The Appeal Process

In 1989, The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court denied Jamal’s direct appeal for release, or a new trial. 

In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Jamal’s direct appeal.

On October 29, 1998, following 3 years of PCRA appeals hearings, the seven Justices of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court unanimously denied Jamal’s second appeal. Frequently chastising Jamal’s attorneys for misstating the record, The Supreme Court found many of their arguments to be ludicrous and absurd. Additionally, the State Supreme Court upheld the fairness of Mr. Jamal’s 1982 trial, specifically supporting the actions taken by Judge Albert Sabo to maintain order in the courtroom.

Since Jamal’s conviction in 1982, no less than eleven different judges, other than Judge Sabo, have reviewed Jamal’s often convoluted claims of innocence, police coercion and court wrongdoing. Not one of these judges has found any merit to any of Jamal’s claims. The United States Supreme Court declined to hear his case for the second time in 1999.

Jamal has now been in the Federal Habeas Corpus appeal process for over two years.
In 2001, Mumia Abu-Jamal fired his lawyers, Leonard Weinglass and Dan Williams. Labeling them “incompetent, unethical, sellouts”, Jamal hired a new set of lawyers. These lawyers brought forward Arnold Beverly, who alleges that he and another man were hired to kill Officer Faulkner by the Mafia and corrupt Philadelphia Police officers. But Arnold Beverly was not a new witness. He had previously contacted Jamal’s lawyers with his absurd story in 1999. Both Weinglass and Williams found Beverly’s story to be patently ridiculous. In his book, Executing Justice, Dan Williams wrote, “I wasn’t about to embarrass myself by running with such a patently outrageous story on the most visible death-penalty cases in the world.” According to Williams, Jamal himself made the final decision not to bring Arnold Beverly forward as a witness. Jamal refutes this, and today he and his new lawyers are running with Beverly’s absurd and factually impossible story. (For more information on the Arnold Beverly confession see Myth #17.)

For more information on the current status and history of Jamal’s appeals, go to the Case History section.

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Without the support of Justice for Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, the Faulkner family – and specifically Maureen – could not afford to keep up the vigilant fight.