Mumia Abu Jamal

Submitted by AWL on 23 March, 2006 - 4:09

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a former Black Panther and an award-winning journalist. Mumia has been on death row since 1982, after he was wrongfully sentenced for the shooting of a police officer.

New evidence, including the recantation of a key eyewitness as well as new ballistic and forensic evidence, points to his innocence.

For the last 19 years, Mumia has been locked up 23 hours a day, denied contact visits with his family, had his confidential legal mail illegally opened by prison authorities, and been put into punitive detention for writing his book, Live From Death Row.

His case is currently on appeal before the Federal District Court in Philadelphia. Mumia's fight for a new trial has won the support of tens of thousands around the world, including Nelson Mandela, the European Parliament, and Amnesty International.

Mumia abu-Jamal's fate rests with all those people who believe in every person's right to justice and a fair trial.


Mumia's case was rigged:

* The Judge, Albert Sabo, has sentenced more people to death than any other sitting judge in the US.

* The public defender didn't interview a single witness in preparation for the trial, and didn't have funds for defending the case.

* The prosecutor removed 11 qualified African Americans from the jury. He also argued for the death penalty because of Mumia's membership of the Black Panther Party, a practice later condemned as unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

* The racial bias of Philadelphia's courts has resulted in 120 people on death row, all but 13 non-white.

America’s racist death penalty

* The imposition of the death penalty is racially biased.

* Nearly 90% of persons executed were convicted of killing whites, although people of colour make up over half of all murder victims in the United States.

* In Illinois, Oklahoma and North Carolina, killers of white victims are four times more likely to receive the death penalty than the killers of black victims.

* As of 1 January 1997, African Americans made up 11 of the 13 people executed by the state of Alabama.

* African-Americans make up half of the death row populations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Delaware, Mississippi, and Virginia; over two-thirds of the people on death row in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Louisiana; and more than three out of four people waiting to be executed in Federal and US Military prisons.

* Sixty per cent of the persons on death row in California and Texas are either Black, Latino, Asian or Native American.

* Ninety per cent of the people US government prosecutors seek to execute are Black or Latino.

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