Tuesday, October 11, 2011

530. Mumia’s Death Sentence Confirmed Unconstitutional by Supreme Court!

By freemumia.com, October 11, 2011
On Tuesday, October 11th the US Supreme Court decided to deny the appeal of the Philadelphia District Attorney (Seth Williams) which attempted to permanently re-instate the death penalty in Mumia’s case.
In order to reinstate the death penalty at this point, the DA would have to call for a new penalty-phase trial, with a new jury having to decide on whether to reinstate the death sentence. Otherwise, the sentence of life in prison (without parole) remains.
October 11, 2011
Media Contact: Mel Gagarin
(212) 965-2783, mgagarin@naac
United States Supreme Court Rejects Appeal from Philadelphia DA’s Office
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Sentence is Unconstitutional
(New York, NY) — Today the United States Supreme Court rejected a request from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to overturn the most recent federal appeals court decision declaring Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence unconstitutional. The Court’s decision brings to an end nearly thirty years of litigation over the fairness of the sentencing hearing that resulted in Mr. Abu-Jamal’s being condemned to death. Mr. Abu-Jamal will be automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole unless the District Attorney elects to seek another death sentence from a new jury.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and Professor Judith Ritter of Widener Law School represent Mr. Abu-Jamal in the appeal of his conviction and death sentence for the 1981 murder of a police officer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court’s decision marks the fourth time that the federal courts have found that Mr. Abu-Jamal’s sentencing jury was misled about the constitutionally mandated process for considering evidence “At long last, the profoundly troubling prospect of Mr. Abu-Jamal facing an execution that was produced by an unfair and unreliable penalty phase has been eliminated,” said John Payton, Director-Counsel of LDF. “Like all Americans, Mr. Abu-Jamal was entitled to a proper proceeding that takes into account the many substantial reasons why death was an inappropriate sentence.” Professor Ritter stated, “Our system should never condone an execution that stems from a trial in which the jury was improperly instructed on the law.”

Mr. Abu-Jamal’s case will now return to the Philadelphia County Court of Common
Pleas for final sentencing.

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