Supreme Court Rejects New Trial Bid for Mumia Abu -Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal, on death row in PA for 25 years, will not get a new trial. The Supreme Court rejected his petition today.

The petition was based on the exclusion of African-Americans from his jury. Last year, the Third Circuit refused to reinstate his death sentence.

But the epic struggle over the fate of Abu-Jamal, who has become an international symbol in the debate about the death penalty, is not over. The nation's high court is still weighing the state's petition to have his death sentence reinstated.

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    As long as they don't reinstate (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:46:01 PM EST
    I think I'm okay with this decision, I've never really understood the claims of innocence on the part of Jamal's supporters, the guy is undeniably an intelligent, thoughtful man but that doesn't mean he's necessarily not also a cop-killer, the fact that he became a cause celebre when other people who were genuinely the victims of political prosecution like Peltier rot has always puzzled me.

    Leonard Peltier (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:07:27 PM EST
    Sigh.  What a horrible and continuing miscarriage of justice his three-plus decade imprisonment is.  Simply disgraceful and, sadly, largely unknown by most people.  Peter Mathiessen's epic In The Spirit of Crazy Horse should be required reading for all Americans.  As should the Robert Redford narrated documentary "Incident at Oglala".  

    Exaclty (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:34:36 PM EST
    I remember writing for Amnesty Int about Peltier when I was in HS in the late 90s, and he's still there, meanwhile every single leftish protest has that one guy with the "Free Mumia" sign to the point that its basically a running joke among others who attend- like "Where's Waldo" I don't know if the right has their equivalent they always seem to be more lockstep for good and ill.

    You guys (none / 0) (#5)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:40:55 PM EST
    must have stronger evidence of Peltier's innocence than I'm aware of.  For my part, I know he's a cause celebre but I have no clue.

    read the definitive book on the case (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:00:06 PM EST
    Mathiessen's IN THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE or see the documentary.  The book is comprehensive to the nth degree, was held up for years by lawsuits that were dismissed (all, as i recall, by government officials who didn't want to look as bad as they really were).  And the documentary is the best place to see and hear for yourself just how dishonest and lacking in intetgrity are the principles responsible for his shafting.  Their attitude toward the case and the obvious facts is so disconnected, so mind numbingly dishonest (or they are literally mentally impaired), that it is infuriating.

    But don't take my word for it, read the book and see the film, and do whatever other research you need to.  There is no piece of evidence or testimony tying Peltier to anything, they have all been discredited in court after the fact.  How Clinton didn't pardon the guy, I have no idea, and still hold it against him.


    I really don't like (none / 0) (#7)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:03:20 PM EST
    to examine only one side of the story.

    Normally I have no problem (none / 0) (#8)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:56:13 PM EST
    with examining actual court records, etc. but in the Peltier case the government is literally the bad actor.

    If you want to understand the Abu Jamal case (none / 0) (#12)
    by Peter G on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 10:52:45 PM EST
    I recommend "Executing Justice" by Daniel Williams, one of his former attorneys, who now a law professor at Northeastern.  It's a very fair-minded exposition of the evidence, and makes a case for reasonable doubt. (Numerous used copies are available over the web for $5 or less.) So fair, it seems, that it may have contributed to Dan's being fired from the defense team.

    25 years later, and Mumia is still (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:37:31 PM EST
    an explosive subject in Philadelphia.

    No comment.

    alleged exclusion of african american americans (none / 0) (#9)
    by diogenes on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 08:40:04 PM EST
    The presumption here is that african americans would vote differently then the unanimous guilty verdict in this case?  Thus assuming that white and black jurors are inherently and completely biased and that one or the other group ignores the facts of cases?  If Peltier really thought that white jurors were so biased then perhaps he should have asked for a bench trial.

    Man (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 09:19:21 PM EST
    It's like you hate due process with a white-hot passion.

    You know better than that (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by womanwarrior on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 10:00:00 PM EST
    More often, the prosecution likes to strike African Americans from juries because the prosecutors think they might be more likely to have stories of injustice in their families. It is this attitude, which is documented in prosecutor training, which denies African Americans the equal right to serve on juries.  
    And it is not an accurate stereotype at all.  So many African Americans have been victims of crime, they can be more biased toward guilty than other people.  
    But stereotypes of groups are just wrong in the jury context.  You need to learn about the background and attitudes of individual jurors in order to be doing more than wild guessing about whether they might have a bias toward one side or another.