law' that was blithely dismissed by Toomey and 51 other senators, including Delaware Democrat Chris Coon, a graduate of the Yale Law School.


The LDF's involvement in the Abu-Jamal case, Ifill noted in a press release, "reflects its institutional commitment to ensuring that the criminal justice system is administered fairly and in compliance with the U.S. Constitution for all Americans."


Ifill also noted that, "Unfortunately, Adegbile has been subjected to an unfair smear campaign."


A January 6, 2014 letter to President Obama opposing Adegbile, from the National FOP, evidenced smear. That letter stated Abu-Jamal's "just sentence-death-was undone by your nominee." However, a federal judge, in his December 2001 ruling, set aside Abu-Jamal's death sentence"years before the LDF entered the Abu-Jamal case.


That FOP letter contained another criticism of Adegbile that exposed it's core opposition to Adegbile.


The FOP is outraged because the USJD's Civil Rights Division has initiated police brutality investigations in a number of cities across America. That FOP's letter decried the Civil Rights Division's "aggressive and punitive approach towards local law enforcement agencies." The FOP duplicitously proclaimed that Adegbile would "certainly exacerbate" divisions between law enforcement and minority communities -- the very communities routinely brutalized by police...abuse that is ignored by most U.S. Senators.


Police abuse remains a rampant problem in Philadelphia where a civil rights organization recently requested a federal investigation. While Senators Casey and Toomey loudly demand sanctions against Russia for its law breaking, these two lawmakers remain silent about police abuse in Philadelphia, refusing to comment on their position on that requested for probe of Philadelphia police.


Interestingly, a critical piece of evidence used to convict Abu-Jamal arose during an investigation into his complaint about police beating him during and after his arrest.


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Linn Washington is a co-founder of This Can't Be Washington writes frequently on inequities in the criminal justice system, ills in society and problems in the news media. He teaches multi-media urban journalism at Temple (more...)

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