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Thread: Seifullah Abdul-Salaam - Pennsylvania

  1. #11
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On June 26, 2014, Abdul-Salaam filed an appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir...ts/ca3/14-9001

  2. #12
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Fact's Avatar
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    Found this order from last week on PACER.

    "Appellant’s request for a certificate of appealability is granted, limited to the following claim: trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance during the penalty phase by failing to investigate and present mitigating evidence. In addition to any arguments the parties wish to present on this issue, the parties shall address in their briefs the standard of review applicable to the District Court’s decision that Appellant did not establish prejudice. See McBride v. Superintendent, SCI Houtzdale, 687 F.3d 92, 100 n.10 (3d Cir. 2012).

    Appellant’s request for a certificate of appealability is denied as to his claim of a denial of the right to due process based on the prosecution’s suppression of evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). For substantially the reasons stated by the District Court, Appellant has not shown that reasonable jurists would find its decision debatable. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). Appellant’s request for a certificate of appealability is also denied as to his claim of violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments based on the state court’s reliance on juvenile adjudications to support the aggravating factor set forth in 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. 9711(d)(9). To the extent Appellant argues that juvenile adjudications lack the reliability of a conviction, that argument was not sufficiently raised in District Court and is not properly before us. Appellant has not shown that reasonable jurists would find the District Court’s decision debatable based on his remaining arguments.

    By the Court,
    s/Michael A. Chagares
    Circuit Judge
    "

    The panel assigned to hear the case is the aforementioned Chagares (Bush), Greenaway (Obama), and Shwartz (Obama).

    I went to a case last month where Judge Greenaway and Judge Shwartz were on the panel and I found them to be very good. During the oral arguments for the Saranchak case, Judge Greenaway sat and watched the oral arguments and I sat next to him in the gallery. All three judges are former prosecutors.

  3. #13
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    On December 19, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the denial of relief from the lower court in Cumberland County.

    http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinio...h=%22Seifullah

  4. #14
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Life or death? Prosecutor exploring options in New Cumberland cop-killer case

    By Charles Thompson
    PennLive.com

    Seifullah Abdul-Salaam, who shot his way into the midstate's consciousness 24 years ago with the murder of a New Cumberland police officer, has won the right to a new sentencing hearing.

    The ruling by a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit does not overturn Abdul-Salaam's conviction for the August 1994 shooting death of Willis Cole.

    But it does, for the time being, take him off of Pennsylvania's death row.

    Cumberland County District Attorney Skip Ebert said Thursday the gravity of the situation - the shooting of a police officer who was responding to a crime - is self-evident to everyone in the law enforcement community.

    But before he makes any decisions about re-filing for the death sentence, Ebert said he needs time to review his options to appeal Thursday's ruling - one of which would be a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    He also wants to consult with the victims, including Cole's family.

    "I'm going to look at it very carefully," Ebert said Thursday.

    PennLive's attempts to reach Cole's widow, Kathy Cole Goodlin, were not successful for this story. Abdul-Salaam's attorney, capital case expert Michael Wiseman, also could not be reached.

    In a case that would shock the region's conscience, Abdul-Salaam and accomplice Lynwood Anderson walked into D&S Coins on 4th Street shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 19, 1994 and robbed owner Dale Rishal.

    Police responded to the scene arrested Anderson, but Addul-Salaam had escaped.

    Cole was in the process of handcuffing Anderson when Abdul-Salaam -- emerging from an alley between two buildings across the street - shot at Cole in an effort to spring his would-be getaway driver.

    Both robbers were re-captured within an hour, but Cole, a 30-year-old husband and father, died from his wounds.

    Abdul Salaam, now 47, is serving his term at State Correctional Institution Camp Hill. Thursday's ruling was his first win in a long string of appeals in state and federal courts, and it came in what was likely one of his last shots.

    News of the court's ruling brought a strong wave of reactions to some of those directly involved in the case.

    "I think the original sentence should stand, big-time," said Dale Rishel, the shop owner who was cutting tape from his ankles when he heard the fatal gun battle outside his store.

    "That was actually cold-blooded murder what he did to Willis Cole." Rishel said.

    The appeals court, however, found Abdul-Salaam's jury received what might have been a misleading glimpse into the defendant's abuse-filled childhood during the original sentencing hearing.

    Defense witnesses during the penalty phase of the trial testified Abdul-Salaam grew up in an abusive home and his father once hit him with a baseball bat.

    Trial attorney Spero Lappas - who called three witnesses at the time - should have more fully developed those mitigating factors, the judges stated in an opinion written by Judge Michael Chagares, including evidence that Abdul-Salaam was repeatedly beaten by a violent father.

    In a parade of 10 witnesses at a later post-conviction relief act hearing, the judges said, evidence emerged of severe physical abuse being a "dominant feature of Abdul-Salaam's childhood."

    "If this additional evidence had been presented to the jury," Chagares wrote, "it could have changed the picture of Abdul-Salaam's childhood from one that was abusive and poor in a general sense, with one or two more severe instances occurring over his entire lifetime, to one that appears to have been dominated by severe and pervasive violence at the hands of his father."

    That's key, the court noted, because under Pennsylvania's death penalty law, if only one juror finds that that mitigating circumstance outweighs the aggravating factors in the case, the death penalty could not be given.

    Abdul-Salaam must get that chance, Chagares ruled.

    He was joined by Judges Joseph Greenaway Jr. and Patty Shwartz

    https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/0...ller_wins.html
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  5. #15
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Judge takes convicted New Cumberland cop killer off death row at least temporarily

    By John Beauge
    Special to PennLive

    WILLIAMSPORT -- The Harrisburg man who killed a New Cumberland police officer in 1994 is off death row at least temporarily.

    U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones III on Tuesday vacated the death sentence of Seifullah Abdul-Salaam and gave the Cumberland County district attorney 120 days to schedule a new penalty hearing.

    If such a hearing is not held, Abdul-Salaam is to be resentenced in state court to life prison, the order states.

    Cumberland County District Attorney M.L. Ebert Jr. said he is reviewing the case file and has not made a decision on whether to schedule such a hearing.

    Jones' order follows last Thursday's directive by a three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals that found Abdul-Salaam had ineffective counsel during the penalty phase of his 1995 murder trial.

    It found defense attorney Spero Lappas failed to present witnesses that could have more fully detailed the abuse Abdul-Salaam suffered at home growing up.

    Not at issue is Abdul-Salaam's first-degree murder conviction which, like his sentence, had been affirmed by state and federal courts.

    Abdul-Salaam and Scott Anderson robbed a New Cumberland coin shop owner on Aug. 19, 1994, and bound and assaulted him. Officer Willis Cole was shot and killed by Abdul-Salaam when he tried to take Anderson into custody.

    Anderson was convicted and is serving a life prison term.

    https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/0..._new_cumb.html
    Dp for me. Thanks. God bless America.

  6. #16
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    DA again seeks death penalty against convicted cop killer granted new sentencing hearing

    A man sentenced to death for killing a police officer in Cumberland County more than two decades ago will get a new sentence. And the district attorney just announced he's again seeking the death penalty.

    District Attorney Skip Ebert said he believes all the requirements are there to get a second death sentence against Seifullah Abdul-Salaam.

    Abdul-Salaam was convicted of fatally shooting New Cumberland police officer Willis Cole during a robbery at a coin shop in August 1994.

    Abdul-Salaam has been appealing his sentence since his conviction, and a federal court ruled he can get a new sentencing hearing.

    Ebert said he's been in consultation with Cole's family. And along with the original evidence, Ebert decided to pursue the death penalty again, even though an execution hasn't been carried out in Pennsylvania in nearly 20 years.

    "The position on the death penalty is something that the Legislature has to address," Ebert said. "If they abolish it, that's fine. Right now, the law that I was sworn to uphold says there shall be the possibility of the death penalty in situations such as this."

    Abdul-Salaam had wanted to present evidence of his violent upbringing at his original sentencing hearing, but his attorney at the time didn't do that. That evidence may be presented at the new hearing.

    https://www.wgal.com/article/da-agai...aring/22812586
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  7. #17
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Abdul-Salaam's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District
    Case Numbers: (737 CAP)
    Decision Date: December 19, 2017
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  8. #18
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Abdul-Salaam's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    Case Numbers: (14-9001)
    Decision Date: July 12, 2018

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/18-6872.html

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