Mumia Abu-Jamal (131315)

Activists are urging the public to pack the courthouse Thursday, Black Aug. 30, at 1301 Filbert St., Philadelphia to demand that political prisoner-of-war Mumia Abu-Jamal be granted the opportunity to present evidence of his innocence that had previously been suppressed by a judge they contend had ulterior motives. Attorneys from both sides will present arguments at Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas regarding how Judge Ronald Castile was previously involved in a significant aspect of Abu-Jamal’s prosecution, when he was in the district attorney’s office.

“Mumia and his lawyers are demanding the immediate public release of all police and prosecutorial files on his case relating to Ronald Castile, now chief justice of the PA Supreme Court,” said attorney Bret Grote. “In its failure to recognize that Ronald Castille played an active role in pursuing the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the new district attorney’s office, headed by Larry Krasner, is failing to do what justice requires. It is continuing the position of his predecessors, to the satisfaction of the Fraternal Order of Police.”

Optimism grows among Abu-Jamal’s supporters, who have seen slow but steady progress since the Black Panther journalist was incarcerated for the Dec. 9, 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer. The 37-year battle for a new trial might soon come to fruition

In 1996, hundreds of thousands globally protested and petitioned for Abu-Jamal, and successfully prevented him from being executed by the state. Activist are calling for similar support this Thursday, and want to pack the courthouse and streets.

“This is a moment like no other,” noted Mumia supporter, Johanna Fernandez. “Due to [the] Williams v. Pennsylvania case, Mumia and others defendants have the opportunity to reopen their cases based on judicial bias. As a DA, Castille asked then-Senator Casey to send a clear and dramatic message to all cop killers, that the death penalty means something.”

She noted how Abu-Jamal’s attorneys will argue for an opportunity to present evidence of his innocence “while their attorneys attempt to prove that Castille, as prosecutor, was not involved in Mumia’s prosecution,”

Abu-Jamal was removed from death row in December 2011, after the worldwide support demand.

“Judge Leon Tucker will make a determination on Mumia being granted a new trial based on the Williams v. Philadelphia,” said Fernandez. “This is a critical moment, an opportunity to pry open the case of Mumia. The reason why the DA’s office and FOP don’t want to reopen this case is because heads are going to roll, if all the corruption in this case sees the light of day.”

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