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Mumia Legal Update
07 mai 2006
Legal Update, April 2006
International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
icffmaj ARROBA | 215-476-8812 |
Ona Move! 2006 marks the 25th year of the incarceration of Black
journalist, former Black Panther, father, and grandfather Mumia
Abu-Jamal. Mumia remains on death row in Pennsylvania for a crime he
did not commit, and the state of Pennsylvania continues to actively
seek his legal lynching despite international support and evidence of
his innocence.

In December 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit agreed to review two additional issues raised on federal habeas
corpus and in a subsequent appeal. The Court is now considering a
total of four issues, three of which could lead to a new trial for
Mumia and his ultimate release. These three constitutional issues
address Mumiaââ¬â¢s right to a fair trial, due process of law, and equal
protection of the law under the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments
to the United States Constitution.

In addition to their constitutional significance, the three issues
currently before the Third Circuit also have another factor in common:
bias. These issues shed light on the prosecutorial and judicial
misconduct which occurred at Mumiaââ¬â¢s original trial in 1982 and during
post-conviction proceedings, which were presided over by the original
trial judge, Albert Sabo, who was overheard by a court stenographer to
have said during a trial recess: ââ¬ÅIââ¬â¢m going to help them fry the
nigger.ââ¬Â? These issues relate to Prosecutor McGillââ¬â¢s prejudicial jury
summation that Mumia would have ââ¬Åappeal after appeal;ââ¬Â? the
unconstitutional use of peremptory challenges to exclude Blacks from
serving on Mumiaââ¬â¢s jury; and, the impact of Saboââ¬â¢s racism on Mumiaââ¬â¢s
rights to due process during post-conviction proceedings where the
defense offered evidence of coerced witnesses, questionable
confessions, and faulty ballistics which was callously disregarded and
illegally denied.

The fourth issue before the Court is whether Mumia will get the benefit
of a ââ¬ÅMills challengeââ¬Â? to his death sentence: that it is
unconstitutional for jury instructions during sentencing to lead jurors
to believe they cannot vote against the death penalty unless they all
agree on the mitigating evidence which does not support a death

April 24, 2006 also marks the tenth anniversary of the Anti-Terrorism &
Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), which was signed into law on
Mumiaââ¬â¢s birthday. The AEDPA is significant for two reasons: (1) it
dramatically limited federal habeas corpus by reducing the filing
deadline for habeas claims and narrowing the issues which can be
reviewed by the courts; and, (2) it amended Section 212(c) of the
Immigration and Nationality Act increasing the likelihood of
deportation for any immigrant with virtually any criminal conviction
that constitutes a ground of deportation: any aggravated felony, any
controlled substances offense, any firearm offense, or any two crimes
involving more turpitude w/sentences exceeding one year.

Why is this important? The AEDPA was touted as legislation that would
ââ¬Åimprove the fair and timely review of state court judgments by the
federal courtsââ¬Â? and ââ¬Åcontrol illegal immigration,ââ¬Â? but ten years later
Congress is AGAIN reviewing BOTH federal habeas and immigration
policies in an effort to further curtail basic human rights. Current
pending federal legislation (S. 1088 + H.R. 3035) is looking to further
ââ¬Åstreamlineââ¬Â? federal habeas corpus to make it even more difficult for
the innocent/wrongly convicted to obtain relief in the courts at the
same time H.R. 4437 and other legislative proposals seek to make it
even easier to deport more people, take away more rights from
immigrants facing deportation, and make it harder for immigrants to
become citizens of the United States -- a country started by settlers
on indigenous land!

Mumia is ALL OF US, and we must continue to fight for peace and justice
against racism, discrimination, war, and death! On April 29, 2006,
there will be an honoring ceremony outside of the city of Paris --
whose city council voted Mumia an honorary citizen in 2001, shortly
before Judge Yohnââ¬â¢s federal habeas decision which is now pending before
the Third Circuit -- in the town of St. Denis, where they have
constructed a thoroughfare leading into the largest arena in France:
the Nelson Mandela Stadium. La Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal will serve as a
constant reminder of the work of the PEOPLE on behalf of the voice of
the voiceless. Liberte pour Mumia! Freedom now for our innocent
freedom fighter on death row! Join our call for a simple demand for
justice! Help us bring our brother home THIS 25th year!
Ona move!

This work is in the public domain
Sindicat Terrassa