Date: December 15, 2008
From: Robert R. Bryan, lead counsel
Subject: U.S. Supreme Court developments regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal, death row
Mumia Abu-Jamal remains on Pennsylvania's death row. Last week marked the 27th anniversary of his unjust imprisonment. Racism, fraud and politics have been threads that have run through the case since its inception, and continue today.
We are in extensive litigation on two fronts before the United States Supreme Court. The prosecution is continuing it quest for the execution of my client. In a separate case before the court, I am seeking an entirely new trial and Mumia's freedom. Based upon my experience in having successfully represented numerous people in murder cases involving the death penalty, I am convinced that we can win if I can just get it back before a jury.
U.S. Supreme Court
The following is a brief overview of recent developments and filing deadlines:
Beard v. Abu-Jamal, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 08-652 On November 14, 2008, the Philadelphia District Attorney filed in the U.S. Supreme Court a petition seeking to overturn the victory we achieved earlier this year in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Abu-Jamal v. Horn, 520 F.3d 272 (3rd Cir. 2008). In that ruling court ordered a new jury trial on the question of the death penalty. Our Brief In Opposition is scheduled to be filed on January 21, 2009.
Abu-Jamal v. Beard, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 08A299. The Petition for Writ of Certiorari will be filed on December 19, 2008. The issues concern the prosecution's use of racism in jury selection. Relief was denied last spring by a sharply divided federal court. This is of great constitutional significance as reflected by the extraordinary dissenting opinion of Justice Thomas L. Ambro.
Abu-Jamal v. Horn, 520 F.3d at 304-320. He reaffirmed the bedrock principle that everyone is entitled to a fair and impartial trial by a jury of his or her peers, and that excluding even a single person from a jury because of race violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment.
Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense
The legal defense for Mumia needs substantial funds. The legal costs for our litigation in the Supreme Court are considerable and will likely reach six figures. To help, please make your checks payable to the "National Lawyers Guild Foundation" (indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left). The donations are tax deductible, and should be mailed to:
Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 2012
New York, NY 10159-2012
Conclusion This is a life and death struggle to save Mumia. He is in greater danger than at any time since being arrested. Your support and activism is needed. That Mumia remains in prison and on death row is an affront to basic human rights. We must aggressively continue this struggle until he is free.
Yours very truly,
Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123-4117