November 5 2001 Press Release by Mumia Abu Jamal’s attorneys
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL’S ATTORNEYS, COMPARING HIS CASE TO THAT OF SACCO AND VANZETTI CASE IN THE 1920’s, URGE FEDERAL JUDGE YOHN TO ENSURE THAT HISTORY DOES NOT REPEAT ITSELF … WITH AN INNOCENT MAN BEING EXECUTED WHILE THE CONFESSION OF THE REAL MURDERER IS IGNORED.
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s attorneys, on November 2, 2001, filed with U.S. District Judge Yohn in Philadelphia an Atlantic Monthly article by one of America’s greatest and most respected jurists, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, which exposed the grave miscarriage of justice in the Sacco-Vanzetti case of the 1920’s when two innocent Italian immigrants were executed in an atmosphere of anti-immigrant prejudice, after a state court judge refused to grant a new trial despite the fact that the real murderer confessed and exonerated the two men of any involvement in the crime. Pointing to the direct and chilling historical parallel between the Sacco-Vanzetti case and the Jamal case, Mumia’s attorneys urge Judge Yohn to ensure that history does not repeat itself in this case with an innocent man being executed while the confession of the real murderer is ignored.
Recently, Judge Yohn denied Jamal’s motion to reconsider the court’s refusal to authorize Jamal’s attorneys to take the deposition of Arnold Beverly, the self-confessed killer of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Beverly’s signed and videotaped confession exonerates Mumia and accuses corrupt Philadelphia police officials and organized crime of having organized and planned the murder of Faulkner and hired Beverly and an accomplice to carry it out. Mumia’s attorneys pointedly compare the fry the n****r remark by Mumia’s trial judge, Alfred Sabo, overheard by Court Reporter Terri Maurer-Carter, to the Sacco-Vanzetti judge’s xenophobic prejudice against Italian immigrants and undisguised distaste for their political beliefs.
Sacco and Vanzetti were Italian Anarchists. Mumia Abu-Jamal is a radical Black political activist. Arguing that Justice Frankfurter’s description of the court decision in the Sacco-Vanzetti case as a “farrago of misquotations, misrepresentations, suppressions, and mutilations” is equally applicable to Judge Sabo’s decision denying post-conviction relief to Mumia Abu-Jamal, Mumia’s attorneys blast Sabo’s opinion as the product of a judge who did not and could not provide Mr. Jamal with anything even remotely resembling a fair hearing. Mumia Abu-Jamal is represented by British Barrister Nick Brown, attorney Marlene Kamish from Chicago, attorney Eliot Lee Grossman from Los Angeles, and Philadelphia attorney J. Michael Farrell. FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: (626) 943-1945 Download Justice Frankfurter¹s article on the Sacco-Vanzetti case from http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/oj/frankff.htm. See Arnold Beverly’s videotaped confession or order copies from the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal by contacting email@example.com.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, ) Petitioner, ) Case No. 99 Civ 5089 (YOHN) ) -vs- ) ) MARTIN HORN, Commissioner ) of the Pennsylvania ) Department ) of Corrections, ) and CONNOR BLAINE, ) Superintendent ) of the State ) Correctional Institution ) at Greene, ) Respondents. )
PETITIONER’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE MARCH 1927 ARTICLE BY JUSTICE FELIX FRANKFURTER ON SACCO-VANZETTI CASE.
COMES NOW Petitioner Mumia Abu-Jamal and, pursuant to the District Court’s Order of September 20, 2001, Rule 7 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, and Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (applicable to federal habeas proceedings under Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases), hereby moves the Court for leave to file the attached March 1927 article by Justice Felix Frankfurter on the Sacco-Vanzetti case and, in support thereof, states and alleges as follows:
1. Before Felix Frankfurter became one of the truly great justices of our Supreme Court, and while still a Professor of Law, he wrote an article in the March 1927 Atlantic Monthly (attached hereto as EXHIBIT “A”) exposing the “grave miscarriage of justice” in the Sacco-Vanzetti case in which two innocent Italian anarchists were convicted and sentenced to death and their motion for a new trial denied in an opinion Frankfurter described as a “farrago of misquotations, misrepresentations, suppressions, and mutilations” that was “literally honeycombed with demonstrable errors, and a spirit alien to judicial utterance” and from which one could not possible derive “a true knowledge of the new evidence that was submitted to him as the basis for a new trial.” Despite Professor Frankfurter’s incisively written article, and a prominent international movement in defense of these two innocent men, they were executed by the State of Massachusetts after the United States Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal, and the resulting stain on the history of our legal system remains to this day.
2. There are a number of historical parallels between the case of Sacco-Vanzetti and that of Mumia Abu-Jamal which future historians will undoubtedly comment upon in their assessment of how well our legal system functioned in this historical period. The District Court has a grave responsibility in this case, not only because it holds a man’s life in its hands, but because its decision will be subject to the scrutiny not only of higher courts in our legal system, and the court of public opinion throughout the world, but also the highest court < the court of history.
3. Judge Sabo’s bias and prejudice against Petitioner Mumia Abu-Jamal permeated the original trial and provide a more than adequate basis to overturn Petitioner’s conviction and death sentence. Judge Sabo’s bias and prejudice so fatally infected his purported “findings of fact” in the post-conviction proceedings that they cannot be afforded any “presumption of correctness” under Williams v. Taylor, 529 US 420 (2000) as the marshaling of evidence by Judge Sabo was neither fair nor thorough. Certainly, a judge whose self-proclaimed purpose in presiding over the proceedings in Petitioner Jamal’s case, according to Court Reporter Maurer-Carter’s declaration, was to “help ’em [i.e. the prosecution] fry the n****r” did not and could not provide Mr. Jamal with anything even remotely resembling a fair hearing.
4. Judge Thayer, the trial judge who condemned Sacco and Vanzetti to death, clearly shared the xenophobic prejudice against Italian immigrants which was unfortunately widespread in this country in that historical period as well as an undisguised distaste for their political beliefs. Justice Frankfurter notes that any expert psychologist reading the Thayer opinion “could not fail to find evidences that portray strong personal feeling, poorly concealed, that should have no place in a judicial document.” According to Justice Frankfurter: “By what is left out and by what is put in, the uninformed reader of Judge Thayer’s opinion would be wholly misled as to the real facts of the case.”
5. There is a direct and chilling historical parallel between the case of Sacco and Vanzetti and the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal because in both cases the real murderer confessed and exonerated the innocent men wrongly convicted and sentenced to death. In Justice Frankfurter’s article he describes the confession of Celestino F. Madeiros and the supporting evidence which proved that he and the Morelli gang had committed the crime for which Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death. In the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal the real killer, Arnold Beverly, has confessed and Petitioner Jamal’s counsel have detailed in their [Proposed] First Redrafted and Amended Habeas Petition, and other filings before the District Court, the plethora of evidence which corroborates that confession.
6. In Justice Frankfurter’s article he describes the Sacco-Vanzetti case in terms equally applicable to the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal as one in which “a long succession of disclosures has aroused interest far beyond the boundaries of Massachusetts [Pennsylvania] and even of the United States, until the case has become one of those rare causes célèbres which are of international concern.” It is respectfully submitted that it is the duty of this Court to ensure that history does not repeat itself in this case with an innocent man being executed while the confession of the real murderer is ignored.
7. It is respectfully requested that this motion be granted and that Justice Frankfurter’s article on the Sacco-Vanzetti case (EXHIBIT “A”) be filed. (1*) It is further respectfully requested that the District Court grant Petitioner’s Motion to Overturn the State Court Fact-Finding and deny it any presumption of correctness. It is further respectfully requested that Petitioner’s Motion for Leave to File [Proposed] First Redrafted and Amended Habeas Petition be granted, and that an evidentiary hearing be set, and discovery be authorized, with regard to the claims for relief set forth therein, including but not limited to Petitioner’s claims of “actual innocence.”
footnote: (1*) The article is also available at http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/oj/frankff.htm.
Dated: November 2, 2001
SCI Greene, No. AM8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370-8090
4 New Square
2927 West Liberty Avenue #193
15216-2525 (412) 264-6686
ELIOT LEE GROSSMAN
LAW OFFICE OF ELIOT LEE GROSSMAN
La Rotunda Building
248 East Main Street, Suite 100
Alhambra, CA 91801 (626) 943-1945
Attorneys for Petitioner Mumia Abu-Jamal
J. MICHAEL FARRELL
718 Arch Street, Suite 402
South Philadelphia, PA
19106 (215) 925-1105
Local Counsel for Petitioner Mumia Abu-Jamal
By: MARLENE KAMISH
Attorneys for Petitioner