In a packed courtroom on Aug. 30 at the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center before Judge Leon Tucker, Mr. Abu Jamal’s attorney Judith Ritter successfully argued that a May 5, 1988, letter from the office of then-District Attorney Ron Castille to a state representative discussing death penalty cases was important. Later, as a state Supreme Court justice, Mr. Castille was personally involved in the case.
He refused to disqualify himself when Mr. Jamal’s case came before the high court despite having been the Philadelphia district attorney during prior appeals. The United States Supreme Court ruled such conduct was unconstitutional.
Judge Tucker extended the period of discovery to allow the search for more evidence that may link Justice Castille to the new document. The new court date for arguments is scheduled for Oct. 29