Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Your Black News: US Supreme Court rejects new trial for former Black Panther

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Supreme Court Monday refused to hear arguments for a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther accused of killing a police officer who has become an icon for anti-capital punishment campaigners.

His lawyer Robert Bryan has already said he will seek to bring a second
Supreme Court appeal -- on the grounds of racism -- for the 54-year-old former radio journalist accused of the 1981 murder of Daniel Faulkner.

Abu-Jamal's death sentence was overturned in March by a federal court in Philadelphia, which found that the jury in the case had been incorrectly instructed. The judges voted two-to-one to uphold his conviction, however.

Having escaped death row, his lawyers are now fighting a life sentence and want to bring him back before a jury for a new trial.

They had asked the Supreme Court to approve a re-trial because of unreliable testimony from witnesses.

Bryan has said he will not rest until his client is freed. "Even though the federal court granted a new trial on the question of the death penalty, we want a complete reversal of the conviction," he said in July.


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