LEGAL UPDATE - JUNE 8, 2010
There are significant developments on various
fronts in the coordinated legal campaign to save
& free Mumia Abu-Jamal. The complex court
proceedings are moving forward at a fast pace.
Mumia’s life is on the line.
Court Developments: We are engaged in pivotal
litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit, Philadelphia. At stake is whether
Mumia will be executed or granted a new jury
trial on the question of the death penalty.
Two years ago we won on that issue, with the
federal court finding that the trial judge misled
the jury thereby rendering the proceedings
constitutionally unfair. Then in January 2010 the
U.S. Supreme Court vacated that ruling based upon
its decision in another case, & ordered that the
case be again reviewed by the Court of Appeals.
The prosecution continues its obsession to kill
my client, regardless of the truth as to what
happened at the time of the 1981 police shooting.
Its opening brief was filed April 26. Our initial
brief will be submitted on July 28. At issue is
the death penalty.
In separate litigation, we are awaiting a
decision in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on
prosecutorial abuses, having completed all
briefing in April. The focus is on ballistics.
Petition for President Barack Obama: It is
crucial for people to sign the petition for
President Barack Obama, Mumia Abu-Jamal & the
Global Abolition of the Death Penalty, which was
initially in 10 languages (Swahili & Turkish have
since been added). This is the only petition
approved by Mumia & me, & is a vital part of the
legal effort to save his life. Please sign the
petition & circulate its link
Nearly 22,000 people from around the globe have
signed. These include: Bishop Desmond Tutu, South
Africa (Nobel Peace Prize); Günter Grass, Germany
(Nobel Prize in Literature); Danielle Mitterrand,
Paris (former First Lady of France); Fatima
Bhutto, Pakistan (writer); Colin Firth (Academy
Award Best-Actor nominee), Noam Chomsky, MIT
(philosopher & author); Ed Asner (actor); Mike
Farrell (actor); Michael Radford (director of the
Oscar winning film Il Postino); Robert Meeropol
(son of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, executed in
1953); members of the European Parliament;
members of the German Bundestag; European
Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World
Human Rights; Reporters Without Borders, Paris.
European Parliament; Rosa Luxemburg Conference;
World Congress Against the Death Penalty; Geneva
Human Rights Film Festival: We began the year
with a major address to the annual Rosa Luxemburg
Conference in Berlin, Germany, sponsored by the
newspaper junge Welt. The large auditorium was
filled with a standing-room audience. Mumia
joined me by telephone. We announced the
launching of the online petition, Mumia Abu-Jamal
& the Global Abolition of the Death Penalty.
A large audience on the concluding night of the
World Congress Against the Death Penalty in
Geneva, Switzerland, February 25, heard Mumia by
telephone. He spoke as a symbolic representative
of the over 20,000 men, women & children on death
rows around the world. The call came as a
surprise since we thought it had been canceled.
Mumia’s comments from inside his death-row cell
brought to reality the horror of daily life in
which death is a common denominator. During an
earlier panel discussion I spoke of racism in
capital cases around the globe with the case of
Mumia as a prime example. A day before the
Congress on February 23, I talked at the Geneva
Human Rights Film Festival on the power of films
in fighting the death penalty & saving Mumia.
On March 2 in the European Parliament, Brussels,
Belgium, members Søren Søndergaard (Denmark) &
Sabine Lösing (Germany) announced the beginning
of a campaign to save Mumia & end executions.
They were joined by Sabine Kebir, the noted
German author & PEN member, Nicole Bryan, & me.
We discussed the online petition which helps not
only Mumia, but all the condemned around the globe.
Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense & Online
Petition: The complex litigation & investigation
that is being pursued on behalf of Mumia is
enormously expensive. We are in both the federal
& state courts on the issue of the death penalty,
prosecutorial wrongdoing, etc. Mumia's life is on
How to Help: For information on how to help, both
through donations & signing the Obama petition,
please go to Mumia’s legal defense website
Checks should be payable to the National Lawyers
Guild Foundation, which is tax-exempt under
section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
(write "Mumia" on the lower left of the check).
The donations are thus tax deductible and go
exclusively to Mumia's legal defense. Donations
to any other group in the U.S. do not go to his
defense. The checks should be mailed to:
Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal, P.O. Box 2012,
New York, NY 10159-2012
Conclusion: Mumia remains on death row under a
death judgment. He is in greater danger than at
any time since his arrest 28 years ago. The
prosecution is pursuing his execution. I win
cases, & will not let them kill my client. He
must be free.
Yours very truly,
Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
LEGAL UPDATE - JUNE 8, 2010