Many of you may have seen the national press coverage of a recent Supreme Court decision in the case of Mumia abu-Jamal. As members of the RFC community you probably know I have been involved in the effort to save Mumia’s life since the mid 1990’s. I consider him the first political prisoner to face execution in the United States since my parents. I wrote about his case in my book, An Execution in the Family, starting on page 227.
On October 13, 1952, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari - that is declined to review the record - in my parents’ case for the first time. Under federal law, anyone convicted of a criminal offense has the right to have their appeal heard by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the trial court sits. Since my parents’ trial was held in the Federal District Court of the Southern District of New York (March 1951), their appeal was heard and denied by the Second Circuit Court of Appea