In a unanimous and quick decision, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania denied Mumia Abu-Jamal's appeal to be re-sentenced.
The appeal challenged the undisclosed manner in which Mumia was re-sentenced from death to life in prison without parole by Judge Pamela Dembe of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. In failing to notify Mumia or his attorneys of his resentencing, the court violated Mumia's constitutional rights, specifically: the right to notice of sentencing, to be apprised of the right to appeal the sentence, and to be present in court and make a statement. The unconstitutionality of Judge Dembe's undisclosed filing echoes the history of due process violations in the Abu-Jamal case, which spans more than three decades.
In her argument before the court, Mumia's attorney, Judith Ritter, underscored that in not allowing Mumia or his lawyers the right to make a statement for the record, the court denied Mumia the opportunity to begin to build a legal argument challenging his sentence of life in prison without parole. She illustrated the importance of due process in this regard with a compelling example that highlights its importance both for Mumia's case and for the legal community. Among other points, she argued that last year's Supreme Court decision, which declared life sentences unconstitutional for juveniles, has generated a debate in the legal community about the constitutionality of life sentences for adults and that Mumia's attorneys should have been afforded the right to build on these arguments in his defense.
Mumia's supporters continue to uphold his innocence, to strategize toward the goal of bringing Mumia home, and to link the fight for his freedom to the fight to free all political prisoners and end mass incarceration.
We have launched a petition addressed to the Department of Justice calling for Mumia's Release. Our goal is more than a million signatures. Please sign and spread the word.
Please join us in our efforts. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Solidarity,International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jama
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)
Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
SIGN THE JERICHO COINTELPRO PETITION!
Free All Political Prisoners!