source: Workers World
published: 20 September 2017
In the latest development in a months-long judicial tug-of-war between attorneys for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker ordered on Sept. 7 the DA to produce the entire case file of Abu-Jamal’s criminal conviction.
Tucker ordered the DA to turn over all 31-plus boxes of prosecution files for his review by Sept. 21. While the DA will likely request a postponement and possibly attempt to appeal Tucker’s ruling, Abu-Jamal’s supporters see Tucker’s ruling as an important step forward.
In a breakthrough in the struggle to free Abu-Jamal, a new challenge to his 35-year-old wrongful conviction in the death of a Philadelphia police office was brought before Tucker’s court on April 24. NAACP Legal Defense Fund attorneys Judith Ritter and Christina Swarns argued that Mumia had been denied due process because former DA Ronald Castille, now a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, refused to step down from hearing state appeals cases in which he had been involved as a prosecutor.