【以下原文】 From: Mumia@aol.com
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 1996 00:32:00 -0400
Subject: Legal Update Status Hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal 9/18/96
Please post and forward as warranted:
Mumia Update - Back in Sabo's court, Sept.. 18, 1996
>From Jamila Levi. Frontline News Service
This week Mumia attorneys filed renewed motions for recusal of Judge Sabo for discovery and for disclosure of Brady evidence ( suppressed evidence ) Sabo refused to have Mumia brought down to court, citing additional expense to the Commonwealth. The real reason is that Mumia's presence in Philadelphia brings increased media attention and popular support.
At the hearing today, which Sabo insisted was a "status conference" Mumia's attorneys presented Veronica Jones and requested that she be allowed to testify immediately.
The DA vigorously objected insisting that the burden of proof Is on the defense to show that Jones was unavailable at the time of the 1995 PCRA hearing. Mumia' s attorneys reminded the court that the defense request for discovery was denied in 1995, and that the District Attorney's office deliberately withheld information that would have allowed the defense to locate Veronica Jones
Sabo also insisted he would call the Supreme Court himself to determine exactly what it was they wanted him to decide, complaining that "nobody takes me in their confidence and denying that he's read any of the briefs, Sabo quickly set Tuesday, Oct. 1 as the date for further proceedings. He said Mumia would be brought down to court, We could have brought Jones in, Assistant D.A, Mariene Fisk whined, put the defense didn't ask us to. We didn't want the police and DA bringing in Jones. Mumia's Chief Counsel Len Weinglass countered, for she had already been coerced and threatened. Len reminded the court that other defense witnesses were intimidated by the DA during the 1995 hearing. one witness. Robert Harkins, was held and intimidated by the police to the point where he wouldn't talk to the defense.
Although Mumia wasn't allowed to be in court today, he had given counsel permission to proceed with Veronica Jones testimony in his absence. Caring man that he is, Sabo insisted the lawyers' word on this was not good enough, that he hadn't heard it from Mumia. The defense can put Jones on the stand October 1, Sabo said, as well as any other witnesses related to that. The DA insisted they wanted a list of witnesses before that date, and asked Sabo to quash the subpoena seeking the Commonwealth' s entire file on the case. Sabo obliged by denying discovery.
"Step down? I'm. not stepping down!" Sabo responded to the motion for recusal. "Who knows the case better than I do! The DA argued that Mumia was not entitled to a supplemental PCRA hearing, and that Sabo could decide if a second PCRA hearing was In order. Sabo agreed with that, saying. "You can file a second PCRA and than it can go to the Supreme Court and they can rule a second time ・(A. clear admission that he 'd rule against Mumia in a second hearing.) He than added that he wouldn grant a Second PCRA.
Len cited another recent case (Rider?) in which an appellate court ruled that the DA's' office had to grant discovery to the appellant based on evidence of misconduct. When the suppressed files were turned over. the defense found 142 statements. that the Commonwealth had kept a secret.
"The Supreme Count doesn't want me to open up the whole case," Sabo replied. "・ . If I was on the Supreme Court I'd have ruled on It already ...it only took me a week last time,. he added. (Never mind that Sabo's ruling on the PCRA was lifted straight out of the Commonwealth reply briefs! )
The 50 minure long hearing was heated. Sabo dripped with hostility to the defense team, a replay of the Summer of 1995. "You've been dragging your feet all along." he told Mumia's lawyers. When defense attorney Dan Williams argued that the information on Jones should have been disclosed long ago by the Commonwealth, the Judge replied, " What does it matter. We池e past that stage now."
You handle a lot or your stuff in the news media.. Sabo told defense attorneys. "You want to try the case in the news media".
"We Rant to try the case in the court,". the defense replied.
At a press conference. outside City Hall moments after court recessed, Veronica Jones spoke to the media but savred her testimony for the upcoming court date. Asked why she came forward now, she responded, "lt's because I have a conscience just like everybody else and I have to practice what I preach to my children and tell the truth and stick by it. That's all I really have to say ..I just couldn't live with lt, .. I practice what I preach to my children, that's to tell the truth and stick by it. And it just wasn't right. It's been too long. It just needs to be told, that's all. I have three beautiful daughters that believe in me and they're behind me 100 percent, and my father and my friends. so I'm okay with it. . . I Just sat back and watched it and I knew, I knew what happened and that it's. time for somebody to stand up and help this man out and I'm going to be the one to help him out."