Community activists and leaders from the Philadelphia region will hold a news conference 12 noon, Thursday, April 18 at the Octavius V. Catto Statue on the south side of Philadelphia City Hall to discuss today’s decision by District Attorney Larry Krasner to finally relent to Pennsylvania Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker’s ground-breaking decision which gives political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal the right to reopen his appeals.
By rescinding his appeal, Krasner has removed a major hurdle for Abu-Jamal to eventually be released after 37 years in prison. This is a significant development in Abu-Jamal’s quest for freedom.
Public pressure on Krasner’s office to do the right thing and rescind the appeal gained momentum in early February when Yale Law School students publicly withdrew their invitation to Krasner to deliver a keynote address to their Rebellious Lawyering (Reb/Law) conference. In Philadelphia, activists often confronted Krasner whenever he spoke in public with signs calling on him to “Drop the Appeal.”
The next step is re-opening Abu-Jamal’s appeals filed between 1995 and 2012 before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Abu-Jamal’s attorneys will argue against the constitutional violations that unfairly convicted the imprisoned journalist who is suffering from the ravages of Hepatitis C and glaucoma. As Philadelphia’s DA, Krasner will be in the position of defending police, judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.
Attorney Rachel Wolkenstein added: “For over 37 years, Mumia has been imprisoned for a crime [that] police and prosecution know he did not commit. We now have a legal opening in the fight for Mumia’s freedom” […]