For the Dear Friends:
Since last spring we have been engaged on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal in briefing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia. It is the most extensive I have seen in three decades of specializing in capital litigation. The pending issues concern the death penalty, racism that has permeated the proceedings for a quarter of the century, and prosecutorial and judicial abuse. They are of great constitutional significance. Last fall I was notified by the court that oral arguments would be scheduled for January, but that was later rescinded. At this time we have no indication as to when we will be permitted to orally argue the merits of the issues.
In November Mumia and I together sent letters to the Mayor of Paris and its Council. It was in response to an appalling letter sent to Paris by a few misguided politicians from the Philadelphia area. I wrote: "Their demand that the honorary citizenship of Mr. Abu-Jamal be revoked is an affront not only to the citizens of Paris, but is insulting to people around the globe who are opposed to the death penalty and human-rights abuses." Mumia's letter eloquently pointed out that "these people are merchants of death who wish to trick you into their campaign to not only kill my client, but also to wipe [his] name from the face of the earth. Their deal is but another lie, a devil's bargain that they are powerless to grant under any stretch of American or international law.
I am pleased to advise that the Mayor's office has responded in a most positive manner. In the great French tradition of championing human rights, the December 5 response to me said:
The Mayor of Paris has received your letter concerning the situation of your client, Mumia ABU-JAMAL and thank you.
As mentioned in your mail, some representatives of the city of Philadelphia have recently wished to express their disapproval toward the decision of the Paris City Council to have selected in December 2001, Mumia ABU-JAMAL as "honorary citizen of the City of Paris".
Though the denunciation by these representatives is concentrated on the Cities of Paris and of Saint Denis, nobody ignores that many other Cities in France, in the United states and in the world, have shown their support to Mumia ABU-JAMAL.
We have established that the arrival of this Delegation in France, announced for end of November, has simply never taken place.
It is clear that the city of Paris stays mobilized in this fight and wish to affirm with force its (engagement) commitment in order that the capital punishment shall one day disappear of the planet.
I will be grateful for you to transmit this information to your client and assure him of the support of the City of Paris of which he is honorary citizen.
The original letter from Paris is available at http://www.freemumia.com/pdfs/2006DE1.PDF.
We will keep you informed as there are further developments in the case.
With best wishes,
Robert R. Bryan
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal