[sixties-l] Al-Amin case juror satisfied justice was done (fwd)

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Tue Mar 19 2002 - 18:23:10 EST

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    Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 10:09:17 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Al-Amin case juror satisfied justice was done

    Al-Amin case juror satisfied justice was done

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer

    It was a horrible, tear-inducing experience, but one
    juror said she is confident justice was served when she
    voted to convict Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin for murdering a
    Fulton County sheriff's deputy and wounding another.

    "The defense case did not have any meat," said the
    Hispanic female juror, who would only identify herself
    by her juror number, 134. "Unless you were very biased,
    you could never believe the conspiracy theory. The jury
    went in with an open mind and was very methodical. The
    conspiracy theory just defied logic."

    Al-Amin, the former 1960s militant H. Rap Brown, was
    sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole for
    killing the deputy. The defense argued Al-Amin was not
    the shooter and was framed by conspiring government
    agencies that have harassed him because of his radical

    During the trial, many wondered whether the jury --
    consisting of nine blacks, two whites and a Hispanic --
    would convict a figure seen as a hero by many in the
    black community. Defense attorney Tony Axam alluded to
    this in his closing argument when he repeatedly told
    jurors their verdict would be based primarily on their
    background and where they were raised.

    "It was interesting that he said that. That was very
    wrong," said the juror, who described herself as Puerto
    Rican, in her early 30s and a project manager at
    software company. "We made our decision based on the
    evidence presented, and the more I think about it, the
    more confident I am in the decision."

    When the jury began to decide Al-Amin's guilt or
    innocence, a few jurors were not convinced he was
    guilty, the juror said. After 10 hours of painstakingly
    combing through their notes and trial documents,
    everybody was in agreement, the juror said. But still,
    after the guilty verdict was read to the stunned
    courtroom, some jurors cried.

    "It is not an easy task to sit on a jury, and none of us
    would like to do it again," said the juror. "Many in the
    jury were crying after the sentencing, but I was
    confident that [Al-Amin] put himself in this position."

    Despite the verdict, the fight over the facts of the
    case continues. Jack Martin, one of Al-Amin's defense
    attorneys, said he would appeal the verdict, and he has
    10 days to file for a new trial.

    Ed Brown, Al-Amin's older brother, said Al-Amin was
    eating dinner at the Red Lobster on Old National Highway
    at the time of the shooting. But no witnesses to this
    dinner engagement were called by the defense during the

    "The verdict was not what we wanted. But at least my
    brother is alive," said Brown. "That gives a chance to
    keep fighting for him. And we will fight in the courts
    and fight in the streets. This is not the last they have
    seen of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin."

    A cadre of Al-Amin supporters hit the streets Thursday
    outside the Fulton County courthouse. Some who had
    watched much of the four- week trial voiced in graphic
    and racial terms their displeasure with the verdict.
    Some signs were aimed at Fulton County Judge Stephanie
    Manis, others at the predominantly black jury, painting
    them in a derogatory light.

    This was in stark contrast to a conciliatory statement
    made by a member of Al-Amin's mosque.

    "We do not agree that justice has been served," said
    Nadim Ali of Al-Amin's Community Mosque of Atlanta in
    West End.

    Ali called the conviction "unjust" but offered "our
    condolences to all of the families that have been
    affected by these tragic occurrences."

    Family members of slain Deputy Ricky Kinchen said they
    would hold a small memorial service Sunday in Tifton.
    Sunday will mark the two-year anniversary of his
    brother's death, said David Kinchen, 38. He said the
    verdict has helped the family move on.

    Al-Amin has been transported to the Georgia Diagnostic
    and Classification Prison in Jackson. Al-Amin will
    undergo three to four months of tests to determine his
    physical and mental health as well as the security risk
    he poses, said Mike Light, a spokesman for the Georgia
    Department of Corrections.

    Once that testing is completed, "due to the nature of
    his offense, he will be in a high-security facility,"
    Light said. "We just can't say which one at this point."

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