Surprise Victory for Mumia


In a shocking reprieve, Judge Lucretia Clemons on Dec. 16 ordered the DA to open up all of their files to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s defense team. Judge Clemons stayed her prior “intent to dismiss” notice. She stated she would rule in 60-90 days on Mumia’s request for a new trial.

Speaking directly to all parties from the bench, she said “I do not want to return to this issue again. I want, once and for all, to resolve all of these questions.”

Prior to her surprising directive, which occurred at the very close of a contentious hearing, there had been no indication that Judge Clemons would be sympathetic to granting relief. During arguments Judge Clemons did not probe prosecutor Grady Gervino’s mischaracterizations of the law and the record. She did not address or expose his omissions. Clemons simply chose not to challenge him at all.

Thus, the reason for Judge Clemons’ expansive discovery order is ripe for speculation. She implied that allowing a complete review of prosecution files would resolve any and all issues of potential suppressed evidence, thus, in her mind, finally closing the door on the case and allowing her to wrap it up.

The problem with that theory is that if you frame someone for murder it is really hard to cover up all the loose ends. It makes one wonder: does Judge Clemons truly understand the depth and widespread corruption of the Philadelphia police department and the former DA’s office?  The police and former prosecutors acted with complete impunity for decades.

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