MUMIA: report on 30 April 2018 hearing



The question is will Mumia Abu-Jamal be granted a new trial?

Next hearing: Aug. 30th in Judge Leon Tucker's courtroom 11th fl. 1301 Filbert St. Phil PA

In these battles there is truth, there is the spin, and there is the amnesia the police want you to acquire.  
"I am going to help them fry the nigger", spoken by Albert Sabo, Mumia's trial court judge in 1982.  Those are the words that the Fraternal Order of Police, our jack boot folks in blue, would like us to forget. They want us to ignore what everyone knows is at every level of the injustice system:  invidious racism and corruption. 

How could we forget the injustice system that produced Frank Rizzo and Lynne Abraham? We can not forget police officers in open court telling us during Mumia's PCRA hearing in 1995 "we should have executed him that night", quoted in the New York Times.    

It is not a legacy, it is our reality.  This is what Philadelphia 's new DA Larry Krasner has to confront, expose, reform and ultimately abolish.   

Remember this is a 
DA's office that right now has a long list of police officers they can not put on the stand because they are not credible.   This is the DA's office that has Judge Ron Castille (the former DA who the U.S. Supreme Court ruled must recuse himself from these types of cases) on its board of advisors.  

A Philadelphia common pleas court judge told me "Mumia is the past."  Actually he is our future, because if there is no truth and justice there will be no reconciliation.  F
ront, center, and central to Philadelphia 's imprisonment binge and racist legacy are the cases of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the MOVE 9.  The cops are holding on to these prisoners because their release will reveal and acknowledge the depth of the corruption in their ranks.   

Check out these two dueling editorials from the Philadelphia Inquirer:  Keith Cook (Mumia's Brother) and Maureen Faulkner (Police Officer widow).       

(Mumia Abu-Jamal and Keith Cook 3/2018)

We must expect justice and demand that the District Attorney and the Courts take this first step towards freedom by immediately reinstating Mumia Abu-Jamal's appellate rights.  

Report From Courtroom of Judge Tucker 4-30-2018


"In its failure to recognize that Ronald Castille played an active role in pursuing the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal the new District Attorney's office headed by Larry Krasner, is failing to do what justice requires.  It is continuing the position of his predecessors, to the satisfaction of the Fraternal Order of Police." Bret Grote, Esq. Abolitionist Law Center Legal Director


Yesterday Tracey Kavanaugh, the Assistant District Attorney assigned to Mumia's case  appeared before the court.  She represented to Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker that the District Attorney's Office has conducted an extensive search and still has been unable to find the missing memo from then-DA Ronald Castille in which he sought updates on the status of every capital case from Philadelphia in early 1990. She also made clear that the new District Attorney for Philadelphia (sworn in January 2018), Larry Krasner, has kept the same position as his predecessor: that former District Attorney Castille did not have personal involvement in a critical decision in Abu-Jamal's case, and that the Philadelphia DA's office lead by Krasner opposes the pending Post Convcition Relief Application (PCRA) seeking reinstatement of Abu-Jamal's appellate rights. If these rights were reinstated he would be granted a hearing on whether there was sufficient cause to issue an order for a new trial on his criminal conviction.  Mumia has spent 37 years in prison for the killing of a police officer in Philadelphia in 1981, a crime for which he has maintainted his innocence.  He is currently serving a life sentence at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville PA. 

Abu-Jamal's counsel, Sam Spital from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, argued forcefully in court today that Ronald Castille did in fact make a critical decision in the Abu-Jamal case when he advocated to Governor Robert Casey in 1990, that the Governor should expedite the litigation in all capital cases by signing the death warrants at the soonest possible time.


Castille explicitly asked the Governor to do this in the case of Leslie Beasley, who was convicted of killing a police officer, to show to "all police killers that the death penalty means something in Pennsylvania ." Mumia was still on direct appeal when Castille made this policy decision to enlist the Governor's support in expediting the litigation by signing of death warrants, meaning that it was the policy of Castille's office to seek the immediate signing of a death warrant upon completion of Abu-Jamal's appeal.  We know Castille was actively tracking every capital case in his office, including Abu-Jamal's, and vigorously defending the convictions and sentences and pushing for execution of each capital case defendant, including Abu-Jamal.

Counsel for Abu-Jamal are now permitted to take the deposition of former ADA Gaele Barthold McLaughlin, and will file an amended PCRA by July 9. The DA has been ordered to respond to that filing by August 9. The next hearing in this matter is scheduled for August 30 in Judge Tucker's courtroom in Philadelphia . 

Cuando luchamos ganamos, When We Fight, We Win

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