DENIED: Supreme Court Refuses Mumia Appeal


INQUIRER: Death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal lost his bid for a new trial in the killing of a city police officer after the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not take up the case. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and one-time radio reporter, had claimed prosecutors improperly excluded blacks from the jury that convicted him of murdering white Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Abu-Jamal’s attorney, Robert R. Bryan of San Francisco, called his client’s trial “a mockery of justice” and said Monday he would seek a rehearing by the high court. But prosecutor Hugh Burns said that “for practical purposes, this was the last remotely realistic chance for getting a new trial.” Abu-Jamal’s death sentence remains in limbo. The Supreme Court has not yet acted on the state’s request to reinstate his capital punishment, said Burns, chief of the appeals unit for the Philadelphia district attorney’s office. A Philadelphia jury convicted Abu-Jamal in 1982. MORE

police_brutality.jpgRELATED: Schaffling and Devlin, who did not return calls seeking comment, are no strangers to Internal Affairs investigators. Or to Ramsey. Ramsey had placed both officers on desk duty in August after similar allegations made headlines: On Aug. 9, Schaffling and Devlin clashed with guests at an outdoor baby shower in North Philadelphia. The guests claimed that Schaffling and Devlin were at the center of a police attack that injured at least six people, including children who were maced, struck with batons and pushed to the ground, witnesses told the Daily News in an Aug. 13 article. In January, the alleged victims filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the Police Department. On Aug. 24, Schaffling and Devlin pulled over two men, who said they were headed to church, in West Philadelphia. The driver told NBC 10 that Schaffling aimed his gun at him and shouted, “I’m going to blow your f—ing head off.” Devlin got nervous and also drew his weapon, the driver said. The driver filed a citizen’s complaint, and the city’s Police Advisory Commission wrote a letter to Ramsey asking him to take Schaffling off the street. Schaffling had also been linked to a May 5 police beating of three shooting suspects. That incident was captured by a Fox 29 news helicopter and broadcast around the world. In the Fox video, Schaffling is seen pulling driver Brian Hall out of a car. He acknowledged afterward that he had “utilized foot strikes,” or kicks, on Hall in an attempt to subdue him, police documents show. MORE

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