Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Will The Bad News Never Stop?
Cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal has suffered a serious defeat in the Supreme Court and will have to have his sentencing revisited once again. Although it is not in the bag, he could be returned to Death Row. Keep your fingers crossed.
Quick details: Mumia is guilty of murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Although wounded by Mumia's first shots, Faulkner managed to shoot Mumia before being murdered. Several eye witnesses, most black, testified that Mumia stood over Faulkner, down and helpless, and shot him dead. Mumia later bragged about the murder in the hospital. Mumia's brother, also an eyewitness, did not testify on his brother's behalf. No one testified that anyone else shot Faulkner. In 2001, Mumia caught a break in the federal appeals courts after losing every appeal in the Pennsylvania state system. A judge ruled that jury instructions regarding the death penalty were in error. After more appeals, a three judge panel in the 3rd Circuit held that the jury instructions were indeed in error and ordered resentencing. In April of this year, the Supreme Court refused to hear Mumia's appeal of his conviction and today it issued an order to the 3rd Circuit to reconsider the issue regarding sentencing in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Smith v. Spisak, which held that the so called defective jury instructions were not defective after all, and reinstated the death sentence, for the second time, of the murderous neo-Nazi, Spisak.
The Spisak case appears to be on point--the jury instructions in doubt were effectively identical--and Mumia should soon return to death row where he belongs.
(When I called this bad news, I meant it was bad news for Democrats, not bad news in a cosmic sense).