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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

News Updates

  • Court Rules Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Sentence is Unconstitutional, Grants New Sentencing Hearing

    4/27/11

    The case of Pennsylvania death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal took a surprising turn Tuesday when the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared his death sentence unconstitutional. It is the second time the court has agreed with a lower court judge who set aside Abu-Jamal’s death sentence after finding jurors were given confusing instructions that encouraged them to choose death rather than a life sentence. Now Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and journalist, could get a new sentencing hearing in court.

  • Supreme Court imposes limits on class actions in case over 'free' call phone

    4/27/11

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday limited the ability of people to combine forces and fight corporations together when they want to dispute contracts for cell phones, cable television and other services, a move consumer advocates called a crushing blow.

    In a 5-4 ideological split, the high court’s conservatives said businesses can block their customers from using class actions. The court said the federal arbitration law trumps state laws that invalidate contracts banning class actions.

  • Capital punishment: America's worst crime

    4/27/11

    The death penalty case of Mumia Abu-Jamal took a surprising turn this week, as a federal appeals court declared, for the second time, that Abu-Jamal's death sentence was unconstitutional. The third US circuit court of appeals, in Philadelphia, found that the sentencing instructions the jury received, and the verdict form they had to use in the sentencing, were unclear. While the disputes surrounding Abu-Jamal's guilt or innocence were not addressed, the case highlights inherent problems with the death penalty and the criminal justice system, especially the role played by race.

  • Mumia Abu-Jamal’s 1982 Death Sentence is Again Declared Unconstitutional

    4/26/11

    (New York, NY) --The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has unanimously declared that Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence is unconstitutional.  In today’s decision, the Court of Appeals reaffirmed its 2008 finding that Mr. Abu-Jamal’s sentencing jury was misled about the process for considering evidence supporting a life sentence.  The Court found that, in violation of the United States Supreme Court’s 1988 decision in Mills v.

  • Rights Groups Sue Louisiana over Voting Rights Violations

    4/20/11

    State Agencies Failed to Register Minority and Low-Income Voters under National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)

    (New Orleans, LA) --Today, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF), Project Vote, and New Orleans attorney Ronald Wilson filed a complaint in federal court on behalf of the state conference of the NAACP and several private individuals, alleging that Louisiana is disenfranchising minority and low-income voters by failing to offer them the opportunity to register to vote as required by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).