Apr 07 2009

Supreme Court Rejects Abu-Jamal’s Appeal

Abu JamalThe Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal by Mumia Abu Jamal and his lawyers for a new trial. The former member of the Black Panther Party and award winning radio journalist has remained on Pennsylvania’s death row ever since his conviction in 1982 for the murder of a white Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner. In letting the conviction stand, the High Court dismissed without comment Abu-Jamal’s claim that the composition of his jury improperly excluded African-Americans. His chief defense attorney, Robert R. Bryan, has said that racism was central to the selection of the jury in the case. Joseph McGill, the prosecuting attorney in the Abu-Jamal case, has stated that he used 10 of his 15 peremptory challenges to exclude potential African-American jurors. Such a strike rate eventually led to there being only two African-American jurors in the trial of Abu-Jamal which took place in Philadelphia; a city that in 1982 was comprised of 40% African-Americans. The Supreme Court’s ultimate rejection of Abu-Jamal’s appeal has been seen by some of his supporters, as well as detractors, as his last chance for a new trial.

GUEST: Robert R. Bryan, Chief Defense Attorney for Mumia Abu-Jamal

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Supreme Court Rejects Abu-Jamal’s Appeal”

  1. Kevinon 07 Apr 2009 at 10:42 am

    It’s unfortunate that the story here forgets to mention that several of the potential African-American jurors were removed not by McGill but rather by Wesley Cook himself. It’s nice that Cook’s latest attorney thinks he can somehow “win” this case, but all that remains now is for the Supreme Court to rule on whether the death penalty can be reinstated. It’s possible that they may simply refuse to hear the case, just as they batted away Bryan’s attempt yesterday. But it’s also quite possible that this court, given its makeup, will choose to reinstate the penalty.

  2. […] Mumia Abu-Jamal kommenterar domen på Democracy Now! och hans advokat gästar Uprising Radio. […]