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