Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mumia Abu-Jamal's Death Sentence KO'd

Mumia Abu-Jamal's Death Sentence KO'd


Minority News

April 26, 2011




The jury that sentenced black activist Mumia Abu-Jamal to

death for the murder of a white Philadelphia police officer

was wrongly instructed, a U.S. appeals court said.


The court ordered the state of Pennsylvania to hold a new

sentencing hearing within 180 days or to sentence Abu-Jamal

to life imprisonment. The three-judge panel upheld the

findings of a district court judge and an appellate decision

in 2008.


Abu-Jamal, 57, has been on death row since 1982 when he was

convicted of shooting Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. During

his years in prison, he has written several books and become

one of the best-known death- sentenced inmates in the world.


Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said he is

considering whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, The

Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The high court has already

ordered the appeals court to reconsider its earlier finding

that the sentence was invalid, resulting in Tuesday's



The court found the judge gave confusing instructions to the

jury. As a result, the panel found, jurors might have

believed wrongly that they needed to be unanimous on

mitigating factors.


Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, worked for several public

and commercial radio stations in Philadelphia during the

1970s. At the time of his arrest, he was driving a cab.




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