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Judge grants latest appeal for Mumia Abu-Jamal, in part


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Reprinted from https://kywnewsradio.radio.com  By Kristen Johanson, December 27, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia judge has re-instated Mumia Abu-Jamal post-conviction appellate rights, more than 35 years after he convicted of killing Philadelphia Police Officer Danny Faulkner in Center City.  

City Judge Leon Tucker partially granted Abu-Jamal’s appeal, saying former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille should have recused himself from Abu-Jamal’s state Supreme Court appeal attempt “to ensure the neutrality of the judicial process,” but simultaneously said the court found no evidence Castille was biased in his decision or had prior significant involvement in the case, as the defense contends. 

Part of Ruling by Philadelphia City Judge Leon Tucker

Abu-Jamal’s latest appeal attempt is based on a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving another Philadelphia man, Terrance Williams, who was convicted in a separate murder. The high court ruled Castille should have recused himself from that state Supreme Court decision, because he had “personal significant involvement” as the city’s district attorney.   

Castille was the District Attorney when Abu-Jamal was going through his appeal process on the lower-court level.

Abu-Jamal was convicted by a jury in the murder of Faulker in 1982, and he was sentenced to death. But in 2011, then-District Attorney Seth Williams decided to ask for life without the possibility of parole, following a federal appeals court decision that jurors may have received misleading instructions during the trial.

“Justice would best be served by allowing the petitioner (Abu-Jamal) re-argument before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,” wrote Tucker, “before a complete and clearly unbiased tribunal” or court.

In the court filing released Thursday afternoon, Tucker also pointed to two missing documents brought to the court’s attention by the defense, which he said should have been held on to by the commonwealth.

The first is a memo from Castille to Deputy District Attorney Gayle Barthold, and the second is a 1988 letter from then-Sen. Michael Fisher asking about status information on certain capital cases. 

“The unavailability of such documents may prejudice petitioner,” Tucker added.

The judge also said the commonwealth should have kept all documents related to the case, adding, “It is ironic that the commonwealth accepts no responsibility for the preservation of the memo request from Mr. Castille yet has been able to retain the responsive document from Ms. Barthold that the memo request from Mr. Castille was attached to.”

He continues, saying, “The public expectation of impartial justice is necessary. The slightest appearance of bias or lack of impartiality undermines the entire judiciary hence the mandate of not only propriety but the appearance of propriety.”

Abu-Jamal’s defense attorney, Judith L. Ritter, said in an emailed statement: “Judge Tucker recognized the unconstitutional bias involved with Justice Castille’s sitting on the prior post-conviction appeals, and the need for a new appeal untainted by such bias. This was a straightforward application of federal and Pennsylvania law requiring cases to be decided by judges whose impartiality cannot reasonably be questioned.”

Abu-Jamal now has 30 days to appeal to the state Superior Court. 

Pack the Court and Streets for Mumia on Mon., December 3, 2018!


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Monday, December 3, 2018 – 8 am,
Court Hearing for Mumia,
Criminal Justice Center,
1301 Filbert Street,
Room 1108,
Philadelphia, PA;
Get directions

 

In a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom, Judge Leon Tucker has ordered the District Attorney’s office to present new testimony in reference to Ronald Castille, on August 30, 2018. Castille is a former PA Supreme Court judge who refused to disqualify himself when Mumia’s case came before the court despite having been the Philadelphia District Attorney during Mumia’s prior appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such conduct is unconstitutional.

A New Chance for Mumia

Click graphic for large version

 

 

 


A recent update on Mumia Abu Jamal’s case:
Philadelphia DA’s office stonewalls at hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal
May 3, 2018

Pack the Court and Streets for Mumia Abu Jamal on August 30, 2018


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Demonstrate for Mumia Abu Jamal in PhiladelphiaAugust 30, 2018 – 8 am,
Court Hearing for Mumia,
Criminal Justice Center,
1301 Filbert Street,
Room 1108,
Philadelphia, PA;
Get directions

 

In a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom, Judge Leon Tucker has ordered the District Attorney’s office to present new testimony in reference to Ronald Castille, on August 30, 2018. Castille is a former PA Supreme Court judge who refused to disqualify himself when Mumia’s case came before the court despite having been the Philadelphia District Attorney during Mumia’s prior appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such conduct is unconstitutional.

A New Chance for Mumia

Click graphic for large version

 

 

 


A recent update on Mumia Abu Jamal’s case:
Philadelphia DA’s office stonewalls at hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal
May 3, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

MOVE: Over four decades of resistance


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By Ted Kelly
July 30, 2018
Reprinted from International Action Center website

MOVE 9 40 Year Commemoration

Earlier this summer, Philadelphia was in a state of celebration when political prisoner Debbie Africa was released after nearly four decades in prison. In August, prison abolitionists, in Philadelphia and across the world, will observe an anniversary with more solemnity than rejoicing.

August 8, 2018, marks the 40th anniversary of the city’s first major assault on the MOVE family, an episode that ended in the death of one of the family’s infants and in the arrest and imprisonment of nine MOVE family members.

To commemorate this anniversary, a three-part event will be held on Aug. 5. At 10 a.m., there will be a 5k run and walk that starts in Fairmount Park and goes to the original MOVE house in the city’s Powelton Village neighborhood. Then, at 3 p.m., there will be a public forum at Mastery Shoemaker High School on what today’s movements should learn from MOVE’s struggle. Following that forum will be a live concert at 5 p.m. featuring local artists Seraiah Nicole, Mic Africa, Raw Life Crew and more.

Free the MOVE 9

Debbie Africa, with son Mike Africa Jr. with photo of still imprisoned husband/father Mike Africa Sr

Debbie Africa with son Mike Jr. and photo of still imprisoned husband/ father Mike Africa Sr. LBWPhoto

Michael Africa Sr., one of the MOVE 9, has a new parole hearing this September. Despite the fact that Janet and Janine Africa were also up for parole at the same time as Debbie, she remains the only member of the MOVE 9 to be released. Debbie was imprisoned in 1978 along with her partner Mike Sr., as well as Delbert, Phil, Janet, Janine, Eddie, Merle and Chuck Africa.

All nine were convicted of the murder of a Philadelphia police officer who died from being struck by one of his fellow officers’ bullets in the hail of gunfire the police blasted into the MOVE home. Despite forensic evidence and scores of eyewitnesses indicating the officer was slain by “friendly fire,” all nine of the arrested MOVE members were convicted of firing the single bullet that killed him.

Immediately after the police assault on the MOVE family, the city bulldozed and destroyed the house, annihilating any and all evidence that could have been used to help exonerate the MOVE 9. The demolition also erased all evidence of the police siege on the compound and the massive structural damage done to the house by police water cannons, chemical gas and thousands of rounds of ammunition fired into the home.

Despite all this, even the city had to acknowledge that of the few weapons that were recovered from the MOVE family home, none of them were operable. That is to say, the MOVE 9 had no way of shooting anyone. Yet each of the MOVE 9 were sentenced to 30 to 100 years in prison.

Judge Edwin Malmed, who handed down the bogus convictions, was asked by then reporter Mumia Abu-Jamal how it could be considered a just decision that nine people were convicted of firing a single bullet. Malmed replied that since the nine wanted to be tried as a family, he convicted them as a family.

A history of oppression — and resistance

The Philadelphia police assault on the MOVE family on Aug. 8, 1978, was a clear escalation of violence, brutality and injustice. But the war on the Philadelphia Black Liberation movement had been raging for at least a decade before. The generalissimo who prosecuted that war was Frank Rizzo, the white supremacist police commissioner turned mayor.

A major attack on Black Liberation began in August 1970 when police raided the Philadelphia Black Panther headquarters. Dozens of Panthers were publicly stripped naked on Columbia Avenue before their arrest. In that era of Cointelpro infiltration, intimidation and assassination, the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Panthers was just one of many to go underground or be destroyed outright.

The MOVE Organization, led by the visionary John Africa, is what filled the vacuum left by the Panthers in Philadelphia. With an ideology that combined an uncompromising dedication to Black Liberation with an unprecedented commitment to environmental justice and animal rights, MOVE became a revolutionary force to be reckoned with.

In a recent interview in Workers World, Debbie Africa explained: “[My brothers] got involved in MOVE activities, in speaking engagements — at the time they were in full throttle speaking out against injustice. They loved it, taking care of the dogs and going to study sessions that MOVE founder John Africa held, educating people how to avoid violence in their communities and on police brutality — the things that made people’s lives miserable.”

She added: “John Africa’s teachings really lock you into the reality of what’s really going on. The rest is history.”

For years, the city attempted to lock up members of the MOVE Organization. But John, and later Ramona, Africa’s remarkable legal astuteness meant they often escaped serious charges. That changed in 1978 when weeks of a siege on the MOVE house culminated in the Aug. 8 assault and the imprisonment of the MOVE 9.

Three years later, Black Panther journalist and MOVE supporter Mumia Abu-Jamal was also framed for the murder of a Philadelphia cop. A key witness to that incident was found dead under mysterious circumstances on May 13, 1985 — the same night that Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on the new MOVE house on Osage Avenue, killing eleven people, including founder John Africa and five children.

In the years since the 1978 assault and the 1985 state murders, the MOVE family has flourished and grown, despite mainstream media accounts to the contrary. Still, the city’s oppression has taken its toll. Mumia Abu-Jamal and six of the MOVE 9 are still in prison after 40 years. Merle and Phil Africa were murdered by the prison system — they died under lock and key.

This fortieth anniversary must mark not just four decades of resistance, but also a new chapter in that struggle.

Free the MOVE 9! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal! Free ‘em all!

Pack the Court for Mumia!


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Mobilize for Mumia!

MON., FEB. 26, 8 AM
Status Report for Mumia
Criminal Justice Center,
1301 Filbert Street,
Room 1108,
Philadelphia, PA;
Get directions
TUES., FEB. 27, 8 AM
Court Hearing for Mumia
Criminal Justice Center,
1301 Filbert Street,
Room 1108,
Philadelphia, PA;
Get directions

Pam Africa speaks to rally at Philly CourtIn a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom, Judge Leon Tucker has ordered the District Attorney’s office to present new testimony in reference to Ronald Castille, on Monday, February 26, 2018. Castille is a former PA Supreme Court judge who refused to disqualify himself when Mumia’s case came before the court despite having been the Philadelphia District Attorney during Mumia’s prior appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such conduct is unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, we will be back in court to hear the court’s decision on Mumia’s appeal. Come to the courthouse to let them know that we demand they comply with the precedent: Mumia should never have had one of his appeals heard by a judge who was formerly the DA fighting his prior appeals – and NO ONE SHOULD! Mumia should win the right to have his appeal heard fairly!

Pack the Court for Mumia!
The people’s movement forced the courts to take Abu-Jamal off death row in 2011 but his freedom was not won. Despite his innocence, he was re-sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

As an innocent man, Mumia must be freed! It is even more urgent that he gains his freedom because he is suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, severe itching and other ailments threatening his life.

Get flyer.

 

Led by: International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (ICFFMAJ) and The MOVE Organization and Mobilization to Free Mumia

Endorsed by: Educators for Mumia, International Action Center; Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC); Campaign to Bring Mumia Home; Mobilization to Free Mumia (California); Oakland Teachers for Mumia; Committee to Save Mumia; Prison Radio; Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Oakland, CA; Free Mumia Network, GERMANY (Free Mumia Berlin, Free Mumia Frankfurt, Free Mumia Heidelberg, and Free Mumia Nurnberg); French Collective Libérons Mumia, FRANCE; Saint-Denis Mumia Committee, FRANCE; Amig@s de Mumia de México, MEXICO; Frantz Fanon Foundation; International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation; United Steelworkers; Local 8751,  School Bus Drivers Union; and more

Report Back: Updates on MOVE and Mumia Abu-Jamal


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MOVE Family and Friends at MOVE Conference on May 7, 2017

** Click for larger version **

Thursday, June 1, 2017,
6 – 9 pm,
Solidarity Center, 147 W. 24th St., 2nd Fl.,
New York, NY 10011 – See map.

Presenting: Pam Africa – Ramona Africa – Bob Boyle, Esq. – Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq.
MC: Suzanne Ross

Event free. Light supper available at low cost at 6 pm.
More info call: (212) 633-6646 or (212) 927-2924

Chris Hedges Interviews Ramona Africa on 32nd Anniversary of the Bombing of MOVE


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On the 32nd Anniversary of the MOVE bombing, Chris Hedges is joined tonight by Ramona Africa, the last remaining survivor of the 1985 standoff with Philadelphia police. On Contact on RT News on May 13, 2017.

See entire show including a segment with Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Thurs. April 30th Update- By Mumia’s Lawyer, Bret Grote


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I had a legal phone call with Mumia today. On that call I informed him of the medical opinion of the doctor that Mumia has chosen to assist in his diagnosis and treatment. He authorized me to share the following:
The doctor we are working with is recommending that Mumia be seen by an oncologist and given an occult malignancy workup, including a skin biopsy, in order to detect the potential presence of a hidden cancer. This workup should search for a Lymphoma, including the Exfoliative/Eczematous form of Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma. This is especially so given that medical records obtained this week indicate that a CT scan from April 15, 2015 showed abnormal lymph nodes in the groin and around the aorta. It is imperative that Mumia obtain a diagnosis of the underlying condition, whatever it may be, that has been responsible for the severe skin rash that has lasted several months so that a treatment plan can be developed and implemented immediately.
Mumia told me today that prison medical staff came to see him around 2:00pm yesterday to check his lymph nodes and tell him they may do a biopsy. This occurred approximately two hours after I sent the DOC the recommendations of Mumia’s doctor that he be seen by an oncologist, given an occult malignancy workup, including a biopsy, and searching for the presence of a Lymphoma.
I will be visiting Mumia tomorrow.
Mumia is still in the infirmary. He is no longer being given cyclosporine. His lower extremities are still swollen but not as severely as they were a few days ago he reports. His skin condition is the same as it has been, with a rash over much of his body, extremely itchy, dry, and flaking. His blood sugar levels have been stable, he is no longer on insulin but is taking glucophage twice per day.
Mumia sends his love to everybody.
In solidarity,
Bret

 

“Mumia Is Dying In Prison/He Needs Us Now” Video — Watch!!


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Steve Vittoria’s new video “Mumia Is Dying In Prison/He Needs Us Now” with journalist Sonali Kolhatkar. Circulate far and wide in social media et al.  Watch it now!

Mumia ordered back to infirmary April 27th and being held incommunicado! Call now!


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Statement from the MOVE Organization and International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal

Ona MOVE!

On 4/27/15 our brother, Mumia Abu Jamal was ordered back to the infirmary at SCI Mahanoy in Pennsylvania. Ever since yesterday Mumia has been held incommunicado at the hands of prison officials. At this point we do not know what is happening with Mumia. Yesterday his lawyer, Bret Grote was not allowed in to see him– his own lawyer! Mumia’s attorney, Bret Grote and a member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, Johanna Fernandez, both people who are supposed to have authorized access inside the prison at any time according to the DOC rules were denied.

Prison officials want to keep Mumia isolated from outside visitors and to keep pictures of the medical neglect being inflicted upon Mumia by prison officials from being seen by the public. These sadists do not wanna be exposed for their role in premeditated murder. What the police failed to do on 12/9/81 and what this government failed to do in 8/1995 and 10/1999 prison officials are trying to do now and that’s murder Mumia.

They are keeping him isolated from the world and slowly killing him. We cannot allow this to happen and it’s up to us to stop the state from committing murder just like we did in 95 and 99!

Keep the pressure on! We must speak out for our freedom fighter brother Mumia, just as he has always spoke out for us. We can’t afford to relax with this situation for one minute. Make no mistake: they will murder Mumia if they think they can get away with it.

From Prison Radio:
Quick Sheet to calling Prison & State Officials
Often when we call in, prison and state officials have taken their lines off the hook. Know that every single call matters, even when they don’t pick up. Here are three numbers that usually work; please focus on calling:

John Wetzel, PA Secretary of Corrections: (717) 728-4109

Governor Tom Wolf: (717) 787-2500

SCI Mahanoy: (570) 773-2158, then dial zero

Wetzel’s number will go to voicemail. Wolf’s number will usually be answered. Mahanoy, extension 0, will usually be answered. We’re asking everyone to call these numbers repeatedly for 15 minutes per day.

If you get voicemail, leave a message.

If answered, say as much as you can before they end the call. Please call that same number and do it again. Our experience is that after calling the same number multiple times, whomever answers the phone will eventually talk to you, if only to try to persuade you to stop calling. This is your opportunity to fully state your concern and demands for freedom and lifesaving medical care.