On Tuesday, November 9, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will conduct a hearing to re-examine its previous decision overturning Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence.

In 2000, after a painstaking review of the case, Amnesty International concluded in its report, The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Life in the Balance, that justice could only be served by granting Abu-Jamal a new trial.   The following is a statement from Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International USA’s Death Penalty Abolition Campaign:

“Re-imposing the death penalty would be intolerable.  Mumia Abu-Jamal should receive a new trial, not a new death sentence.

“Serious questions about fairness in Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case remain unanswered.  While Amnesty International does not take a position on guilt or innocence, the organization maintains that Abu-Jamal’s original trial, which was irredeemably tainted by politics and race, failed to meet international fair trial standards. 

“Among myriad concerns surrounding this case: Abu-Jamal had inadequate defense representation at trial and during the sentencing phase.  Eleven potential African American jurors were dismissed. The close political relationship between the Fraternal Order of Police and the elected Pennsylvania judiciary was inappropriate.  The judge, who had close political ties to law enforcement, was openly hostile to the defense.

“These and other concerns have not been addressed. Justice demands a new trial.  The state of Pennsylvania should turn its back on the irreversible and broken death penalty system.

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Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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Contact:  Wende Gozan Brown, 212-633-4247,