An evening with Mumia's new legal team

Franziska Newton 04.04.2011 17:33 Themen: Antirassismus Repression Weltweit
(Harlem, NYC) Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal defense gained strength a couple of weeks ago, when the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) officially joined his defense. Although lawyers of the LDF have been members of the team for several years already they now take on the leading role in the legal struggle to free Mumia Abu-Jamal. On April 3 the newly formed defense team presented themselves to an audience of 150 in Riverside Church in New York.
The LDF looks back on a long history of successful legal litigations in the civil rights campaign in the US. The new legal team for Mumia involves Johanna Steinberg, Vincent Southerland, Judith Ritter and Christina Swarns. They are accompanied by two speakers who will speak publically for them in the future, too.

The event took off with speeches by activists of the US Free Mumia movement. Greetings went out to many people who sometimes had traveled far to join the event.

Attorney Judith Ritter spoke on Mumia Abu-Jamal's long case history and pointing out the renewed danger of the death penalty against him.

Mumia himself called from death row and answering questions from the audience. Listeners were very enthusiatic about being able to direct contact with Mumia and he seemed clearly moved himself.

Attorney Christina Swarns gave an historic overview on racism in society and the justice system up until today in connection to the way, Mumia has been treated by the system.

She started by explaining the historic roots of legal executions. The death penalty in the US is a direct descendant of slavery and the following practice of lynching, especially in the south of the country. This became notorious in the era of "reconstruction". As the criticism of these racist murders increased, the death penalty then "legally" replaced mob lynchings. Looking at the numbers of executions in the US today it is obvious, that they mostly take place in the former strongholds of lynching.

The purpose of the death penalty is the same as the klan lynchings of the past: to keep millions of African Americans in their place and force them to accept segregtion and expolitation. It is a method of social control which clearly demonstrates, that it is predominantly race, that dictates in court who is going to live and who is going to die. Christina Swarns: "The death penalty is a weapon of social control".

Another aspect is the different treatment of black and white murder victims. While half or all murder victims in the country are black, the offenders are not executed very often. If there is a white murder victim, executions take place very often, though.

Swarns went on to describe legal procedures and the endemic manipulations of juries all around the country, describing how African Americans are regulary manoeuvered out of juries by deliberate tactics on the part of district Attourneys. But judges and federal courts also systematically legalize such practices, as every one can see in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The media also played an important part in racist legal procedures. Prior to the Abu-Jamal trial in 1982 Philadelphia's media covered extensively Mumia's previous affiliations with the Black Panther Party and with the Association of Black Journalists, mentioning his sympathetic coverage of MOVE or commenting on his dread lock hair style. They made sure that race played a role in this case from the outset and diverted public observation away from the facts of what actually happened on December 9, 1981.

Christina Swarns concluded, that Mumia's case is one the most important ones in the fight against the death penalty in the US today. Thus, the LDF is committed in saving him from execution and winning his freedom.

Afterwards $1500 in donations were collected for the legal defense team of Mumia.

Appr. 150 people joined the event in the Harlem Riverside Church in NYC. You can watch the recording of the live stream on
The event then starts from 1:02.25

The event was organized by the New York Free Mumia coalition together with Mumia's legal defense.
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Donations to Mumia's Legal Defense

are cruxial 04.04.2011 - 17:49
Beneficiary Details:

National Lawyers Guild Foundation
132 Nassau Street, #922
New York, NY

Beneficiary Bank Details for the US:

TD Bank
258 Broadway
New York, NY

Beneficiary Account Number:
Swift Code: NRTHUS33


Beneficiary Bank Details for the Germany:

Rote Hilfe e.V.
Konto-Nr: 19 11 00 462
BLZ: 440 100 46
Postbank Dortmund
Stichwort: Mumia

teilweise deutsche Übersetzung

in der jW 07.04.2011 - 18:45
(jW) Neue Verteidigung für Mumia (06.04.2011)



(The beginning shows the setting up period and the video of the movement prepared by Jeremy Syrop. If you scroll about 1/4 of the way in, the program will begin)

200 (we counted!) spirited Mumia supporters came to Riverside Church this past Sunday, April 3, to welcome Mumia's new legal team, Judith Ritter and Christina Swarns of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and to rededicate themselves to Mumia's freedom. Because the event was streamed live, we have gotten feedback from across this country and different parts of the world, saying how much folks loved being able to see and thereby participate in this exciting event. This was a special moment and a special event, coming on the evening of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic speech at Riverside Church and his subsequent assassination on that same date one year later. As you'll see on the video, Mumia called in and there was a wonderful exchange between him and his questioners, the lawyers spoke movingly of their commitment, and Christina Swarns gave a brilliant analysis of race and the death penalty. And much much more. We will forward published articles as they appear, but wanted to get the video to you as soon as possible as there have been so many requests for it.


Todesurteil von 1982 verfassungswidrig

Free Mumia 10.05.2011 - 09:41
Das 3. Bundesberufungsgericht in Philadelphia hat das Todesurteil gegen Mumia Abu-Jamal einstimmig für verfassungswidrig erklärt. Mit der Entscheidung vom heutigen Tage bestätigte das Gericht seinen Befund von 2008, nach dem die Geschworenen in der Strafphase des ursprünglichen Prozesses 1982 falsch über die Verfahrensweise zur Feststellung mildernder Umstände belehrt wurden, die zu einer lebenslänglichen Haftstrafe [statt einem Todesurteil] hätten führen können.

Das Gericht befand, dass die Jury fälschlich zu der Überzeugung gebracht wurde, dass sie nur einstimmig Umstände betrachten könne, die für eine lebenslange Freiheitsstrafe sprachen. Laut Gericht verstiess dies gegen das Urteil des Obersten Gerichtshofs von 1988 im Fall Mills versus Maryland und verletzte Mumia Abu-Jamals Recht auf ein faires Verfahren in grundlegender Weise.

mehr unter

Redebeitrag von Mumia Abu-Jamal

Berlin, Ostermarsch 2011 10.05.2011 - 09:50

Berlin, Ostermarsch 2011: Redebeitrag von Mumia Abu-Jamal