Revolution writes: There are important new developments in the long struggle for justice and freedom for revolutionary political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal,  who has been on death row since his unjust conviction and sentencing in 1982 for the murder of a Philadelphia cop. On December 7, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia agreed to hear arguments on three separate defense claims of constitutional violations in Mumia's trial and state appeals. A decision by the Third Circuit to uphold any one of these claims could lead to a new trial for Mumia. So the Dec. 7 announcement opens a door for potential victory in Mumia's case.

MichelmullerAt the same time, however, the Third Circuit is also considering the prosecution's appeal of a lower court ruling that overturned Mumia's death sentence--and there is a real danger that the Third Circuit Court could rule in prosecution's favor and reinstate the death penalty on Mumia. According to Mumia's lawyer, the court has put the case on a "fast track," and opening briefs are due to be filed by January 17, 2006.

In December 2001 federal judge William Yohn ruled that Judge Sabo's sentencing procedure was illegal and overturned Mumia's death sentence. But Yohn's ruling let the unjust conviction stand. And the Philadelphia DA appealed to get the death sentence reinstated. The Third Circuit Court could now rule in DA's favor and put Mumia back on the fast track to execution. All this calls for people to raise their vigilance around Mumia's case, and to step up the demand that Mumia not be killed and that the government free him. [Read]