Statement on decision to appeal ruling in Commonwealth v. Mumia Abu-Jamal

“We respect the trial Court and its independence as a distinct branch of government. The Philadelphia DAO’s notice of appeal reflects its agreement with some and disagreement with other aspects of the Court’s opinion. That opinion has sweeping and, in our view, problematic implications for a large volume of cases, in addition to its effect on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Our positions will be explained in full in our legal brief.

Meanwhile, our recent discovery of additional boxes relating to the Mumia Abu-Jamal matter that were either lost or concealed by prior administrations has been disclosed. It is disturbing that these boxes were marked with the name of a supervisor from a prior administration and are numbered in a fashion that is inconsistent with information about the case entered in the DAO’s file database by a prior administration.

Since that discovery, access to those boxes has been offered to the Court and defense counsel as our constitutional obligations and transparency require.

Also, in light of the recent discovery of boxes, an exhaustive search is underway for more boxes that may be mis-marked or housed in obscure locations. Additional discoveries, if any, will be disclosed with constitutionally required transparency.”