The Rebellious Lawyering (“RebLaw”) Conference at Yale Law School recently rescinded its offer to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to serve as keynote speaker, after pressure brought from a group of Harvard University students opposed to the exclusion of Mumia from the conference.
The LAC has written a letter to RebLaw, which is reproduced below.
Click here for a PDF of the letter to RebLaw
February 11, 2019
The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal congratulates the Rebellious Lawyering (“RebLaw”) Conference on making the principled decision to disinvite Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner from making the 2019 RebLaw keynote address.
[The following article is posted for informational purposes only.]
THE EXCUSES OF LARRY KRASNER
We can’t blindly trust people in power when they refuse to explain themselves…
Larry Krasner was elected district attorney of Philadelphia in 2018 with a radically progressive mandate. As a former public defender and civil rights lawyer, he has been long critical of the criminal punishment system. He’s perhaps the most “progressive prosecutor” in the country, and has already effectively decriminalized marijuana, sued Big Pharma companies, and required his deputies to consider the costs of mass incarceration in their sentencing recommendations. Activist Shaun King has said Krasner was “exceeding expectations” and that his sentencing memorandum was a “dream come true.” But recently, Krasner has received criticism from fellow reformers, after announcing that his office would challenge a judge’s decision in favor of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther controversially imprisoned for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner.
[The following article is posted for informational purposes only. Mumia’s appeal is not “nuanced”. The evidence makes out a clear case of factual innocence. Any “nuance” in the situation likely derives from Justice Ron Castille’s presence on Krasner’s transition team when Krasner became Philadelphia District Attorney.]
IN HIS FIRST public comments about his office’s January decision to fight a new appeal from incarcerated activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner asked for patience from critics.
Dear Comrades and Friends Across the Globe:
On December 27, 2018, in a historic action, Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker granted Mumia’s petition for new appeal rights, over the opposition of “progressive DA” Larry Krasner.
This is the first Pennsylvania state court decision in Mumia’s favor since he was arrested on December 9, 1981. The new appeals ordered by Judge Tucker open the door to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom. The legal claims and supporting evidence, previously denied in the PA Supreme Court with Justice Ronald Castille’s participation, warrant a dismissal of the frame-up charges that have kept Mumia imprisoned for 37 years, or, at the very least warrant a new trial.
It is critical that Mumia can go forward immediately with these appeals. However, DA Larry Krasner has the authority to appeal Judge Tucker’s decision. Krasner’s position, to the surprise of many who had described him as the “new kind” of district attorney, more bent toward justice than mere conviction, with a history of defending dissident activists, has been adamant in his opposition to Mumia’ petition. His legal filings, court arguments, and his statements on public radio have all argued that there is no evidence of Justice Castille’s bias or the appearance of impropriety when he refused to recuse himself in Mumia’s PA Supreme Court appeals from 1998-2012 (!).
Click here for PDF of this document
Because Eliot’s remarks about Howard pertain directly to Howard’s work on behalf of Mumia, we reproduce them here separately from the rest of the tributes to Howard.
Tribute to Howard Keylor by Eliot Lee Grossman, Attorney-at-Law, Academic
Member of the Permanent Seminar for Chicano and Border Studies, National
Institute of Anthropology and History, Mexico City.
I first met Howard Keylor in the San Francisco Bay Area around 1978, after I graduated from law school, was admitted to the California Bar, and started working with the Partisan Defense Committee, a class-struggle legal defense organization politically supported by the Spartacist League (SL) just as the Militant Caucus in Local 10, of which Howard was a founder, was politically supported by the SL. Howard was an inspiring role model for a young “revolutionary” radicalized by the anti-Vietnam War movement and Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. I deeply respected, and continue to respect, Howard as a truly proletarianized intellectual with many years of political experience in the trade-union movement as a principled oppositionist raising unapologetically the Trotskyist “Transitional Program” from the demand of 30 hours work for 40 hours pay, to ousting the class-collaborationist trade-union “misleaders,” to the call for a Workers Party to fight for a Workers Government.