Wednesday, April 27, 2011

3rd Circuit Court Appeal Ruling Declairs Mumia's Sentending Unconstitutional

3rd Circuit Appeal Ruling Favoring Abu-Jamal Smacks Down US Supreme Court
Tue, 04/26/2011
Linn Washington Jr.

The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, in a stunning smack at the U.S. Supreme Court, has issued a ruling upholding its earlier decision backing a new sentencing hearing in the controversial case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted killer of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

The latest ruling, issued on Tuesday April 26, 2011, upholds a ruling the Third Circuit issued over two years ago siding with a federal district court judge who, back in 2001, had set aside Abu-Jamal’s death penalty after determining that death penalty instructions provided to the jury, and a flawed jury ballot document used during Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial, had been unclear.

The U.S. Supreme Court had ordered the Third Circuit to re-examine its 2009 ruling upholding the lifting of Abu-Jamal’s death sentence.

The nation’s top court had cited a new legal precedent in that directive to the Third Circuit, a strange order given the fact that the Supreme Court had earlier consistently declined to apply its own precedents to Abu-Jamal’s case.

The Associated Press was the first to report the Third Circuit’s latest dramatic ruling and in fact, as of the morning of the ruling’s release, the decision had still not been posted on the appeals court’s website.

Abu-Jamal’s current lead attorney, Prof Judith Ritter of the Widener Law School, could not be reached for comment.

The Third Circuit’s ruling, if left standing, requires Philadelphia prosecutors to call for a whole new sentencing hearing if they want to try and reinstate the death penalty. That would require the impaneling of a whole new jury, to hear and consider evidence regarding mitigating circumstances and aggravating circumstances in the case, and then to decide for either execution of life-without-possibility of parole--the only two options legally available. Abu-Jamal has exhausted his avenues of appeal of his conviction, absent new evidence in the case.

If prosecutors opted against holding new hearing then Abu-Jamal’s sentence would be converted automatically to a life sentence, which in Pennsylvania means no chance of parole. Abu-Jamal would have to spending the remainder of his life behind bars, though not on death row.

Experts contend a new sentencing hearing would be problematic for prosecutors. Although the issue of guilt or innocence would not be on trial, the defense could bring in witnesses to explain exactly what they saw happen the night of the shooting--witnesses whose testimony could ultimately raise new questions about the validity of the underlying conviction.

It is almost a certainty that prosecutors will appeal the Third Circuit’s latest ruling back up to the Supreme Court. Furthermore, prosecutors concede that current and yet unresolved legal issues in this case, which continues to attract unprecedented international scrutiny, will keep it in courts for years. For example, there are several avenues of appeal of Abu-Jamal's death sentence which were never adjudicated by the Federal District court, which mooted them after the Judge, William Yohn, found in favor of one argument and tossed out the death sentence.

In early April 2011 the NAACP Legal Defense Fund publicly announced it was joining the Abu-Jamal defense team and working with Professor Ritter. NAACP lawyers had joined Ritter last fall during the hearing where she argued the legal point just upheld by the Third Circuit in its latest ruling.

Recently Abu-Jamal recorded yet another birthday (4/24) inside a death row isolation cell. Abu-Jamal and the 222 other Pennsylvania death row inmates spend 23-hours per day every day isolated inside minimalist cells.

Since 1983 Abu-Jamal has languished in the confinement of death row, following his controversial July 1982 conviction for the murder of Officerl Faulkner.

Now 57, Abu-Jamal has spent nearly 29 years of his life in prison for a crime he has consistently denied committing--a crime that ample evidence conclusively proves could not have occurred as police and prosecutors have proclaimed.

Authorities, for example, claim Abu-Jamal fired four shots at the policeman, while straddling the officer as he lay defenseless on a sidewalk, striking him only once with a fatal shot in the face.

However, police crime scene photos and police reports make no reference of any bullet marks in that sidewalk around the fallen officer--marks that should have been clearly visible if Abu-Jamal fired three shots at almost point-blank range into the sidewalk as witnesses and the prosecutor claimed.

As detailed in an thorough investigative ballistic test released in September 2010 by This Can’t Be Happening! (See our film at the bottom of the home page), it is impossible to fire high-velocity bullets into a sidewalk without leaving any marks. TCBH! test-fired each kind of .38-caliber bullets referenced in police reports about the 1981 crime scene into a slab of old city sidewalk, and each of those bullets left easily visible marks…marks totally contradicting claims by authorities that Abu-Jamal wildly fired into the sidewalk without leaving bullet marks.

Rulings by federal and state courts denying Abu-Jamal the legal relief routinely granted other inmates who had raised the same appeals claims are the least-examined element of this internationally-condemned injustice.

The same Philadelphia and Pennsylvania courts that found major flaws by either defense attorneys, police, prosecutors and/or trial judges in 86 Philadelphia death penalty convictions during a 28-year period after Abu-Jamal’s December 1981 arrest declare no errors exist anywhere in the Abu-Jamal case – an assertion critics call statistically improbable.

The federal Third Circuit, for example, declined to grant Abu-Jamal a new trial based on solid legal issues from racial discrimination by prosecutors in jury selection to documented errors by trial judge Albert Sabo, the late jurist who relished his infamous reputation for pro-prosecution bias.

The Third Circuit’s 2008 ruling faulting Sabo for his inability to provide the jury with simple death penalty deliberation instructions included the contradictory conclusion that Sabo had adequately provided the jury with instructions about a highly complicated legal issue involving misconduct by the trial prosecutor.

Faulting Sabo for that flawed instruction on prosecutorial misconduct would have required the Third Circuit to give Abu-Jamal a whole new trial. Unwilling to do that, the court sidestepped its duty to ensure justice, by deciding to just eliminate Abu-Jamal’s death sentence, instead.

Pennsylvania state courts have released three Philadelphians from death row (half of Pa’s death row exonerations to date) citing misconduct by police and prosecutors…misconduct that was less egregious than that documented in the Abu-Jamal case. One of those Philadelphia exonerations involved a man framed by police for a mob-related killing, who was arrested six months before Abu-Jamal.

While many people in Philadelphia may feel Abu-Jamal is guilty as charged, millions around the world question every aspect of this conviction, citing facts that proponents of Abu-Jamal’s conviction deliberately dismiss as irrelevant.

This widespread questioning of Abu-Jamal’s guilt is the reason why pro-Abu-Jamal activities occurred around the world commemorating Abu-Jamal’s 4/24 birthday, including people in San Francisco attending a screening of the “Justice on Trial” movie examining ignored aspects in the case, and people marching for Abu-Jamal’s freedom in the Brixton section of London.

Officials in the French city of Saint-Denis will stage a ceremony rededicating a street they named for Abu-Jamal during the last weekend in April.

The ire erupting over Abu-Jamal’s prominence on the part of advocates of his execution contains contradictions that are as clear as the proverbial black-&-white.

The U.S. Congress engaged in color-coded contradiction approving a May 2006 resolution condemning far off Saint-Denis for its honoring Abu-Jamal by placing his name on a small one block long street.

Over a decade before that anti-Saint-Denis outrage, over 100 members of Congress had battled to block the U.S. government from deporting a white fugitive convicted of killing a British Army officer in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

That officer’s killing had occurred during an investigation into the murder of another Belfast policeman.

Incidentally, the U.S. Congress did not erupt angrily when the City Council of New York City voted to place the name of that fugitive – Joseph Doherty – on the street corner outside the federal detention center then housing him.

In 1988 – six years after Abu-Jamal’s conviction – more than 3,000 Philadelphians signed petitions asking federal authorities to grant Doherty special permission to leave his federal detention cell for one day to allow Doherty to serve as Grand Marshall of Philadelphia’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.

One Philly supporter of suspected convicted cop killer Doherty was the then-President Judge of Philadelphia’s trial courts, Edward J. Bradley.

Judge Bradley told a reporter in 1988 that he had no problems as a jurist reconciling his support for a convicted felon because he questioned the “fair treatment” Irish nationals received in English courts.

Judge Bradley’s concern about fairness for IRA fighters in English courts is not paralleled by any concern about fairness in Philadelphia courts with regard to the case of former Black Panther Party member Abu-Jamal. Judge Bradley's double standard highlights the gross unfairness of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania state court judges.

Critics who castigate those who contribute to Abu-Jamal’s defense fund, especially by Hollywood stars, did not object to fund-raising on behalf of one of the white Los Angeles policemen convicted in federal court for the 1991 beating of Rodney King. That criminal cop was allowed to keep nearly $10-million in sales from his book and from a fund-raising campaign on his behalf – monies generated mainly after that the former police sergeant's imprisonment following a civil rights violation conviction.

One reason the decades-old Abu-Jamal case continues to generate support and rage is Abu-Jamal himself.

A charismatic figure who is articulate, with a level of education and intelligence atypical of the mainly illiterate denizens of death row, Abu-Jamal is able to explain his case, as well as to expose the horrors of the nation's prison system and its death rows.

While on death row Abu-Jamal has written six critically acclaimed books (including one on jailhouse lawyers), produced thousands of commentaries, learned two foreign languages, earned two college degrees, including a masters, and developed a loyal support network comprising millions worldwide.

Even the prosecutor at Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial – Joseph McGill – described him during that trial as the most “intelligent” defendant he'd ever faced.

And another prosecutor, during Abu-Jamal’s tainted 1995 appeals hearing, said he didn’t think “the shooting of Officer Faulkner is characteristic of this defendant.” (Abu-Jamal had no record of violence or criminal acts before his 1981 arrest.)

Supporters applaud Abu-Jamal’s defense of the downtrodden, particularly his poignant criticisms of America’s prison-industrial complex, that incarcerates more people per capita than any other country on earth.

Abu-Jamal’s stance highlighting the deprivations of the have-nots, predated his arrest, and had earned him the title of “Voice of the Voiceless” during his professional broadcast reporting career, which ran from 1975 till his December 1981 arrest.

Abu-Jamal rarely uses his world-wide platform to speak about his own plight, preferring to focus instead on the injustices endured by others.


From Journalists for Mumia on the Court's Decision

On April 26, 2011 the US Third Circuit Court upheld earlier rulings from 2001 (by US District Court Judge William Yohn) and 2008 (by the same 3rd Circuit panel of three judges) that 'overturned'* the death sentence and stated that if the DA wants to re-instate the death penalty, then Mumia must first be given a new sentencing phase jury trial where Mumia can present evidence of innocence but the jury can only decide between execution or life in prison without parole. (View full ruling)

According to the ruling, the DA has 180 days to decide whether or not to have a new sentencing trial. However, the DA is now appealing this ruling to the US Supreme Court, further postponing the 180 day deadline.

*The word 'overturned' must be qualified because following the 2001 ruling, at the DA's request, Mumia has never left his death row cell or been given general population 'privileges' such as contact visits with family.


NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Press Release on 3rd Circuit Court Decision

NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.

For Immediate Release

April 26, 2011
Contact: Melquiades Gagarin,, 212-965-2783

Mumia Abu-Jamal's 1982 Death Sentence is Again Declared Unconstitutional
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has unanimously declared that Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence is unconstitutional. In today's decision, the Court of Appeals reaffirmed its 2008 finding that Mr. Abu-Jamal's sentencing jury was misled about the process for considering evidence supporting a life sentence. The Court found that, in violation of the United States Supreme Court's 1988 decision in Mills v. Maryland, the jury was improperly led to believe that that it could only consider unanimously agreed upon evidence favoring a life verdict. This mistake rendered Mr. Abu-Jamal's death sentence fundamentally unfair. The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and Professor Judy Ritter of Widener Law School represent Mr. Abu-Jamal in this appeal of his 1982 conviction and death sentence for the murder of a police officer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"This decision marks an important step forward in the struggle to correct the mistakes of an unfortunate chapter in Pennsylvania history," said John Payton, Director-Counsel of LDF. "Again acknowledging the existence of clear constitutional error in Mr. Abu-Jamal's trial, the Court of Appeals' decision enhances confidence in the criminal justice system and helps to relegate the kind of unfairness on which this death sentence rested to the distant past."

Prof. Ritter noted that, "Pennsylvania long ago abandoned the confusing and misleading instructions and verdict slip that were relied on in Mr. Abu-Jamal's trial in order to prevent unfair and unjust death sentences. Courts now use clear and unambiguous language to advise sentencing juries about their ability to consider evidence that favors a life verdict. Mr. Abu-Jamal is entitled to no less constitutional protection."

Mr. Abu-Jamal he has been on death row in Pennsylvania for 29 years.
To speak with counsel for Mr. Abu-Jamal, please contact Melquiades Gagarin,, 212-965-2783.


Capital punishment: America's worst crime

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been on death row for 29 years. Now, a court rules his sentencing unconstitutional. When will we learn?

Wednesday, April 27 2011 Amy Goodman

Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther party member, has spent 29 years on death row, convicted for the 1981 killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner
The death penalty case of Mumia Abu-Jamal took a surprising turn this week, as a federal appeals court declared, for the second time, that Abu-Jamal's death sentence was unconstitutional. The third US circuit court of appeals, in Philadelphia, found that the sentencing instructions the jury received, and the verdict form they had to use in the sentencing, were unclear. While the disputes surrounding Abu-Jamal's guilt or innocence were not addressed, the case highlights inherent problems with the death penalty and the criminal justice system, especially the role played by race.

Early on 9 December 1981, Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner pulled over a car driven by William Cook, Abu-Jamal's brother. What happened next is in dispute. Shots were fired, and both Officer Faulkner and Abu-Jamal were shot. Faulkner died, and Abu-Jamal was found guilty of his murder in a court case presided over by Judge Albert Sabo, who was widely considered to be a racist. In just one of too many painful examples, a court stenographer said in an affidavit that she heard Sabo say, in the courtroom antechamber, "I'm going to help them fry the n****r."

This latest decision by the court of appeals relates directly to Sabo's conduct of the sentencing phase of Abu-Jamal's court case. The Pennsylvania supreme court is considering separate arguments surrounding whether or not Abu-Jamal received a fair trial at all. What the court of appeals unanimously found this week is that he did not receive a fair sentencing. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has decided to appeal the decision to the US supreme court, saying:

"The right thing for us to do is to ask the US supreme court to hear this and to make a ruling on it."

As a result of this ruling, Abu-Jamal could get a new, full sentencing hearing, in court, before a jury. In such a hearing, the jury would be given clear instructions on how to decide between applying a sentence of life in prison as opposed to the death penalty – something the court found he did not receive back in 1982. At best, Abu-Jamal would be removed from the cruel confines of solitary confinement on Pennsylvania's death row at SCI Greene. John Payton, director counsel of the NAACP legal defence fund, which is representing Abu-Jamal in court, said:

"This decision marks an important step forward in the struggle to correct the mistakes of an unfortunate chapter in Pennsylvania history ... and helps to relegate the kind of unfairness on which this death sentence rested to the distant past."

His other attorney, Judith Ritter, a law professor at Widener University school of law, told me: "This is extremely significant. It's a life or death decision." I asked her if she had spoken to Abu-Jamal yet, and she told me that the prison failed to approve her request for an emergency legal phone call. I was not surprised, given my many years of covering his case.

He has faced multiple obstacles as he has tried to have his voice heard. On 12 August 1999, as I was hosting Democracy Now!, Abu-Jamal called into our news hour, mid-broadcast, to be interviewed. As he began to speak, a prison guard yanked the phone out of the wall. Abu-Jamal called back a month later and recounted that:

"Another guard appeared at the cell hollering at the top of his lungs, 'This call is terminated!' I immediately called to the sergeant standing by and looking on and said, 'Sergeant, where did this order come from?' He shrugged his shoulders and said: 'I don't know. We just got a call to cut you off.'"

Abu-Jamal sued over the violation of his rights, and won.

Despite his solitary confinement, Abu-Jamal has continued his work as a journalist. His weekly radio commentaries are broadcast from coast to coast. He is the author of six books. He was recently invited to present to a conference on racial imprisonment at Princeton University. He said (through a cellphone held up to a microphone):

"Vast numbers of men, women and juveniles … populate the prison industrial complex here in America. As many of you know, the US, with barely 5% of the world's population, imprisons 25% of the world's prisoners … the numbers of imprisoned blacks here rivals and exceeds South Africa's hated apartheid system during its height."

The United States clings to the death penalty, alone in the industrialised world. In fact, it stands with China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Yemen as the world's most frequent executioners. This week's decision in Mumia Abu-Jamal's case stands as one more clear reason why the death penalty should be abolished.

• Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Berlin report: Mumia's "Message For Anti-War Rallies"

Dear all in the USA Free Mumia Movement,

Today appr. 4000 people took to the streets in Berlin, Germany to protest war and nuclear power. 25 years after the desaster of Tschernobyl, a few weeks after Fukushima and in the light of the latest war on Libya as well as Irak and Afghanistan people demanded a stop to all of this.

All major energy corporations as well as the British, French, European and US Embassies were visited by a loud march in the city center of Berlin.

At the closing rally on the central Potsdamer Place Mumia's message was played and people were asked to write prepared birthday cards to him, as has his 57th birthday the following day - Mumia will get a lot of post soon.

You can listen to Mumia's original message at Prison Radio:

[ed. you can also sign up for the podcast of Mumia's commentaries at  The direct link to this message is  To sign up at iTunes, go to]

You can listen to a german recording of Mumia's speech in translation and the audience's response at:
"Berlin, Ostermarsch 2011: Redebeitrag von Mumia Abu-Jamal"

The Berlin demonstration was part of a nationwide mobilisation against the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. For the last 50 years the peace movement has been mobilizing against nuclear arms and wars around weekend of eastern. This year there are rallies in 83 cities and regions in Germany.

Mumia's message was played on other rallies, e.g. in Hamburg, where several hundred listened to Mumia's message on the same afternoon, too.

In solidarity

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Mumia's supporters call his birthday a day of resurrection

By Saeed Shabazz
Special to the AmNews, April 21, 2011

On Sunday, April 24, political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal celebrates his 58th birthday. Suzanne Ross, co-chair of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC), told the AmNews that "this is a day of resurrection for Mumia's case," referring to the fact that April 24 of this year is also being celebrated as Easter Sunday.

Before getting any deeper into the details surrounding the Philadelphia activist's case, the AmNews must share an exclusive email from Julia Wright, daughter of famed writer Richard Wright, who lives in Paris, France. Five years ago, a small town called Saint-Denis defied the Fraternal Order of Police and a U.S. Congressional Resolution by naming a street after Mumia, known as rue Mumia Abu-Jamal. Julia Wright recalled a phone call she received:

"Five years ago, on a premature spring afternoon, I received a phone call in my Paris apartment (my family and I have continued to live in exile after Richard Wright's death in 1960). An official-sounding voice asked me if I was the spokesperson in France for International Concerned Family and Friends for Mumia Abu Jamal.

"Puzzled, I concurred," Wright said.

"The voice then identified itself as speaking for the cultural Department of the City Hall of the town of Saint-Denis, better known for its church, where all the kings and queens of France are buried—some beheaded. `Would you kindly get in touch with Mr. Jamal on death row and ask him for his written permission to enable our municipality to name a street for him?'

"I blinked in amazement and finally managed to say, `I was under the impression streets could only be named after dead people.'"

She continued, "The official voice softened as it answered: `That is just why we want to name a street after him; so that we can keep him alive.'

"Today, five years later, Mumia is still alive and rue Mumia Abu-Jamal is still alive and kicking."

According to Ross, what is really significant is that he still is alive some 30 years after being sent to a Pennsylvania death row cell. Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death row in 1983, after his 1982 conviction in the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. The man known as "the voice of the people" has always maintained his innocence.

Abu-Jamal was a radio journalist, activist with the Black Panther Party and part-time cab driver at the time of Faulkner's murder. He was also active in defending MOVE, the naturalist organization residing in the West Philadelphia section of the "City of Brotherly Love."

In 2001, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania upheld the original conviction but voided the death sentence, citing irregularities in the original sentencing procedure, according to Wikipedia.

In December of 2005, the Third Circuit Court allowed for an appeal of the ruling of the District Court on four issues: that the jury form had been flawed, that there had potentially been a racial bias in jury selection, that the prosecutor's instructions to the jury were misleading and that the presiding judge demonstrated unacceptable bias.

According to reports, the presiding judge stated at the time, "Yeah, and I'm going to help them fry the nigger."

On March 27, 2008, a three-judge panel issued a majority 2-1 opinion that upheld the 2001 opinion but rejected the bias issue. They said that if the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chose not to hold a new hearing, Abu-Jamal would automatically be sentenced to life in prison.

In July of 2008, Abu-Jamal's petition seeking a reconsideration of the decision by the full Third Circuit panel of 12 judges was denied. On April 6, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal, and on Jan. 19, 2010, the Supreme Court ordered the appeals court to reconsider the decision to rescind the death penalty, also ordering them to hear submissions for that purpose. That is where the case stands now.

Abu-Jamal addressed a standing-room only gathering of his supporters at Riverside Church on April 3. When a questioner asked him what has kept him going for the past 30 years, he said, "It has been a long, hard struggle. I have been blessed with a loving family. I am inspired when I see people organize against neo-colonial imperialism."

So, one might ask, what does Ross mean by a resurrection? The purpose for the gathering at Riverside Church was to introduce Abu-Jamal's new legal team to his supporters: attorney Christine Swarms, director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund's Criminal Justice Project, and attorney Judith Ritter, professor at Widener Law School in Wilmington, Del.

"No question, the criminal justice system has failed him and that has everything to do with race," Swarms said, adding, "That is why the LDF is in this case."

The spirit in the room on April 3 showed the significance of the "Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Movement" 30 years later, said Ross. In her exclusive interview with the AmNews she noted that the support for Abu-Jamal in France was very significant moment.

Ross said that the two attorneys are going for the April 30 street-renaming celebration along with Bill Bachmann, a union activist with the American Postal Workers Union and member of the NYC Free Mumia Coalition; a two-member delegation from Germany's "Free Mumia Movement"; and a 12-member delegation from the Pan-African Society in London, England.

Last but not least, Ramona Africa and Pam Africa from the International Coalition out of Philadelphia will be in attendance. "We have to agitate and make people stay on the move," Pam Africa said. "The fact of it is we are all on death row."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chokwe Lumumba, the Scott Sisters, and more Sat April 23

 Mississippi, Goddam! The Scott Sisters Speak in Brooklyn 

A community forum regarding the case of the Scott Sisters (see background note below). Attorney Chokwe Lumumba will give updates about the current state of affairs of this case and will provide information about the campaign for their full release. Jamie and Gladys Scott will be teleconferenced in live to share their experiences as well as their ongoing commitment to help others with similar cases. This forum is free and open to the public.

April 23 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pmat Restoration Plaza
Restoration Plaza, First Floor – Multi-Purpose Room
Located at 1368 Fulton St Brooklyn, NY 11216

Featured Guests: Jamie and Gladys Scott (aka the Scott Sisters) will be featured guests via teleconference.

Panelists: Chokwe Lumumba (legal counsel to the Scott Sisters); Michael Tarif Warren (lawyer activist), Marc Lamont Hill (activist, author, scholar), and Rukia Lumumba (activist); April R. Silver (activist, writer), moderator.

Organized by The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the National Conference of Black Lawyers.

For more information, contact Lalit Clarkson at 917.468.7348 or


In 1993 in Mississippi two young Black women, Jamie and Gladys Scott were each sentenced to double life sentences for an $11 robbery. The trail and conviction of the then 19 and 22 year old women wreaks of the blatant race, gender and class oppression that is rampant throughout the criminal justice system in America. Their defense attorney, who was later disbarred for unrelated incompetency, never called a single witness in the sister's defense. One of the witnesses who testified against them has since recanted his testimony saying he was threatened by police. Ultimately, two of the three men who indeed committed the robbery served 2 years in prison in exchange for testifying against the Scott sisters. Jamie and Gladys maintain their innocence

While in prison, Jamie and Gladys suffered all of the usually physical and psychological abuses of incarceration. The lack of decent health care and nutrition put Jamie Scott in critical need of a kidney transplant. Support for their release grew over the decade and a half of their incarceration, ultimately leading to a suspension of sentence in January of this year - conditional on Gladys donating a kidney to her ailing sister.

Today, the Scott family and their supports urge the governor of Mississippi for a full pardon. Under the suspended sentence they must pay $52 a month for parole, abide by a strict curfew, and live with the constant fear of a parole violation - which would land them back in prison to serve their double-life sentences. Furthermore, without a full pardon, they still live with the stigma of being convicted felons. As felons, they are unable to get jobs, decent housing, and other critical services.

New lawyers committed to new trial for Mumia Abu Jamal

By Saeed Shabazz -Staff Writer
April 19, 2011

NEW YORK ( - Mumia Abu-Jamal, 58, often called the “world's most famous death-row prisoner” penned a letter from his cell in Pennsylvania's SCI Greene prison last November telling supporters about changes to his legal team.

“They are experienced intelligent and well-motivated lawyers, who know what they are doing,” he wrote.

On April 3, his supporters, grassroots activists representing anti-death penalty organizations, Pan-Africanists, nationalists, organized labor activists, the Million Worker March and anti-war organizations gathered on the ninth floor in Riverside Church to meet the two lead co-counselors.

Attorney Christine Swarms, director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund's Criminal Justice Project, and Judith Ritter, professor at Widener Law School in Wilmington, Del., were greeted with a rousing ovation from the standing-room only crowd. The applause came with the announcement from event moderator Suzzanne Ross, chairperson of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition of New York City, that the Legal Defense Fund had taken on Mr. Abu Jamal's case. “Mumia is very relieved that his case is in the hands of the new team,” Ms. Ross said, before turning the podium over to the two attorneys.

The event co-sponsors were the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Riverside Church Prison Ministry.

The journalist, former Black Panther and supporter of the police-targeted back to the earth MOVE organization was sentenced to death in 1982 after being found guilty of the Dec. 9, 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Mr. Abu-Jamal has always maintained his innocence.

During his 30-year imprisonment, Mr. Abu-Jamal has published several books, the most notable being “Letters from Death Row” (1995), written newspaper columns and created commentary for radio airplay.

In 2001, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pa. found constitutional error in the jury instruction and verdict form used in the 1982 penalty phase of his case. The finding was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2008, but was sent back to the Third Circuit Court by the U.S. Supreme Court last year for further review.

Mr. Abu-Jamal's appeal is still pending before the Third Circuit Court. “We do not know when the decision will be made,” Ms. Ritter told the gathering. The legal team's ultimate goal remains a new trial, which has been rejected by many courts, she said.

Ms. Ritter, who has represented the man called the “voice of the people” since 2002, noted Philadelphia's first Black district attorney, Seth Williams, may seek a new penalty trial with a new jury. Ms. Ritter has argued questions over instructions given to the jury before Mr. Abu-Jamal was sentenced to the death penalty in appeals before federal courts in 2007 and 2010.

“It is absolutely an honor to represent Mumia Abu-Jamal,” said Ms. Swarms. “No question the criminal justice system has failed him and that has everything to do with race. That is why the LDF is in this case.”

The activist attorney said the Legal Defense Fund is committed to eliminating racism in the criminal justice system nationally.

“The death penalty is the child of this country, which is a direct descendant of slavery, a violent way of controlling and maintaining slavery,” Attorney Swarms said.

The death sentence became a form of legal lynching by 1930 and 89 percent of those in America sentenced to death for rape between 1930 and 1972 were Black, she noted.

“So you can see that race is the most significant factor in giving the death penalty as a sentence,” Ms. Swarms concluded.

The gathering at Riverside Church received a surprise when Mr. Abu-Jamal called. He thanked everyone for coming out, saying there are so many problems in the country it would seem difficult to get people motivated to deal with his 30-year-old case.

Several people lined up to ask the popular political prisoner questions via telephone. “What has kept your spirit up?” asked one questioner.

“It has been a long, hard struggle. I have been blessed with a loving family. I am inspired when I see people organize against neo-colonial imperialism,” Mr. Abu-Jamal.

Ms. Ross told The Final Call, “The spirit in that room showed the significance of this movement 30 years later. Having the LDF is a major turning point, a lot of lawyers would not touch this case LDF wants to win,” she said.

Pam Africa, the tireless driver of the International Coalition out of Philadelphia, told The Final Call her job is “to agitate and make people stay on the move. The fact of it is we are all on death-row.”

“Support is again growing for Mumia. It's good seeing people come out asking what can collectively be done to free him,” said Ralph Poynter, husband of jailed activist attorney Lynne Stewart. “Lynne says that Mumia is the point person.  His life is on the line now her life is on the line tomorrow,” Mr. Poynter added.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/23 Philly -- Political Prisoners on War Resisters & Honoring Mumia's Birthday

Saturday, April 23 · 7:30pm - 10:30pm
Sanctuary Wholistic Arts
2737 Cambridge Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Created By: Iresha Picot

More Info: April 23rd, at 7:30pm, the "Questioning Incarceration Coalition" would like to invite everyone to join us for a cultural event, with art, music, and poetry, that will focus on solidarity between US Political Prisoners, and War Resistors.

Statements will be read from the writings of political prisoners and former political prisoners such as:
Marshall Eddie Conway
Maroon Shoatz
David Gilbert
Mumia Abu Jamal
Safiya Bukhari
Lynne Stewart
Women of the MOVE 9

Special Guests: Pam Africa from the ICFFMAJ and the MOVE organization, and Russell Maroon Shoatz III, speaking about his father, Political Prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz

Also, Performances by Kevin Price, Bohiti, I Abdul Jon, Joseph Xavier Mack

**We will be honoring the birthday of death row political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. Mumia is on deathrow facing imminent execution and continues to report on international social justice issues. Mumia has been been writing in opposition to US led wars and occupations throughout and prior to his 1981 conviction.

Saturday April 23rd
Sanctuary Wholistic Arts
2737 Cambridge Street
Philadelphia, PA

donations will be collected to help pay for the venue

Presented by: Questioning Incarceration - 215-687-1147,

CA Federation of Teachers Passes Resolution in Support of Mumia!

Hats off to the California Federation of Teachers!!  Despite the spin the media and the Fraternal Order of Police will try to put on this powerful move on the part of the California Federation of Teachers, this is a very important breakthrough for this period. Resolutions of this sort were passed in huge numbers back in 1995 and 1999, when Mumia was threatened with immediate execution as death warrants had been signed by the Governor.  We need to revive that kind of grassroots activism.  Folks, try to get your union or your local legislative body to pass such a resolution in support of Mumia! We need to revive those kinds of initiatives now!!

International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu- Jamal  and 
the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)

CA Federation of Teachers Passes Resolution in Support of Mumia
Caroline May - The Daily Caller  – Mon Apr 11, 4:36 pm ET

Between negotiating for more benefits and teaching their students, the California Federation of Teachers has adopted a resolution of support for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

At the CFT's 2011 Convention in late March, the delegates passed 30 resolutions, from solidifying support for anti-bullying legislation to supporting transitional kindergarten. Among the resolutions largely pertaining to education and collective bargaining rights was Resolution 19 – to "Reaffirm support for death row journalist."

"Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers reaffirm its support and demand that the courts consider the evidence of innocence of Mumia Abu-Jamal," the Committee Report reads.

Mumia Abu-Jamal was a former member of the Black Panthers who was found guilty of murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel J. Faulkner during a routine traffic stop in 1981. Abu-Jamal was subsequently sentenced to death.

His supporters, such as the California Federation of Teachers, argue that his trial was unfair and that he is a civil rights hero.

"Mumia Abu-Jamal has for decades as a journalist fought courageously against racism and police brutality and for the human rights of all people and has taken strong stands in support of working people involved in labor struggles and in support of well-funded, quality, public education," the resolution reads.

Daniel Flynn, author of "Cop killer: How Mumia Abu-Jamal conned millions into believing he was framed" told The Daily Caller that Abu-Jamal was the poster-child for ending the death penalty…20 – 30 years ago.

"Somebody should tell the California Teachers Federation that this is over, he is in jail, he is going to stay there," Flynn said. "You have numerous eyewitnesses saying Mumia did it. You had ballistic evidence – Mumia's gun at the scene was consistent with the bullet used to kill Faulkner. Mumia admitted after the fact that he did it."

Fred Glass, CFT spokesman, told TheDC that the even though the case is 30 years old, since Abu-Jamal is still going through appeals, the issue remains relevant.

"The delegates decided it was time to reiterate that they supported him due to the irregularities that they felt had taken place during his case," said Glass. "They see this as a civil liberties issue, it is quite common for the CFT to take positions on broad social matters like this."

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) spokesman Tom Lansworth, said that this is an issue the national union has never before considered, however, it likely will appear before the AFT at their next convention.

"It appears that one of the intents of the California resolution is to present this issue to the next AFT convention, which will be next year. Our national convention is held every two years. So the California action is part of the normal process of proposing resolutions for debate by the national convention. This does not appear to be an issue that we have acted on before," he told TheDC, adding he had no idea whether the AFT would adopt the resolution.

Either way, Flynn sees the action as the CFT showing their liberal stripes.

"The California Federation of Teachers is reacting to that long tradition on the left that takes murders and makes heroes out of them," said Flynn.


Dear Friends in the USA,

we have an important request for your support.

As you may have heard, Georgia joins the nationwide scramble for Danish lethal injection drugs

The company in question is called Lundbeck and has the sole license for pentobarbital on the US pharmacy market which has been used in executions in Ohio and lately in one attempt in Texas, too.

This danish company is clearly breaking european law in order to profit from the death penalty. So far they were able to conduct their business with Ohio and Texas. Last week Tuesday the US Supreme Court stopped an execution in Texas because it wasn't clear, if the danish chemicals are "safe" to execute american citizens.

Today an Online Petition against the use of european products in the US death penalty started: "Keine Lundbeck-Praeparate fuer Hinrichtungen in den USA" european politicians are requested to act on this.

Troy Davis is a death row prisoner in Georgia. The US Supreme Court denied his last appeal last week. If Georgia manages to gain pentobarbital from Lundbeck it will likely resume to publish execution dates again.

Please get the word around in the US and help us by promoting the european online petition as well as writing directely to Lundbeck in order protest their business policies.

If the anti-death penalty movement in the US could consider to call for a boycott of Lundbeck that might help, too.

After european policies helped to force the company Hospira to pull out of the death penalty in the US death penalty together we might be able to stop another profiteer from the "machinery of death".

In solidarity,

the Berlin Free Mumia Coalition

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Interview with Mumia in Mexican virtual mag "des informemonos"


Interview with Mumia

'It takes many to make revolution… and many to preserve it'

'About the idea of organizing outside of political parties and the political class —I’m with it. In fact, it may be the only thing that keeps social movements fresh and free from the snares of political corruption.'

Gloria Muñoz Ramírez

A year ago we began trying to arrange an interview with Mumia, one of the best known political prisoners in the world. We sent him letters and requests through all available contacts (including Amigos de Mumia of Mexico) who kindly offered to help get in touch with him on death row in the prison at Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, the state where he’s been imprisoned for 29 years. One fine day an envelope appeared beneath our door with the name of M. A. Jamal as the sender. This is the first interview the African-American activist and ex Black Panther has given to a Mexican news media.

In a two-page, typewritten letter, Mumia speaks of the need for social organization; of political parties as 'servants of capital'; of the relevance of autonomous movements and the proposals of the EZLN; of the African-American movement in the United States; of the teachings of Franz Fanon; and of the expectations aroused by Obama when he became President in a country where 'Blacks hold offices but have little power.'

The way Mumia sees it, 'the struggle continues.'

The interview with Mumia follows in the format of his choice:

Hola! I’ll try to address some of your concerns in this format. Here we go!

How to organize

There is no single, one way nor one event that sparks such things. Because people are complex, and, of course, conditions change. Organizing begins, according to the great C.L.R. James, when 2 people agree to work together. Mao said that ‘a single spark can start a prairie fire’, and that certainly seems to be the case when you look at Egypt and Tunisia of the past few weeks. But it’s also true that organizing has been talking place (especially in Egypt) for some time now, and it appears many people just reached a breaking point.

Political parties

Many, indeed, most political parties, especially in the metropolis, have become open servants of capital, and thus compete, not even pretending to represent the people, but in service to Weath. The French historian De Tocqueville famously said, 'Than politics the American citizen knows no higher profession – for it is the most lucrative.' He wrote this over 150 years ago! They are actually impediments to the needs and the interests of the people. This is especially clear in the so-called developed world, where we see politicians promise one thing to get elected and then, once in office renege on the very things they promised. They never fall, however, to service their 'friends' on Wall St., or in The City, or of the Bourse. They get the lion’s share – of the people’s wealth!


If I understand what you are saying (there being little autonomous movements in the US), you mean movements which are ‘autonomous’ of political parties. If that understanding is correct, than I’m all for it. Political parties, in addition to being mechanisms to amass personal wealth, are machines to give people the illusion of democracy.

EZLN plans

I’m with that. In fact, that may the only thing that keeps social movements fresh from the snares of corruption that is so common in political life around the world. An older friend and I have been discussing this very thing for several years now (he too, is a student of the EZLN). I think it should be explored, tried out, and then utilized if it can be done.


The situation, to be quite honest, is quite dire. For millions of children in US ghettoes, in cities all across America, the drop-out rate is 50%. In some cities, like Baltimore, I’m told that the figure approaches 75%. And even for those that graduate, many of them are unable to enter college, because they’ve received a substandard education. That’s for children! While the official unemployment rate is about 7% nationally, In Black America it is nearer to 35% – and 60%+ for young people! In addition, young Blacks are subject to police violence that is overt, brutal and deadly – and rarely are they punished for such acts.

The Obama election has awakened and emboldened rightwing, racist forces, many of whom have found a home in the so-called ‘Tea Party’ movement. Politicians now speak openly in praise of the Civil War (1860-1865), on behalf of the South. Indeed, several days ago, the governor of Mississippi was set to honour one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan with a license plate: Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was responsible for the torture and massacres of hundreds of Black Union soldiers at a piece called Fort Pillow.

The Black Panther Party

That movement has significant interest among the Black young, but few know historical details. That’s because they are told by teachers and media of the Civil Rights triumph that enabled the elections of Black politicians. The nationalist movement is at an ebb. What the movement accomplished was the separation of working class Blacks from bourgeois-oriented Blacks, and the resultant alienation of the well-to-do Blacks from their poorer, inner city cousins. This is reflected at almost every level of Black life in America. That explains how (and why) schools for millions of Black and Latin@ kids can be so poor, in so many communities.

Blacks & Indigenes

The differences are real, for we rarely share living space (most indigenous communities are in rural or Western areas; most Blacks live in urban areas). That said, there is certainly ideological interaction between the two, as the AIM was clearly influenced by the BPP, and the Black power movement. The struggles for independence and freedom reinforced and influenced each other.


As capitalism reaches a crisis, it forces people to think less holistically, and more selfishly. This Impulse, stoked by fear (and spread by corporate media) reinforces the feeling of separation among people, and dissipates commonality, community and indeed, social cohesiveness. Unless activists can build that feeling of solidarity among peoples, these impulses will lead to real social and perhaps historical disasters.

The EZLN  and the Black Panther Party

I think what unites both formations is (was) the insistence that people, from all walks of life, can play important roles in social movements of change. Many Black Nationalist movements of the ’60s were quite critical of the BPP for working with white people (it also worked with Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Japanese, and Chinese activists). The Zapatista call has always been to the world: the entire world, of colour, of gender, of class, etc. I think that inclusive quality is, at base, its most humanistic, and that which appeals to the broad stretch of the human family. For it takes many to make revolution – and many to preserve it.

Contradictions between discourse and practice in the United States

Your reading of contradictions between the US as an avatar of human rights end being the Prison house of nations is perceptive. That contradiction is stark, and irrefutable. We have many things in America, but democracy certainly isn’t one of them. We have democratic forms; but no true democratic norms. When millions of Americans took to the streets in the Spring of 2002, demanding that the US not go to war, the ‘democracy’ ignored the people – and the result has been a social, humanitarian, ecological, archaeological and military disaster. George Bush called the millions in the streets a ‘pressure group’ – that he promptly ignored. How is it that the country that speaks so sweetly of freedom has more prisoners than any other nation in the world-and most of them are Black? The U.S. has about 5% of the world’s population – yet almost 25% of the world’s prisoners. So much for human rights.

Franz Fanon and Obama

African-Americans didn’t take power in the Obama election, although I can understand why some think they did. That’s because a certain kind of history was made. For the first time in U.S. history, a Black person was elected president (interesting, it comes almost a century and a ½ after a Black man became president of Mexico!). But, as Fanon taught in the African continental context, colonialism was succeeded by neo-colonialism. Blacks hold offices, but, the truth of the matter is, they hold little power. They are beholden to the same interests as white politicians are. Indeed, the sad fact is, Blacks may hold less power than before, for Black politicians are less able to address Black issues, for fear of being projected by the corporate media as ‘racist’ (recall the example of when Obama called the cop who harassed and arrested his friend and old college professor, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ‘stupid’). The media went crazy. The incident proved also that the Black ‘elite’ (if a Harvard prof. isn’t elite, no one is), Prof. Gates was treated like a poor Black in the ghetto, arrested in his own home, humiliated, and jailed for daring to speak boldly to a white cop. The media rode Obama into silence.

About me

As the Mozambicans used to say, ‘a luta continua’: the struggle continues. We must build and widen, and deepen and strengthen our struggle, wherever it is, for, to quote Frederick Douglass, 'Without struggle there is no progress.' It may not be easy; but it is necessary.

Adios, mis amigos! Y gracias por todo!



Monday, April 04, 2011

Celebrate Mumia's birthday in Philly this year!

Celebrate Mumia's April 24th birthday by organizing for his release!!!

Given that his birthday falls on Easter, we're holding an event the night before on Saturday April 23rd

Questioning Incarceration:

Saturday April 23
Doors open at 7:30 pm
Sanctuary Wholistic Arts
2737 Cambridge Street
Philadelphia, PA

(a donation will be collected to cover the costs of the space)

Help us organize this event:

A coalition representing activists from Jericho, Human Rights Coaliiton, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia, and more will meet to plan an event on April 23 connecting advocacy and support of political prisoners and war resisters. Work with us to create a cultural event strategically pointing towards unity and release!

This event is also in honor of Mumia's April 24 birthday. If you can't join us, consider holding an event in Mumia's honor and share the details with!

Planning meeting at
A Space, 4722 Baltimore Avenue
Thursday April 7
6-7 pm

215 687 1147

Updates posted by our A Space friends at

Letter Writing to Mumia, "Black and Blue" Film Showing & Political Discussions

The PSP Black/New Afrikan History & Culture Class: Updates & Support For Our Exiles-PP/POWs Presents Its Monthly:

George L. Jackson - Mumia Abu Jamal:
Political Prisoner Harlem Letter Writing Dinner

Wednesday, April 6th In Harlem
6:00pm - 9:00pm

The Guillermo Morales- Assata Shakur Center at
City College Of New York
NAC - Building: Room 3-201
W.138th Street (Bet. Amsterdam & Convent Avenues)

Info. Contact- Bro. Shep: (212) 650-5008 or

Program Schedule

Political Prisoner Film Screening & Discussion Of
"Black & Blue: The MOVE 9"

A Collective Reading Of The Individual PP/POW Responses To Our Cards & Letters

  • Collective Letter writing to the "MOVE 9" political prisoners
  • April & Belated March Birthday Card collective signings for US Captured PP/POWs
  • PP/POW Updates & Event Announcements
  • Traditional Southern, Caribbean, Afrikan "Pot Luck" Meal (Please bring a dish or beverage to share)

Sponsored By: The Peoples Survival Program (PSP) and The Guillermo Morales-Assata Shakur Community & Student Center @ CCNY

From our German comrades re the "Meet and Greet the Lawyers",

What a brilliant evening that was - congratulations.

Some of us stayed up til late at night to watch the event. Here is what they wrote in english for a german indymedia website:

An evening with Mumia's new legal team

(Harlem, NYC) Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal defense gained strength a couple of weeks ago, when the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) officially joined his defense. Although lawyers of the LDF have been members of the team for several years already they now take on the leading role in the legal struggle to free Mumia Abu-Jamal. On April 3 the newly formed defense team presented themselves to an audience of 150 in Riverside Church in New York.

The LDF looks back on a long history of successful legal litigations in the civil rights campaign in the US. The new legal team for Mumia involves Johanna Steinberg, Vincent Southerland, Judith Ritter and Christina Swarns. They are accompanied by two speakers who will speak publically for them in the future, too.

The event took off with speeches by activists of the US Free Mumia movement. Greetings went out to many people who sometimes had traveled far to join the event.

Attorney Judith Ritter spoke on Mumia Abu-Jamal's long case history and pointing out the renewed danger of the death penalty against him.

Mumia himself called from death row and answering questions from the audience. Listeners were very enthusiatic about being able to direct contact with Mumia and he seemed clearly moved himself.

Attorney Christina Swarns gave an historic overview on racism in society and the justice system up until today in connection to the way, Mumia has been treated by the system.

She started by explaining the historic roots of legal executions. The death penalty in the US is a direct descendant of slavery and the following practice of lynching, especially in the south of the country. This became notorious in the era of "reconstruction". As the criticism of these racist murders increased, the death penalty then "legally" replaced mob lynchings. Looking at the numbers of executions in the US today it is obvious, that they mostly take place in the former strongholds of lynching.

The purpose of the death penalty is the same as the klan lynchings of the past: to keep millions of African Americans in their place and force them to accept segregtion and expolitation. It is a method of social control which clearly demonstrates, that it is predominantly race, that dictates in court who is going to live and who is going to die. Christina Swarns: "The death penalty is a weapon of social control".

Another aspect is the different treatment of black and white murder victims. While half or all murder victims in the country are black, the offenders are not executed very often. If there is a white murder victim, executions take place very often, though.

Swarns went on to describe legal procedures and the endemic manipulations of juries all around the country, describing how African Americans are regulary manoeuvered out of juries by deliberate tactics on the part of district Attourneys. But judges and federal courts also systematically legalize such practices, as every one can see in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The media also played an important part in racist legal procedures. Prior to the Abu-Jamal trial in 1982 Philadelphia's media covered extensively Mumia's previous affiliations with the Black Panther Party and with the Association of Black Journalists, mentioning his sympathetic coverage of MOVE or commenting on his dread lock hair style. They made sure that race played a role in this case from the outset and diverted public observation away from the facts of what actually happened on December 9, 1981.

Christina Swarns concluded, that Mumia's case is one the most important ones in the fight against the death penalty in the US today. Thus, the LDF is committed in saving him from execution and winning his freedom.

Afterwards $1500 in donations were collected for the legal defense team of Mumia.

Appr. 150 people joined the event in the Harlem Riverside Church in NYC. You can watch the recording of the live stream on  The event then starts from 1:02.25

The event was organized by the New York Free Mumia coalition together with Mumia's legal defense.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

SUNDAY 4/3: LIVE VIDEO STREAM:: Meet Mumia Abu Jamal's New Legal Team

This event will be streaming live on the web for those who cannot make it. It can be watched all over the world!

Just go to the following URL at 4pm Eastern Time on Sunday, April 3rd. If you don't see us precisely at 4pm, please be patient. We might not actually get started until shortly after that time.





Christina Swarns, Esq.,
Director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund LDF) Criminal Justice Project

Judith Ritter, Esq.,
Professor, Widener Law School in Wilmington, Delaware

4:00 – 7:00 P.M.

Private reception
$10 advance purchase of tickets required

Call 212 330-8029 to order tickets
5:30–7:00 pm

Presentations by attorneys


It is with great excitement that we announce the formation of Mumia's new legal team. Both Christina  Swarns and Judith Ritter have argued before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for Mumia. They are now formal co-counsel representing him in the ongoing appeal of his murder conviction and death sentence. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), as the premier legal organization in this country fighting for racial justice, has committed itself to "sweep the grave injustices embodied in this case into the dustbin of history."