New Info Prompts Calls To Re-Open Murder Case Against Jamil Al-Amin, Formerly Known As H. RAP Brown

New Info Prompts Calls To Re-Open Murder Case Against Jamil Al-Amin, Formerly Known As H. RAP Brown

New info prompts renewed calls to re-open the murder case against civil rights activist Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown. Photo: Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, gestures to a well-wisher before opening arguments in his murder trial Feb. 19, 2002, in Atlanta. Al-Amin, who converted to Islam, was tried for murder and aggravated assault in the shooting death of a Fulton County deputy and the wounding of another. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Civil rights organizations are calling for the murder conviction of Iman Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, to be thrown out, claiming there is enough new evidence to grant him a new trial.

Brown was a civil rights activist, Black Panthers leader and at one point, the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee — the main channel of student commitment to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s.

In 2002, Al-Amin was convicted of murdering Georgia sheriffs deputy Ricky Kichens in Atlanta while they tried to arrest Al-Amin at his home in Georgia. 

The March 2000 confrontation led to a car-to-car shooting. Kichens died from his injuries.

The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Imam Jamil Action Network, and the Islamic Circle of North America, and other community advocates recently held a news conference challenging Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and his opponent, veteran attorney Fani Willis, to reopen the case under the newly formed Conviction Integrity Unit, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

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The organizations claim that someone else confessed to the crime. Otis Jackson, currently in a Florida prison, confessed to killing Kichens during an unrelated trial. His confession was videotaped. 

Al-Amin’s son, who is an attorney, says this latest plea differs from the one in April when the Supreme Court declined to hear the case. 

“A lot of the evidence we wanted to present, we are not allowed to present,” Kairi Al-Amin told Fox. “For instance, this confession. We knew about Otis Jackson before the initial trial. However, the prosecution told our defense attorneys that one, there was an ankle monitor that proved he could not have been there and two, that he was a little off mentally, so people wouldn’t believe what he said. Since then, we have hired a private investigator to check the ankle monitor and the ankle monitor was faulty. Secondly, he confessed on the stand in another trial, and before he did that he had to have a psychological exam and they deemed him not only competent but intelligent.”

Even former Atlanta mayor, U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young has asked District Attorney Howard to have the Conviction Integrity Unit look at Al-Amin’s case. 

“The District Attorney’s job is to make sure justice is done, not just convict people,” Willis told Fox. “That’s why, as District Attorney, I will always consider information that calls into question past convictions. If people have information that may indicate that this conviction was unjust, I will certainly provide them the opportunity to come forward and I will give the information full consideration. If I agree that the information calls into question to legitimacy of the conviction, I will reopen the case.”

In April, the Supreme Court turned down the appeal for a new trial after Al-Amin argued his constitutional rights were violated at trial.

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According to Al-Amin, a prosecutor violated his right not to testify by directly questioning him during closing arguments in a mock cross-examination, AP reported.

There’s a push for Al-Amin and all elderly Black political prisoners to receive an immediate compassionate release due to the pandemic.

Al Amin, 76, is reportedly suffering from multiple myeloma. 

Due to the lack of medical care in prison, all elderly and sick prisoners — especially political prisoners and U.S.-held prisoners of war — should be freed during this pandemic on compassionate release, Dr. James C. McIntosh wrote in Black Star News. McIntosh is the two-term past president of the Committee of Interns and Residents, the country’s largest union of interns, residents, and fellows.