Philadelphia Judge Rules Mumia Abu-Jamal Can Reargue Case
We are pleased to begin the new year with a major development that might pave the way to freedom for former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, the award-winning journalist convicted in the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
In late December, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge ruled that Mumia can reargue his appeal in the case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The decision hinges on a recent Supreme Court Decision with similar facts. Then presiding Chief Justice Ronald Castille failed to excuse himself due to his prior role as Philadelphia district attorney in Mumia’s earlier appeal. Mumia’s attorneys argued that Castille made statements related to persons accused of killing police officers that indicated he should have recused himself. His campaign speeches and letters urged capital punishment in police-killing cases.
As we’ve long reported, Mumia spent nearly three decades on death row before his sentence was thrown out over flawed jury instructions. In 2001, prosecutors agreed to a sentence of life without parole.
Judge Leon Tucker’s decision this past December was split; he denied Mumia’s claim that Castille had, “personal significant involvement” in the case while in the DA’s Office.
Guest – Professor Johanna Fernandez, is a native New Yorker. She received a PhD in History from Columbia University and a BA in Literature and American Civilization from Brown University. Professor Fernández teaches 20th Century U.S. History, the history of social movements, the political economy of American cities, and African-American history. She has previously taught at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, PA and Trinity College in Hartford, CT and is, most recently, the recipient of a Fulbright Scholars grant to the Middle East and North Africa that will take her to Jordan in spring 2011, where she will teach graduate courses in American History. She is with the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.
Anti-War Movement Gains Traction Amid Perpetual War
American wars undertaken in the Middle East have been raging for an historically unprecedented 17 years, ever since the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
President George W. Bush understood that being at war president would boost his sagging popularity. First, he ordered the attack on Afghanistan on the pretext that it harbored Osama bin Laden and would not give him up.
Then, in 2003, with designs on Iraq’s oil, the United States of America unleashed an illegal war on that country. It was falsely claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties with Al Qaeda. The war involved the bombing of cities and was supposed to be of short duration. Americans were advised that the Iraqi people would welcome the American intervention. Their president Saddam Hussein was captured and executed. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands we’re made refugees.
The entire Middle East was destabilized as the wars spread under the Obama administration. His secretary of state Hillary Clinton planned the aggression against Libya, where its leader Mohamar Qudaffi was captured and bayoneted to death. The country was destroyed. Clinton said at the time “we came, we saw, he died.“
The war was extended Syria, which the United States had coveted since World War II. The United States and Israel failed to kill its leader Bashar Assad but reduced much of the country to ruins and created thousands of refugees Then the United States militarily backed and supplied its Allie Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen where 85,000 children have died of starvation.
All in all the United States made war on seven middle eastern countries simultaneously. Then, recently, fulfilling a campaign promise, President Donald Trump, the commander-in-chief, ordered the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Syria. He has been opposed in this by the entire establishment, the military, the media, the intelligence agencies, and both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Guest – Ajamu Baraka, an initiator and leader of the Black Alliance for Peace, an organization which is part of the coalition. He has also just returned from a meeting of international leaders because the USA’s involvement of a possible overthrow of the government of Venezuela. Ajamu Baraka helped organize a conference in Baltimore Last month concerning USA’s 800 bases abroad particularly the new ones in Africa.
Posted in CIA Sponsored Terror, Civil Liberties, Death Penalty, Guantanamo, Habeas Corpus, Human Rights, Iraq War, Prosecution of the Bush Administration, Targeting Muslims, Torture, Truth to Power, War Resister | Comments Off on Law and Disorder January 7, 2019