Court Reviews Mumia Abu-Jamal Death Sentence

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia heard arguments Tuesday over jury instructions given during convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial.

Abu-Jamal’s lawyer, Widener University law professor Judy Ritter, argued awkward wording on the verdict sheet may have confused jurors about mitigating circumstances that might favor a life sentence, rather than the death penalty.

‘”This court already agreed with that. It seems to me they don’t see any reason to change their minds,” Ritter said.

The same appeals court granted Abu-Jamal a new sentencing hearing in 2008, but earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court ordered the three judge panel to reconsider. They did, for about an hour’s worth of oral arguments.

Ritter says if Abu-Jamal prevails with the 3rd Circuit, there would be a new sentencing hearing.

The chief of the appeals unit in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office is Hugh Burns.

“Before that happened, we’d ask the United States Supreme Court to review the case again,” Burns said.

He contends Abu-Jamal’s death sentence should be upheld.

Police widows of Officers Daniel Faulkner, Chuck Cassidy and John Pawlowski sat in the front row.

Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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One Comment

  1. Bob says:

    The fact that a spineless judge grants a review of a minute detail in the 30 year old case that involves a brutal murder of a cop with overwhelming evidence is disgraceful. He confessed he did it; he took a bullet from the gun of officer Faulkner, his gun (in his name!) was emptied into Faulkner; his own brother who was a witness to the murder would not testify on Mumia’s behalf and in the 30 years since, he’s never said he did not do it! So please spare us all the police conspiracy, he’s innocent, unfair trial, it’s because he’s black, etc. BS. He should have been fried decades ago and its sad that this farce and lack of justice continues to this day. Wake up idiots!

  2. Tracy says:

    How many chances did Danny Faulkner have to get up off the ground after he was shot???? NONE!!!! That’s how many chances this yo yo should get. He should have been dead already!!! Disgraceful justice system in action.

  3. mike says:

    Take a step back and look at the core issue.We have a cop killer,regardless of who he is ,as a controversial issue.This alone is disturbing.There is no argument.Who can qualify,assaulting,drawing any kind of weapon,shooting at,or killing a police officer?Did it ever occur to anyone that if you go back to this period of time,how many police killings were there besides his?Not many folks.He also set the tone on the streets for the kids of the future in this city.Today killing cops is so frequent,it almost seems we as a society accept it.I don’t and I won’t.None of us enjoy encounters with the police,but you repect that uniform and that badge.They represent the laws of this land.you do not have to like the person either,but it is the uniform and what it stands for,you should like.Citizens of other countries do not have the privledge of having the kind of laws and law enforcement we have.This cop killer displays no repsect for authority today,nor did he that day.He is disrespecting every citizen in this country by opening his mouth.The legal costs to fund this charade could make a lot of under privledged happy this holiday.I take my hat off to the Faulkner family and admire their courage and resilience.I am going to buy the book as a sign of support for this family and I hope someday to meet Mrs Faulkner for her signature.I am a former Phila resident and I have been gripped by this story since I was a kid.I am 50 yrs old today.Everytime I hear this name,I always ask,”Why is he not dead yet”?It is long overdue.I will never understand why this society kills those who protect them.

  4. mike says:

    I think what strengthens this argument even further,is the contribution by the person who is closer to the victims famiily than the rest of us.There is also a person who has reached out from Arkansas.What are the rest of the folks here missing.This should have been done with lomg ago.Once again the media has strengthened this group of supporters,allowing their chants to be heard,singling out people from other countries.The media is just as much an enabler of his cause which is baseless.HE WAS CONVICTED.Why is he not so bold and brave as he was the day he took that officers lfe,and essentially bragged about it?He knows his fate and in the face of it he shutters as he should.He continues to murder the dignity of the Faulkner family and make a mockery of the judicial system.His lawyers have no conscience,but will lavish themselves with the publicity.This is an absolute embarassment to this country to allow this to continue.I am hoping everyday,until a decision is rendered,that the 3 member panel does not overturn a thing.He should then be promptly executed by the means that were in use the day he was sentenced.

    1. Char T. says:

      I COMPLETELY Concur!!! Thank you again Mike! @ Kim – I too will keep the Faulkner Family im my prayers!

  5. Reese says:

    I have always felt that someone should get a fair trial, and from what I have read about this case over the years, Mumia Abu-Jamal has had his fair trial, press time and more. I feel for the Faulkner family, 30 years after Maureen husband was condemned to death, by this man(Mumia Abu-Jamal ) she still has to face him in court time and time again….. It’s time to STOP all these delays and do what’s right. Mumia Abu-Jamal did the crime and now it’s time for him to do his time life in jail or the death penalty ( The End!!) The Faulkner Family are in our prayers here in Arkansas….. As for April maybe you should read Maureen Faulkner’s and Michael A. Smerconish book..”Murdered by Mumia: A Life Sentence of Loss, Pain, and Injustice” God Bless Our Police Officers and Their Familys…….

  6. KM says:

    I know the Faulkner family and am deeply saddened that this is in the media yet again. Not only was Danny taken away, but how can a family expect to ever have closure when you have the criminal-loving court system to deal with. What about the rights of the victim and the victim’s families. They have a right to peace.

    And to April – you obviously do not have the facts. Perhaps you weren’t around then. He is guilty and should take his medicine.

  7. Char T. says:

    This just SICKENS me! If I hear his name and the word appeal in the same sentance ever again, I swear iI will freakin burst from DISGUST!! What about Daniel Faulkner??? He certainly did not get 30 years to appeal his untimely death! Enough said………..

  8. Mike says:

    Not only is this a waste of taxpayer revenue,it is a waste of air time and news print.Who compensates the Faulkners for 30 years of pain and suffering as they continually relive this mess?This is the ultimate injustice folks.It’s torture to the victim ,and the convicted one is making a mockery of it.How many other death penalty cases get or got this kind of exhaustive reprieve effort?The city of Phila has invested more money in this particular form of trash than they do in their own sanitation department.

  9. APRIL says:

    IF THERE IS ANY POSSIBILITY THAT THIS MAN DIDNT COMMIT THIS CRIME THAN YES A NEW TRIAL IS NEEDED. ALOT OF THE TECHNOLOGY THAT IS AVAILABLE NOW WAS NOT IN 1981. SO WHETHER HE DID IT OR NOT WHAT COULD A NEW TRIAL HURT? DONT GET ME WRONG BUT THERE ARE ALOT OF PEOPLE IN PRISON FOR CRIMES THEY DIDNT COMMIT AND I DONT CONDONE THE COP BEING KILLED AND IF HE DID IT THEN YES JUSTICE SHOULD BE SERVED BUT IF HE DIDNT………..

    1. Mike says:

      April,
      He admitted it proudly while in custody from his hospital bed.What is left to say or discover after that?All the new technology in the world does not negate a direct admission.

      1. APRIL says:

        I understand where you are coming from however it has already been confirmed that him saying he did it was not true. Back then if the cops thought you did it and wanted you arrested, you did it no real investigation needed. And also alot of the people who testified saying they saw him commit the crime later recanted there stories. Most of the money is being raised for his legal team so it doesnt hurt me to allow him a new trial. If he did it will be proven again but if it comes out that this man wasnt the one then he needs to get his life back. I’m not in the authority to say who lives and dies. I really feel bad for the officers wife no one should have to go thru that and justice should be served on both sides.

  10. Dave says:

    One after another..yesterday and now today, what does it take for these courts to say NO! …no appeal,no more, you have been convected to death and death it is… and that’s that!

  11. CAPS says:

    If you Kill a Cop, You should get the Death Penalty Automatically ! This guy killed a cop and has been dodging his sentence for 30 years ! Enough is enough stop wasting our tax dollars on this case.

  12. Shannon Harp says:

    I have to agree with Mike if you kill an offficer you get death…. It sad to see this in the news again and even more so since the other cop killer only got life… I just dont understand why people support this waste of a human being…….hopefully this things life will end in my life time

  13. Glen says:

    One has to admire the creativity of lawyers who have kept this case going for so long. Is there a Constitutional way to place boundaries on what issues are open and how many times they can be re-litigated?

    1. mike says:

      Glen,
      Exactly!! We all know he is guilty,so we waste 30 yrs letting him decide his punishment?.Limitations should certainly be implemented.

  14. mike says:

    It figures,there is always one JAMESB who has to turn over the racial card.The mere suggestion by you suggests that you are the racist pig,regardless of your skin color.This guy is a convicted cop killer who has exploited his case in the media to the point of nausea.He is doing nothing more than manipulating the sytem and our gutless judicial system is allowing it.He killed a cop in cold blood,admitted it,and proudly so.His arrogance is just cause to execute him.He does not respect the laws of this country.Since he has been given the death penalty,he has consistantly demonstrated his cowardice.He took someones life and knows it.He also knows he deserves to die.Kill a cop,mandatory death sentence and it should be a capital/federal offense.You have overstayed your welcome,not that you were welcome,but it’s time for your ass to check out .

    1. Char T. says:

      @ Mike I couldn’t have expressed my feelings any better than that…. So thank you!

      1. Mike says:

        my pleasure and thank you Char T

  15. Barb says:

    TO James B….at no point in anyones comment did they comment on race..they are all stating that this man killed a police officer and the sentence should be held up. You obviously have an issue with race if that is all you saw in these comments…don’t know where you live but I can say I am glad it is not Philadelphia…….

    1. mike says:

      Tell him Barb

  16. Elizabeth Westfield says:

    they need to put him to death bc he’ll be like a god in jail for killin an cop and this makes me so very sick

  17. Susan Gordon says:

    Death

  18. justice for faulkner says:

    Free mumia? no no FRY mumia.

  19. DMAC says:

    WE HAVE A GUTLESS JUSTICE SYSTEM! NO ONE WANTS TO STEP UP AND SAY “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”

  20. Joen says:

    this waste of taxpayers money should have been executed the day he was convicted!!!!

  21. brian says:

    death to mumia.

Comments are closed.

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