Who Is Mumia?
How Can I Help?
12/7/06 PRESS RELEASE: U.S. House Condemns Mumia Abu-Jamal
To All Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal:
Protest this outrage!!
*PRESS CONFERENCE AND PICKET, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2006
*FEDERAL BUILDING, 450 GOLDEN GATE
*SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Circulate this press release widely!
THE MOBILIZATION TO FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
298 VALENCIA STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103
MEDIA RELEASE/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTES TO CONDEMN INNOCENT DEATH ROW INMATE MUMIA ABU-JANAL
HOUSE VOTE OF 368-31, WITH EIGHT MEMBERS VOTING NOT PRESENT, ASKS FRENCH GOVERNMENT TO INTERVENE AGAINST CITY OF ST. DENIS (A SUBURB NORTH OF PARIS), TO RETRACT DECISION TO NAME STREET IN HONOR OF INNOCENT DEATH ROW INMATE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
HOUSE DECISION CONSTITUTES AN UNPRECEDENTED INTERVENTION INTO THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE U.S. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
SAN FRANCISCO CONGRESSWOMAN NANCY PELOSI JOINS IN VOTE TO CONDEMN ABU-JAMAL
CONGRESSWOMAN BARBARA LEE VOTES AGAINST CONDEMNATION
MUMIA SUPPORTERS TO PICKET PELOSI OFFICES IN SAN FRANCISCO
PRESS CONFERENCE AND PICKET, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2006
FEDERAL BUILDING, 450 GOLDEN GATE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
CONTACT PERSON: JEFF MACKLER, CO-COORDINATOR, MOBILIZATION TO FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
On December 6, in a non-binding vote, the U.S. House of Representatives intervened in pending FEDERAL litigation in the case of Pennsylvania death row inmate, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
By a non-binding vote of 368-31 a motion introduced by two Philadelphia-area congresspeople was approved demanding that the French government intervene to pressure the Parisian suburb of St. Denis to reverse an earlier decision to name a street, Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal, honoring a man who they believe did not receive a fair trial in the United Street. The City of St. Denis last week refused to change its decision.
An earlier decision of the City of Paris itself granted Abu-Jamal honorary citizenship, the first such honor bestowed since it was granted to Pablo Picasso in 1967.
French President Jacques Chirac has also added his name to the long list of international and U.S. leaders who have condemned the 1982 frame-up trial of Abu-Jamal.
The decision by the House of Representatives constitutes a direct intervention into the legal proceedings presently underway in the U.S.
Abu-Jamal's case is slated for oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. This court, reversing previous rulings of the Federal District Court, granted Abu-Jamal two additional certificates of appealability to challenge racial bias in his trial and improper instructions to the jury. Abu-Jamal's appeal also includes a challenge to the exclusion of 11 of 14 Black jurors.
The State of Pennsylvania is appealing before the same court, seeking a reinstitution of the death penalty.
Abu-Jamals' lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan has repeatedly stated that the gross violations of his client's constitutional rights will result in a new trial and freedom for a man whose fight for life and justice is today supported by groups ranging from the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the city councils of San Francisco and Detroit, the 1.8 million member California Labor Federation, the European Parliament, the National Conference of Black Elected Officials and other organizations representing hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
"The House action" said Pam Africa, chair of the International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and just returned from Paris, "is designed to weigh in on and promote an atmosphere in the U.S. judiciary that is prejudicial to Mumia's receiving any form of justice today."
Several leaders in the defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal will be present at the Tuesday, December 12 Federal Building protest against the vote of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.
Issued by: The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Jeff Mackler and Laura Herrera, Co-coordinators
WASHINGTON - House members last night passed a resolution denouncing a French city for naming a street in honor of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
"We must stand together as one and send a strong message to the world that cop-killers deserve to be punished, not to be celebrated," said Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), the Bucks County congressman who wrote the resolution.
The vote came a few days shy of the 25th anniversary of the slaying of Daniel Faulkner, a 25-year-old officer shot after he pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother on Dec. 9, 1981. Abu-Jamal, a onetime radio reporter and former Black Panther, was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to death.
Abu-Jamal's writings and taped speeches on the justice system have made him a cause celebre among Hollywood activists, foreign politicians, and some death-penalty opponents who believe he was the victim of a racist justice system.
In December 2001, a federal judge overturned Abu-Jamal's death sentence but upheld his conviction. Both sides have appealed that ruling.
In April, a street in St. Denis, a suburb in France just north of Paris, was named after Abu-Jamal.
The vote was symbolic, since the U.S. Senate is not expected to take up the measure before Congress adjourns this week.
The police union in Philadelphia sent a representative to Washington on Wednesday and watched the vote closely, especially that of Rep. Chaka Fattah, a candidate for Philadelphia mayor. The union has promised to work against Fattah in the 2007 Democratic primary, because he supports giving Abu-Jamal a new trial.
Fattah said in a statement that despite being unconvinced that justice was served in the case, he voted for the resolution because "anyone who stands convicted of so terrible an offense is an affront to those who risk their lives on a daily basis to serve."