NEW VIDEO: Linn Washington Jr. (a columnist for The Philadelphia Tribune and a professor of journalism at Temple University) speaks at “More Than a Book Party” in Philadelphia at The Church of the Advocate on April 24th 2009.
Following the US Supreme Court’s April 6 ruling that refused to consider Abu-Jamal’s appeal for a new guilt-phase trial, Linn Washington said:
“This Supreme Court decision again underscores the ‘Mumia Exception,’ where courts ignore or radically alter existing precedent to reject granting this inmate the same legal relief given to others raising the same legal points.
“Ample evidence exists documenting improprieties by the prosecutor during jury selection at Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial – the same pattern of improprieties that state and federal courts have cited in overturning over a dozen murder convictions in Philadelphia occurring before, during and after the trial of Abu-Jamal. Exposing the political underpinnings of Abu-Jamal’s decades long persecution, none of those overturned convictions involved a noted Black man charged with killing a white police officer whose case has become an embarrassment for America in the eyes of millions around the world.
“If the current members of this Supreme Court simply applied the motto that is chiseled in stone above the entrance of their court building – equal justice under law – they would have voted to grant Abu-Jamal a new hearing on the mound of legal violations in this case instead of sidestepping their duty to ensure justice.
“However, this Court, in the early 1990s, sidestepped that duty to justice when it denied Abu-Jamal relief on a First Amendment-related issue while granting relief on the same legal issue to a white racist prison gang member facing execution for a murder during a prison escape and a white devil worshipper facing execution for killing his grandparents.
“The continuing refusal of U.S. courts to equally apply the law in the Abu-Jamal case constitutes a stain on America’s image internationally.”