The latest legal briefs filed by Mumia's lawyers
(10 Parts)

BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE
(document) Pt 1

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 08:09:33 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL,

Case No. 02-9001

Cross-Appellant,

-vs-

MARTIN HORN, Director, Pennsylvania

Department of Corrections; CONNOR

BLAINE, Superintendent, SCI Greene;

DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF

) PHILADELPHIA COUNTY; ATTORNEY

) GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH

) OF PENNSYLVANIA,

Cross-Appellees.

BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE

MICHAEL F. YAMAMOTO, ESQ.

IN SUPPORT OF CROSS-APPELLANT’S MOTION FOR CERTIFICATION OF ADDITIONAL ISSUES FOR APPEAL

* * *

Michael F. Yamamoto

Law Offices of Michael F. Yamamoto

800 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 530

Los Angeles, Ca. 90017

Counsel for Amicus Curiae

BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE
(document) Pt 2

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 08:05:24 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 3

CERTIFICATION OF ADMISSION TO BAR OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT 3

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT, IDENTITY OF AMICUS 4 CURIAE AND AUTHORITY FOR FILING BRIEF

ARGUMENT 5

CONCLUSION

9

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

Herrera v. Collins, 506 US 390, 441-444,

4, 7, 8 113 S. Ct. 853, 882-883 (1993)(Justice Blackmun dissenting) Schlup v. Delo, 513 US 298, 115 S.Ct. 1454 (1995)

4, 8 Carriger v. Stewart, 132 F.3d 463, 476 (9th Cir. 1997)(en banc) 8

CERTIFICATION OF ADMISSION TO BAR OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT

I, Michael F. Yamamoto, declare, under penalty of perjury, that I have been admitted to practice before the Third Circuit, as well as the State Bar of California and the Central District of California. Executed this 11th day of March, 2002, at Los Angeles, California.

Michael F. Yamamoto


posted to forum 03-12-02 Fatirah

 

BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE
(document) Pt 3

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 08:01:46 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT, IDENTITY OF AMICUS CURIAE, AND AUTHORITY FOR FILING BRIEF Amicus Curiae, Michael F. Yamamoto, Esq., has been a criminal defense attorney since 1974, having tried over 200 jury trials, including 2 death penalty trials. He is the immediate past president of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a statewide organization of over 2,000 private and public defenders, past president of the Japanese American Bar Association of Greater Los Angeles, past president of the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance of Los Angeles (a coalition of every minority, women’s and gay and lesbian bar association in the Los Angeles area). He is a founding board member of International Bridges to Justice, an organization of clerics, lawyers and educators, devoted to advancing Human Rights in the governments of Asia, assisting signatories to International Human Rights agreements to provide education, training and guidance in due process for their judicial systems. He is currently serving on the California Judicial Council Task Force on Jury Improvement, having been selected by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, having previously been similarly appointed to serve on the California Judicial Council on Access to Justice. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Criminal Courts Bar Association of Los Angeles and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Southern California, and has served on the Boards of the Korean American Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.. He served on the Criminal Law Panel of the President’s Initiative on Race, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He is currently serving as a member of the California delegation to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, representing the State Bar of California. He is a frequent lecturer, speaker and commentator on criminal law, constitutional law and capital litigation. He has reviewed the pre-trial, trial and post-trial transcripts, reports and records, in addition to the record of the PCRA proceedings, supporting documents and declarations, including that of Cross-Appellant as well as all newly-discovered evidence up to this date.

BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE
(document) Pt 4

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 07:59:02 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

INTRODUCTION

Cross-Appellant Jamal is requesting that this Court certify additional issues for appeal. In support of this request is raising the issue of his “actual innocence” both as a free-standing claim for relief and as a “gateway” to be relieved of procedural default under Schlup v. Delo, 513 US 298, 115 S. Ct. 1454 (1995). It is the purpose of this amicus brief to provide an independent review and evaluation of the evidence to demonstrate that Cross-Appellant Jamal not only meets the “gateway” standard in Schlup for relief from procedural default by proving that, in light of all the evidence, including new evidence, “it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have found petitioner guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” (Schlup, 115 S. Ct. at 867). A review of the entire record, including the trial transcript, pre-trial motion record, the Post Conviction Relief Act record, and especially the newly-discovered evidence, establishes that Cross-Appellant also meets the even more stringent test proposed by Justice Blackmun in his dissent in Herrera v. Collins, 506 US 390, 441-444, 113 S. Ct. 853, 882-883 (1993), for free-standing claims of actual innocence as an independent basis for relief, i.e., that beyond demonstrating doubt about whether Cross-Appellant is guilty, the evidence affirmatively proves that he is innocent.


BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE (document) Pt 5

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 07:51:58 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

ARGUMENT Cross-Appellant has been wrongfully convicted based upon the testimony of unreliable witnesses, all of whom were either inherently suspect at the outset or subsequently shown to be testifying falsely. All of the evidence submitted by the prosecution, when examined in connection with evidence that has been obtained since the trial, can be shown to overwhelmingly support Cross-Appellant’s innocence and contradict the original and clearly erroneous verdict of guilt. Because convicting and executing the innocent could conceivably qualify as the ultimate injustice, this case cannot be allowed to slip through the cracks of our justice system, without addressing these compelling and uncontradicted facts.


BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE (document) Pt 6

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 07:44:45 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

1. The Confession of Arnold Beverly. Central to Cross-Appellant’s claim of innocence is Arnold Beverly’s admission that he, Arnold Beverly, shot the victim and that Cross-Appellant did not. Arnold Beverly’s declaration describes his complicity in a conspiracy to assassinate Officer Faulkner, then carefully details his own participation, starting with being shown a photograph of his victim, being told where and when to strike, waiting for the opportunity, approaching the victim from the vantage point of the subway entrance across the street, observing Cross-Appellant on the ground at the crime scene, firing at Officer Faulkner’s face at point-blank range, and escaping with the assistance of police officers after sitting on the curb for a moment. Every detail of Beverly’s confession is corroborated by and consistent with other evidence presented at the trial and by the newly-discovered evidence as well as the lie detector test administered by polygraph expert, Dr. Charles R. Honts, Professor of Psychology at Boise State University.

2. Testimony of Yvette Williams. Cynthia White, a prostitute who testified that she saw Cross- Appellant shoot the victim, not only testified inconsistently with her testimony in the trial of Billy Cook, but admitted to Yvette Williams that she was forced to testify falsely against Cross-Appellant even though she was high on drugs at the time and did not even see the shooting. She told Williams that the police had threatened her life and had specifically threatened to consolidate her cases and send her to prison if she did not testify to what they told her to say. She witnessed Cynthia White returning from police interrogations with prohibited contraband “like cigarettes and candy and even hoagies, syringes and white powder”. Williams was in custody with Cynthia White, whom she knew as “Lucky”, after the shooting and had kept quiet about this incident because of her fear of the police, coming forward after all this time because she “couldn’t get it out of my mind. I kept thinking that man could die because of all the lies that Lucky told on that witness stand and Mrs. Faulkner would never know the truth”.

3. Declaration of Private Investigator George Michael Newman. Convicted felon and cabdriver Robert Chobert, the only other alleged “eyewitness” to the shooting, was on felony probation for arson and in continuing violation of that probation, revocation of which exposed him to over 30 years in prison. He has admitted to Private Investigator George Michael Newman that he did not see the shooting and testified falsely at trial.



BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE (document) Pt 7

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 07:42:25 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

4. Declaration of William Cook. Kenneth Freeman, Cook’s passenger on the night of December 9, 1981, subsequently confessed to Cook that he, Freeman, had been part of the plot to kill Faulkner, that he had been armed and had participated in the shooting. Witness Cynthia White testified to the presence of a passenger at Cook’s trial, only to conceal his presence at the trial of Cross-Appellant in complete contradiction of herself under oath.

Taken together, this evidence, along with the unlikelihood that Cross-Appellant delivered some spontaneous, unsolicited “confession”, unreported by the numerous police officers present in the hospital until months afterwards, and certainly not confirmed in the reports written by the police officers who were guarding Cross-Appellant in the hospital, all points unerringly to his innocence. All of this happening against a sordid backdrop of police corruption attested to by Donald Hersing, during which the ranking officer at the crime investigation in this case resigned from the police force after his conviction for tax evasion from bribes and payoffs while the head of homicide is being named an unindicted co-conspirator in federal corruption prosecutions. The reach of this police corruption is confirmed in the declaration of Linn Washington which documents the unaccountably unsecured and unattended crime scene so soon after the incident – a fact which is inconsistent with any police investigation procedure except an outlaw one – a frame-up. Unfortunately, the evidence of police corruption infecting this case is undeniable. There is too much evidence of what is wrong with this prosecution and there is too much evidence establishing Cross-Appellant’s innocence.

No impartial and fully-informed jury could ignore what has been offered to prove it. Cross-Appellant’s conviction violates every principle of our system of law which we promised to defend. Convicting the innocent is wrong. Executing the innocent is a legal atrocity. There can be no adequate redress for such a wrong. Without a fair hearing on this evidence there can be no justice.

 

BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE (document) Pt 8

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 07:39:28 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

The entirety of the evidence conclusively demonstrates that Cross-Appellant is innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. The execution of an innocent person would violate the Constitution. See Herrera v. Collins, 506 U.S. 390 (1993). The Eighth Amendment prohibits the state from executing Cross-Appellant.

In Herrera, a majority of the United States Supreme Court assumed, without deciding, a “truly persuasive demonstration of ‘actual innocence’ made after trial would render the execution of a defendant unconstitutional, and warrant federal habeas relief if there were no state avenue open to process such a claim.” Id., 506 U.S. at 417. In various concurring and dissenting opinions, five justices explicitly stated their agreement with this constitutional prohibition against executing innocent persons. Id. A506 U.S. at 419 (O’connor, J., joined by Kennedy, J., concurring) and id. At 430-437 (Blackmun, J., joined by JJ. Stevens and Souter, dissenting). Cross-Appellant’s evidence of innocence rises to that level.

Although the Supreme Court has not yet set out the standard for relief on an actual innocence claim, Justice Blackmun’s dissent provides a workable formulation. Justice Blackmun opined : “In considering whether a prisoner is entitled to relief on an actual-innocence claim, a court should take all of the evidence into account, giving due regard to its reliability.” Id. At 443 (Blackmun J., dissenting). The court should weigh the new evidence of innocence against the evidence of guilt and to determine whether the petitioner can show that he is probably innocent in light of all the evidence. If so, the Constitution bars his execution. Id. at 444 (Blackmun, J., dissenting). Accord Carriger v. Stewart, 132 F.3d 463, 476 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc)(free-standing claim of innocence requires petitioner to prove that more likely than not he is innocent.) That is the case here.




 

BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE (document) Pt. 9

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 07:37:06 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

CONCLUSION

Because Cross-Appellant’s claim to actual innocence is so well-documented and the critical witnesses so abundant, there can be no question regarding the merits of this claim. When this record is examined in its entirety, with the newly-offered evidence along with recently-discovered evidence and even the evidence presented by the prosecution, not only could no reasonable juror fail to find some reasonable doubt from this evidence, no reasonable juror could fail to find Cross-Appellant’s innocence by that same high standard. When evidence of innocence is so compelling and so obvious, the court must recognize its validity and grant the relief that is sought in order to avert an entirely avoidable injustice.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael F. Yamamoto

9 END

Mumia's attorneys charge D.A.
with faking death of key witness

Posted on Tuesday, March 12 @ 07:01:58 CST
by Fatirah
Legal Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHILADELPHIA, March 11, 2002. Mumia Abu-Jamal's attorneys charged the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office with "faking the death" of key prosecution witness Cynthia White in legal briefs filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and last Friday in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The attorneys argue in the briefs that, "As the frame-up of Mumia Abu-Jamal is increasingly coming apart at the seams, the District Attorney in her desperation to keep the evidence which proves Mumia's innocence from being heard has now gone so far as to resurrect the hoax of Cynthia White's supposed death."

According to Mumia's attorneys, during 1997 state court hearings before Judge Sabo the District Attorneys' Office tried to pass off three stapled together pages from three different documents as an official New Jersey death certificate for Cynthia White. The name on the death certificate was "Cynthia Williams, aka Mildred Saunders," and the Social Security number turned out to belong to a woman named Migdalia Cruz who was born in Puerto Rico in 1957. When challenged to provide fingerprint evidence that the dead body was actually that of Cynthia White, the D.A. called as a witness a New Jersey police officer who brought into court a fingerprint card with the dead woman's fingerprints. But the officer admitted on cross-examination that the fingerprint identifiers did not correspond to Cynthia White's fingerprints. In other words, the fingerprint evidence proved that the dead woman was not Cynthia White.

In their legal briefs, Mumia's attorneys argue that the District Attorney recently injected the hoax of Cynthia White's death into Mumia's appeals in a desperate attempt to keep the evidence which proves Mumia's innocence out of the courtroom and, specifically, to defeat their motion to send the case back to Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe to take testimony in open court from Yvette Williams. Williams, in a sworn statement recently filed in Mumia's state and federal appeals, says that she was in jail with Cynthia White in December 1981 soon after Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was killed and that White told Williams the police forced her to testify that Mumia had shot Faulkner even though White did not see the shooting.

According to Williams, Cynthia White was in the area of 13th and Locust when the shooting took place, but was high on drugs and did not see the shooting. In other developments, eminent California attorney Michael Yamamoto filed a "friend of the court" brief in the federal court of appeals in Philadelphia supporting Mumia's claim that he is innocent of the murder of Officer Faulkner. According to Yamamoto, his own independent review of the evidence reveals that Mumia Abu-Jamal was "wrongfully convicted based upon the testimony of unreliable witnesses, all of whom were either inherently suspect at the outset or subsequently shown to be testifying falsely." Yamamoto concludes that the evidence at trial, when combined with the new evidence that has recently come out, "can be shown to overwhelmingly support" Mumia Abu-Jamal's innocence.

Yamamoto is the immediate past president of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a specialized bar association of over 2,000 of California's top criminal defense attorneys. He was recently appointed to the California Judicial Council's task force on jury improvement by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.

posted to forum 03-12-02 Fatirah

ARNOLD BEVERLY CONFESSED!!
FREE MUMIA NOW!!


 

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