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New Sentencing Hearing for Mumia Abu Jamal a Result of Flawed Trial and...

BTL's Scott Harris spoke with Steve Hawkins, an attorney who worked with Mumia Abu Jamal's legal team for six years and now serves as the executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Hawkins analyzes the latest developments in Jamal's case and how they may affect the movement to end capital punishment.
New Sentencing Hearing for Mumia Abu Jamal a Result of Flawed Trial and Growing Worldwide Protest

Interview by Between The Lines' Scott Harris.

In a major development in one of the nation's most closely watched capital punishment cases, federal Judge William Yohn announced his decision to throw out the death sentence against Mumia Abu Jamal, convicted of the1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Jamal, an award-winning journalist on Pennsylvania's death row for 20 years, has drawn attention to his case through radio commentaries and the publication of several books critical of the U.S. justice system. Thousands of supporters across the globe have demanded that the 47-year-old former Black Panther be freed or receive a new trial.

Judge Yohn's decision issued Dec. 18, upholds Jamal's first degree murder conviction, but ruled that the state must conduct a new sentencing hearing within six months, or a life sentence without parole would be imposed. Jamal's supporters have vowed to appeal the decision to press their demand for a new trial that would include the testimony of Ronald Beverley, who recently confessed that he, not Jamal killed Daniel Faulkner. Officer Faulkner's wife and many police officials have bitterly condemned the judge's ruling.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Steve Hawkins, an attorney who worked with Mumia Abu Jamal's legal team for six years and now serves as the executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Hawkins analyzes the latest developments in Jamal's case and how they may affect the movement to end capital punishment(A RealAudioVersion of this interview may be found At www.btlonline.org).

Contact the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty by calling (888) 286-2237 or visit their Web site at www.ncadp.org

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