Italy, october 2003




On October 8, 2003, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against Mumia Abu-Jamal's appeal. Citing the "untimeliness" of the evidence proving Mumia's innocence, with a single exception, the court refused to consider the confession of Arnold Beverly that he, not Mumia Abu-Jamal, murdered police officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981.  In rejecting the Beverly confession the court cited the infamous 2001 decision of Federal District Judge William H. Yohn in Mumia's case, that "innocence is no defense."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court also dismissed the testimony of Philadelphia court stenographer, Terri Maurer Carter who overheard Mumia's original trial judge, Albert Sabo, state in relation to Mumia's case, "Yeah, and I'm going to help 'em fry the nigger." Despite the court's agreement that this evidence WAS submitted in a timely manner, it was disregarded because the issue of Judge Sabo's racist bias against Mumia, according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, had been previously raised and rejected. The NEW evidence proving Sabo's racist bias was deemed to be a "reopening" of previous litigation.

Mumia's case will now be returned to the federal courts which had placed it on hold pending the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision.  The recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Mills decision death penalty case is ominous. The court could modify Mills to retroactively allow for Mumia's life sentence to be reversed thereby reinstituting the decision to take his life by lethal injection.

In an additional miscarriage of justice, one of the Supreme Court justices, Ronald Castille refused to recuse himself despite a request from the defense to do so. Castille was one of the original Philadelphia prosecutors in Mumia's case.

This October 8 decision by The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against Mumia's habeas corpus appeal. They affirmed the PCRA (Post Conviction Relief Act) Court "...properly concluded it was without jurisdiction to address the merits of his [Mumia's] claims, and dismissal without a hearing was appropriate" and that "...the appellant is not entitled to habeas corpus relief..."

See the 12 page opinion: