Execution stay granted to Mumia Abu-Jamal after death warrant

Thirteen days after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge signed Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death warrant, the former radio journalist and Black Panther was granted a reprieve, at least temporarily.
Federal Judge William Yohn granted a temporary stay of execution Tuesday, postponing Abu-Jamal’s scheduled Dec. 2 execution.
The stay comes after his lawyers filed a writ of habeas corpus Oct. 15, requesting a hearing to allow new evidence to be admitted.
The latest appeal raises 29 separate constitutional and technical issues. If Yohn refuses to grant the hearing, all further appeals will be considered on the present body of evidence.
Ridge’s Oct. 13 signature of the death warrant sparked international protests, including two in the Twin Cities, one of which resulted in the arrest of a University student.
Abu-Jamal’s case centers around the 1981 slaying of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and Abu-Jamal’s much-contested conviction.
Support for a new trial has swelled since 1981 as have counter arguments for a swift execution.
Abu-Jamal was 10 days away from execution in 1995 before public outcry led to another stay.

Josh Linehan covers science and technology and welcomes comments at [email protected]