Thursday, May 17, 2007
In Philadelphia, Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal team is preparing for a hearing that could decide the fate of the imprisoned former Black Panther. Abu-Jamal has been on death row for 25 years after being convicted of killing a police officer following a controversial trial before a predominantly-white jury. On Thursday, the Third Circuit Court Of Appeals will hear oral arguments to decide whether Mumia gets a new trial, life in prison without parole, or execution. Hundreds of supporters are planning to rally outside the courthouse. We’re joined by Linn Washington of the Philadelphia Tribune, and hear a recent audio commentary Mumia recorded behind bars. ...(excerpt of Linn Washington of the Philadelphia Tribune...) But you have to understand, there's been such politicization of this court, five members of the seven-member Supreme Court that upheld Abu-Jamal's conviction in 1998 received campaign contributions and campaign support from the Fraternal Order of Police, which is a Philadelphia police union, the main group that is pushing for his execution. Does that give the appearance of impartiality? It doesn't to a lot of people, because of the campaign finances.
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