For the first time – a court has ordered the Philadelphia DA to turn over evidence and open their files in Mumia’s appeal. In a complacency shattering blow, the District Attorney’s office is finally being held to account. Judge Leon Tucker of the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court ordered the DA to produce all of the documents relevant to former PA Supreme Court Justice’s role in the case.
Castille was first a supervisory ADA during Mumia’s trial, then District Attorney, and finally as a judge he sat on Mumia’s appeals to the PA Supreme Court.
This broad discovery order follows just days after the arguments in court by Christina Swarns, Esq. of the NAACP LDF, and Judith Ritter, Esq. of Widner Univ.
Judge Leon Tucker Philadelphia Common Pleas Court
During that hearing, Swarns made it clear that the District Attorney’s practice of lying to the appellate courts would not be tolerated and had been specifically exposed by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the Terrence Williams case, which highlights Ronald Castile’s conflict, the Supreme Court in no uncertain terms excoriated the office for failing to disclose crucial evidence. Evidence the office hid for years. This is an opportunity to begin to unravel the decades long police and prosecutorial corruption that has plagued Mumia’s quest for justice.
Judith Ritter, Esq. (Widner Univ.) w/ Christina Swarns, Esq. (right) (NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund) outside of Court on April 24th after arguing in front of Judge Tucker.
In prison for over thirty six years Mumia Abu-Jamal has maintained his innocence in the death of Philadelphia Police officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec. 9th 1981.
“The Commonwealth must produce any and all documents or records in the possession or control of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office showing former District Attorney Ronald Castille’s personal involvement in the above-captioned case … and public statements during and after his tenure as District Attorney of Philadelphia.”
It is important to note that the history of the District Attorney’s office in delaying and appealing to prevent exposure of prosecutorial misconduct and the resulting justice. At every turn, there will be attempts to limit Mumia’s access to the courts and release. It is past time for justice in this case.