From left, Joe Piette, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Pam Africa, Jan. 8 at SCI Mahanoy, Pa.In a case that could lead to freedom for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker ordered the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office to present new testimony at a hearing on Jan. 17. Abu-Jamal’s supporters vow to pack the court.The case before Tucker began with a hearing on April 24 concerning former DA Ronald Castille’s involvement in Abu-Jamal’s case. As a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, Castille refused to recuse himself from ruling on Abu-Jamal’s appeals.A 2016 Supreme Court decision in Williams v. Pennsylvania found that Castille’s refusal to remove himself from another death penalty case was unconstitutional. Abu-Jamal’s attorneys filed an appeal for a new trial based on that decision. Fourteen Pennsylvania prisoners, including Abu-Jamal, are fighting for appeals on similar grounds.Abu-Jamal’s petition seeks to overturn all Pennsylvania Supreme Court decisions on his 1995-08 appeals, citing Castille’s bias and conflict of interest. Castille was an assistant DA during his 1982 trial for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Abu-Jamal pleaded innocent. As DA in 1989, Castille opposed Abu-Jamal’s postconviction and death sentence appeal.During his judicial campaign, Castille bragged that he had helped sentence 45 men, including Abu-Jamal, to death. The Fraternal Order of Police, which led the campaign to execute Abu-Jamal, honored Castille as “Man of the Year” and financially backed his campaign.Elected to the high state court in 1994, Castille ruled against every appeal Abu-Jamal brought before him; most criticized the DA office’s actions during Castille’s tenure. He refused every request Abu-Jamal filed asking him not to rule on postconviction appeals.Court to DA: ‘Release the files’Tucker has repeatedly ordered the DA’s office to turn over all files in its possession that show Castille’s “personal involvement in the case” during all court proceedings.On Sept. 7, after they failed to fully comply with his orders, Tucker ordered the DA’s office to turn over 31-plus boxes of prosecution files, all notes on meetings between Castille and his staff regarding the case, press releases or Castille’s public statements about it.In calling for the Jan. 17 hearing, Tucker ordered the DA’s office to produce attorney Gayle McLaughlin Barthold to present testimony regarding her March 27, 1990, memorandum to Castille about death penalty cases. A Castille-appointee, Deputy DA Barthold filed all the DA’s legal papers during Abu-Jamal’s 1990-91 filings in the state Supreme Court. The DA’s office claims it cannot locate the memorandum.Mobilizing for Mumia keyAbu-Jamal’s legal case may be in the hands of the lawyers and the courts, but victories in the fight for his freedom have depended on a global support movement. Throughout Abu-Jamal’s imprisonment, his family and supporters have fought the state’s efforts to murder him.During the recent tug-of-war over case records, Abu-Jamal supporters repeatedly took to the streets, starting with a rally outside the court during the April 2017 hearing. A call-in campaign to the DA’s office was launched, demanding compliance with Tucker’s order.On May 30, the deadline for turning over the files, protesters gathered outside the DA’s office, demanding: “Open up the books!” When only 54 pages of court filings — already part of the case public record — were turned in, Tucker ordered more files produced by July 7.That day, protesters gathered at the DA’s office with poster-size copies of Tucker’s order so that passersby could see the DA’s cover-up. Their signs exposed the DA’s office’s long history of deception and corruption.Shake-up in DA’s officeOn Nov. 7, by a 3-to-1 margin, Larry Krasner, a progressive civil rights defense attorney, backed by activist communities, defeated a FOP-led campaign on behalf of his opponent, Republican nominee Beth Grossman, to become Philadelphia’s 26th DA.Krasner’s platform included working to end mass incarceration, stopping cash bail imprisonment, ending illegal stop-and-frisks and stopping pursuit of the death penalty.After taking office, Krasner fired over 31 DA office staff, including attorneys who handle capital cases. At issue is what impact this could have on Abu-Jamal’s appeal.Reportedly, Deputy DA Ronald Eisenberg, a Castille protegé who has represented the DA’s office in the case, resigned weeks ago. Another DDA prominent in Abu-Jamal’s trials, Hugh Burns Jr., was fired.While the shake-up should be encouraging to Abu-Jamal supporters, Krasner’s appointment of Castille to his transition team leaves doubts about his seriousness and long-term impact.Blowing the lid off the cover-upThe potential to reopen Abu-Jamal’s conviction case is dangerous to some people in high places. The case is rife with suppression of evidence of innocence, evidence-tampering by police and coercion of witnesses to identify him as “guilty.” The Pennsylvania injustice establishment has lied about the facts and demonized Abu-Jamal. Politicians have used the case to win votes through racially divisive law-and-order politics.If Abu-Jamal’s new legal action succeeds, he could reintroduce legal challenges to the racist frame-up conviction that led to his 36 years in prison, 30 of them in solitary confinement on death row.Evidence increasingly supports Abu- Jamal’s claims that racism, corruption and judicial misconduct throughout his trial were the reasons he was convicted. Now, with the chance of a legal victory that could potentially release him, it is more important than ever to be in the streets to demand “Free Mumia now!”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Upmarket cake shop and café chain Konditor & Cook has opened its sixth outlet near London’s Southbank. Located on Stamford Street, the shop’s layout is inspired by “a new take on the domestic kitchen”, which has been designed to showcase its best-known cakes and savouries.Personalised wedding cake consultations will take place at the shop, and a spokesperson for the firm confirmed that there are still plans in the pipeline to also run baking classes.The shop was designed by architect Kevin Allsop, and aims to create a friendly atmosphere where the division between customers and staff is broken down. There are no counters separating staff and customers and the hob, sink and kitchen paraphernalia is on full view. Owner Gerhard Jenne, who came up with the idea for the shop, said: “People who work from home have access to their kitchens, but need a home office, while those who work in offices also need the relaxed ambience of a domestic kitchen for a good chin-wag and to get their creative juices flowing.”
Most of you have probably never heard of Lucy Li. I know I hadn’t until I read the article provided to me by Glen Butte. This 11-year old prodigy made a quite a splash in the LPGA this past summer. She qualified for the U.S. Open and, although she failed to make the cut, what she did accomplish is amazing.The 5’1″, 100-pound pre-teen shot back to back 78’s in her 2 rounds. She did beat 33 adults who also failed to make the cut. Her biggest hit probably came at the news conference after the second round. She answered all the reporters questions very professionally. What amazed most of these reporters was the fact that she was enjoying an ice cream cone while she was answering the questions. What else would you expect from an 11-year old?Lucy is another in a long line of young Asian golfers who are dominating the LPGA.
Former Vice President of the Ghana Football Association, Fred Pappoe, believes Asamoah Gyan’s change of heart bodes well for the team ahead of the competition in Egypt.Fred Pappoe says Gyan’s return should bring some finality to the matter ahead of the Afcon in Egypt.“It is an issue that has served as a distraction in the last forty eight hours.I have heard that he has changed his mind and will return to the team.If that i true then it is good news.Now the matter must be put to rest so that the team can focus on the tournament,”he told Citi Sports.Ghana’s all-time top goal scorer shocked the nation when he announced his retirement after finding out that he was going to be stripped of his captaincy ahead of the Afcon.Gyan did not mince words, stating emphatically that the demotion left him feeling disrespected.However, following a discussion with President Akufo Addo over the phone Gyan disclosed that he will avail himself for selection.He has also scored 3 goals in his last two club appearances pending the naming of the provisional squad.
Wow thought it was only me😊, even the legend too👍 kinaata be genius 🙌🏽— Wonderfully made (@ObsiMike1) October 30, 2019Gyan missed out on the first Black Stars squad named since the national team’s disappointing Round of 16 exit from the 2019 AFCON tournament, despite scoring a goal for his new side in the Indian Super League last weekend.Kwesi Appiah’s much-changed front-line instead includes captain, Andre Ayew; Crystal Palace forward, Jordan Ayew; Mohammed Kudus of FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark; Emmanuel Boateng of Dalian Yifang in China; TP Mazembe’s Torric Jibril and Shafiu Mumuni of Ashantigold.It’s unclear why Asamoah Gyan was left out of the squad although it’s not completely surprising given comments made by Gyan about his role under Kwesi Appiah at the last AFCON.Gyan said in August that Appiah did not have him in his plans for the AFCON.Gyan, who came off the bench against Cameroon and Tunisia, said that this might have accounted for the lack of minutes at the competition.“I feel I wasn’t in Kwesi Appiah’s plans for the AFCON. With my 17 years of experience, I could tell.“If I’m not a starter, I accept it, that’s the coach’s decision but at least…,” Gyan said.He, however, stated that he was still willing to play for the Black Stars under “any coach”, including Appiah, should he be called into the team.“Maybe he’s changed his decision. If I’m called, I’m available for the Black Stars” Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan, is clearly not letting his exclusion from the Black Stars for the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers get him down.Hours after Kwesi Appiah named his 23-man squad for Ghana’s matches against South Africa and São Tomé and Príncipe, which was conspicuously without top players including Gyan and Kwadwo Asamoah, the NorthEast FC forward posted a video of himself singing along to ‘Things Fall Apart’, a new song by musician Kofi Kinaata.The song has earned rave reviews and has seen massive airplay since it was first released and it appears to have gained a new admirer in Ghana’s highest ever top scorer.Gyan tweeted his admiration of the song, adding a number of fire emojis, as well.I can’t get over this tune from @KinaataGh 🔥🔥🔥🔥. #ThingsFallApart 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/qHtyinoxRO— ASAMOAH GYAN (@ASAMOAH_GYAN3) October 30, 2019A number of his fans seem to like the tune as well and said as much in their own tweets.Oh Bleoobi . ..hmmm…i just realized I’m addicted— S.K. ROCKY (@derigubaa) October 30, 2019 God bless you Baby Jet for loving this wonderful tune from Kofi Kinata.— Lilron (@Lilron40369292) October 30, 2019