Friday, November 12, 2010

Mumia supporters rally at federal courthouse

By Nathan Gorenstein Philadelphia Inquirer Nov. 9, 2010

About 500 people rallied outside the federal courthouse in Center City
today in support of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal in advance of an
appeals court hearing on his sentencing for the murder of Police Officer
Daniel Faulkner.

"Free Mumia," and "No justice, no peace," protesters shouted at the
demonstration at 6th and Market Streets.

Demonstrators included local residents and out of towners, including a
group from Hunter College in New York that made the trip to Philadelphia
as part of a history class on revolutionary history.

There also was an international presence, including Michael Schiffman, a
teacher from the University of Heidelberg in Germany who has authored a
German book on the Mumia case, "Race Against Death."

Schiffman said he traveled here from Germany just to attend the hearing.
"The case is now evolving to its final stages," said Schiffman, who came
to the United States just to attend the hearing.

Abu-Jamal is on death row for the 1981 Center City killing of Faulkner, 25.

A three-judge panel from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear
arguments today about whether written instructions given to Abu-Jamal's
1982 jury may have implicitly encouraged jurors to choose the death
penalty rather than life in prison.

The court previously ordered a new sentencing hearing for Abu-Jamal, but
the U.S. Supreme Court this year ordered the court to reconsider.

Wives of police officers killed in the line of duty are expected to attend
the hearing in support of the District Attorney's Office effort to prevent
another sentencing hearing and keep Abu-Jamal on death row.

The hearing comes a day after Rasheed Scrugs was sentenced to life without
parole for the 2009 murder of Police Officer John Pawlowski, also 25,
after another Philadelphia jury deadlocked on imposing the death penalty.

No comments: