So I can just talk in generalities because I don’t know specifically what Mumia’s legal team, Sam Spital from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Judith Ritter, and Bret Grote from Abolition Law Center are going to do.
I will see Mumia very soon, and so I could ask him as well, but generally what happens is that this trial court judge’s ruling would be appealed to the Superior Court. That would’ve happened whether we had won or whether we had lost, so it will immediately go to the Superior Court. The Superior Court has been taking quite a long time on some of these cases, you know, definitely over six months. They’ve taken up to 18 months. So that really puts it in a holding pattern.
Once the Superior Court rules, then it can be appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which is another delay. That’s- time is our enemy in that way. Time is our enemy in this regard.
I don’t know whether he can appeal this federally, like a federal habeas corpus, which then is another track that takes time. In order to preserve your ability to file a federal habeas, you have to have filed something already and put it on hold, so I’m not sure if he’s preservde that right, but we should ask people.
So I see that we have- this, this set of appeals would have happened if we had won, right. So the time delay and FOP’s strategies would have been enacted. It was just the other side that would have done it, and so they would have delayed to the Superior Court, they would have delayed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, they would have filed another King’s Bench petition to remove Krasner, they would have tried to insert a new lawyer from the Attorney General’s office and etcetera, etcetera, so we would have been facing this delay almost no matter what.
So I would have to say that it’s really the people power, it is literally the people power, that’s going to make the court accountable. It’s that nexus, when there is enough overall support, when there’s enough political power that’s built by the people on a grassroots level, that’s what’s going to tip the balance, because the courts always do what is needed to be done when they feel the pressure, when they feel the political pressure.
There are other options that Mumia’s gonna have to take, and those include going to the Conviction Integrity Unit. Now, the problem with going to the Conviction Integrity Unit is that they very rarely give up people, very rarely, though they do occasionally.
And the other thing is even if Krasner goes to a Philadelphia court and says he wants to drop the charges, the Philadelphia courts, this level of court, has not [privilege?] He’s done it for other cases, and they have said “no” to him. So DA Krasner in this jurisdiction doesn’t have the ability to just drop the charges.
It has to be confirmed by someone like Lucretia Clemons. Lucretia Clemons is probably going to keep this case. It’s still going to be her case if it ever comes back, so she will be the one who will be denying Krasner the ability to take a different stand if the CIU, for instance, comes through for him or that petition works.
The other thing that he’ll be able to do and he should start now are the clemency petitions, and that would go to somebody like the governor. Now, the governor Josh Shapiro has presidential aspirations, and so Shapiro was never someone we thought was going to privilege a Mumia Abu-Jamal clemency petition, but the governor of Pennsylvania is the person that can actually grant that. Only a state governor can grant a clemency position.
Then Mumia, because he’s old and he has many health problems, at some point, we’ll probably need to do a compassionate release petition, and that’ll be if his health deteriorates.
So those are the- those are the potential avenues, and time is the delay, but honestly, they weren’t gonna give us anything unless we were going to be able to fight for it. We will reach the point of victory and Mumia’s freedom when the people are strong enough to demand that the courts do the right thing.
It would never have been internally to the courts. They’re not going to- they’re not going to police themselves. Their interest in preserving the Juanita Kidd Injustice Center and the assembly line of Black and brown bodies through Pennsylvania courts is too much in their self interest or their worldview. They’re not- they’re not liberals, they’re extreme right wing viewpoints.