Dear Mumia Abu-Jamal Friend and Supporter:
The prolonged fight to free this celebrated journalist and former Black Panther began in December 1981. He was framed for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner by the Philadelphia Police Department and the city’s judicial system, as well, for a crime he could not have committed.
A recent landmark Supreme Court decision (Williams v. Pennsylvania) ruled that judges must remove themselves from any case that they had a hand in prosecuting. On April 24, 2017, Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker heard 16 petitions from 14 Pennsylvania prisoners (including Mumia Abu-Jamal) to determine if the ruling applied to their cases.
Ronald Castille was Assistant Philadelphia DA at the time of Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial and Philadelphia District Attorney when his office opposed Abu-Jamal’s direct appeals in 1988. It was under DA Ron Castille’s reign that the infamous “Jack McMahon training tape” was produced to train Philly prosecutors to ignore a U.S. Supreme Court ban on racial discrimination in jury selection. In the tape, McMahon instructs prosecutors: “Blacks from low-income areas are less likely to convict….you don’t want these people on your jury.”
Abu-Jamal’s attorneys twice challenged Castille to recuse himself when Abu-Jamal’s appeals reached the state’s highest court.
On April 28, Judge Tucker issued an order to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to release all records and memos regarding Castille’s involvement in Mumia’s case; pretrial, trial, posttrial and direct appeal proceedings; communications between Castille and his staff; and any public statements Castille made about Mumia’s case during and after his tenure as district attorney of Philadelphia. On May 30, the DA’s office failed to follow the judge’s order, only releasing documents already available in public records.
Lawyers and Mumia defenders are demanding that these files be released immediately.
The legal costs for defending Mumia mount as the efforts to get these files continue. (We also need to support the lawyers who fought successfully for over two years to get Mumia the hepatitis medication he desperately needed.)
Donations in whatever amount you can afford will be passed on to Mumia’s lawyers, as they work to secure these documents in this sustained effort to win Mumia’s ultimate release from prison. Thirty-five years in prison for a crime not committed is more than an outrage. Please send what you can.
Please mail your tax-deductible check payable to:
National Lawyers Guild Foundation. On the memo line, be sure to write: “For Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Defense.” Mail your check directly to Johanna Fernandez, 158-18 Riverside Drive W., Apt. 6C-50, New York, New York 10032.