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  Mumia's Attorneys demand deposition of Supreme Court Justice
Philadelphia, 5/17/02.

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 training sessions.

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.

Labor Action Committee to free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Reprints and Publications
PO Box 1622, Oakland Ca 94610. (510) 763-23447

Contact: Eliot Lee Grossman, Esq.
(626) 943-1945

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