Using D.A.'s racist training video on how to keep African Americans off juries
Mumia's Attorneys demand deposition of Supreme Court Justice
Mumia Abu-Jamal's attorneys filed an unprecedented motion with the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court to take testimony under oath from Supreme Court
Justice Ronald D. Castille concerning his responsibility for the infamous
"McMahon videotape" when Castille was Philadelphia District Attorney. The
videotape records a training session for D.A.'s on how to keep
African-Americans off juries despite the United States Supreme Court's
decision in Batson v Kentucky, 476 US 79 (1986) which prohibits such tactics
as being in violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Mumia's attorneys note in their motion that the videotape "bears the
official seal of the City of Philadelphia, the name and title "Ronald D.
Castille, District Attorney," and identifies the videotape as having been
produced by the District Attorney's television productions department, "DATV
Productions.'" According to Mumia's attorneys, the videotape not only
records an actual training session conducted when Justice Castille was
District Attorney but was must have been produced to be shown at other
Mumia's attorneys charge that when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled
against his appeal of denial of post-conviction relief in 1998, and denied
his claim that the District Attorneys Office had violated his constitutional
rights under Batson by using their peremptory challenges to take Blacks off
his jury because of their race, Justice Castille voted in favor of that
decision without disclosing the evidence of the McMahon videotape which
bears his own name as the District Attorney at the time it was produced and
without disclosing his conflict of interest in ruling on that claim.
Mumia's attorneys also point out that when Castille was District Attorney,
his office opposed Mumia's direct appeal, which also raised a Batson claim,
without ever advising the state supreme court of the existence of the
McMahon videotape and its possible impact on the appeal.
The question on every Philadelphian's lips must be whether or not
SupremeCourt Justice Ronald D. Castille can impartially rule on Mumia's
pending appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in particular, on Mumia's
fresh Batson related claim based on Judge Sabo's dismissal of the juror,
Jeanie Dawley, and Mumia's claim for relief based on Judge Sabo's statement
at the time of his original trial, with reference to Mumia himself, that he
was going to "help ‘em fry the n****r."
Mumia Abu-Jamal is represented by Chicago attorney Marlene Kamish, Los
Angeles attorney Eliot Lee Grossman, London barrister Nick Brown, and local
counsel, Philadelphia attorney J. Michael Farrell.
Millions4Mumia/International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
fax: 212 633-2889
phone: 212 633-6646