Mumia’s supporters fight back after legal setback and turn to Obama
More than 14,000 have already signed the petition demanding that US President Barack Obama, “as a moral leader on the world stage call for a global moratorium on the death penalty in [Mumia Abu Jamal’s] and all capital cases”.
From Nobel laureates including Günter Grass and Desmond Tutu to European political leaders and Hollywood actors, many high-profile personalities have joined thousands of grassroots activists in calling on Obama “to speak out against the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal, and all the men, women and children facing execution around the world”.
Although the president of the United States cannot intervene in the case of a state death row inmate, Mumia’s supporters believe that Obama should use his influence in a case that has become an icon of racial discrimination in the use of the death penalty.
Supreme Court decides death sentence is valid
The petition comes as the US Supreme Court ruled on January 19 that Mumia’s death sentence is valid. For 15 months, his defence team had been demonstrating that the jury that sentenced him to death was given inappropriate instructions. An appeal court agreed, but the Supreme Court decided otherwise.
“Now we must go back to litigating the issue of the death penalty in the lower federal court. It previously ruled that the trial judge misled the jury and thus Mumia was entitled to a new jury trial on the issue of death or life. That is still the issue,” wrote his lead counsel, Robert Bryan.