Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mumia Demands A Retrial

"Black Panther-turned human rights campaigner Mumia Abu-Jamal has requested a retrial on his conviction of murdering a police officer, after his death sentence was overturned in March, his lawyer said Sunday.

A three-member Philadelphia appeals court on March 27 voted two-to-one to overturn the former radio journalist's death sentence, while upholding his conviction for the 1981 murder of Daniel Faulkner.

The court said Abu-Jamal, 54, should face a new sentencing hearing or have his sentence commuted to life in jail.

Abu-Jamal, 54, has always claimed his innocence while on death row for 25 years. While in jail, he became a leading campaigner against the death penalty.

In his request for a retrial, Abu-Jamal's lawyer Robert Bryan asked for a decision by a full panel of 12 judges, not a three-member court like Philadelphia's.

"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.

"If unsuccessful, we will proceed to the United States Supreme Court," Bryan added."

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