court victory for mumia

Important court victory for Mumia Abu-jamal.
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Here’s a very important report from Rachel Wolkenstein on a critical victory for Mumia based on a decision a few days ago of the Post Conviction Relief Act  Judge Leon Tucker. Tucker heard Mumia’s request for a new hearing on April 24. A few days later he concurred with a courtroom motion by Mumia’s attorney for discovery of critical evidence that could lead to a new trial.
 
In solidarity, Jeff Mackler, Director, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
First Legal Step Won in Mumia’s New Challenge to his Conviction!
By Rachel Wolkenstein
Just days after the DA’s office argued Mumia’s new legal challenge should be dismissed for not being “timely” and that the precedent setting case of Williams v Pennsylvania, that it is a violation of due process for a judge to rule in a case that he had previously had a significant personal involvement in a critical prosecutorial decision, does not apply to Mumia’s case, Judge Leon Tucker ruled in favor of Mumia’s demand for discovery of the DA’s files.
On April 24, Mumia’s 63rd birthday, the courtroom was filled with Mumia’s supporters and demonstrators rallied outside and all day and into the evening  demanding Mumia’s freedom. The DA’s office argued there was no evidence that PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille, who ruled on all of Mumia’s appeals from 1998-2008, had been involved in Mumia’s case while he was the District Attorney from 1986-1991 or as a senior district attorney during Mumia’s 1982 trial. Mumia’s attorney, Christina Swarns of the the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) spoke to the exceptional circumstances of Mumia’s case and that the Motion for Discovery should be granted to determine the particulars of Castille’s personal involvement in Mumia’s prosecution, including his appeals.
Judge Tucker did not rule for the prosecution and dismiss Mumia’s petition. He granted discovery and ordered the DA’s office to produce and turn over all records and memos regarding Castille’s involvement in Mumia’s case; pre-trial, trial, post-trial and direct appeal proceedings; communications between Castille and his staff and any public statements Castille made about Mumia’s case during or after his tenure as District Attorney of Philadelphia. These records are to be turned over to Mumia’s attorneys within 30 days, by May 30, 2017, and Mumia has fifteen days to file amendments to his post-conviction petition.
This is an unquestionable win for Mumia in the PA courts. It opens the prosecution files on Mumia’s case to him, for the first time, ever. The DA’s office will likely stall and appeal and we should be prepared for protestations that the records do not exist. This new legal proceeding is a path towards Mumia’s freedom; we can win Mumia’s freedom with mass international protest and publicity.
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