Demand a new fair trial for Imam Jamil Al-Amin

IHRC urges campaigners to write to Fulton County District Attorney-Elect Fani Willis to start a new trial for Jamil Al-Amin.

Background 

Action Required

Model Template

Background

Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the 76-year-old Muslim minister, has been serving a life term without parole since he was convicted on the 16th of March 2000 for allegedly shooting of two Fulton County deputies in Georgia, resulting in the death of one.  He was formerly known as H. Rap Brown, a prominent Black liberation activist of the 1960s and 1970s.  

He served as chair of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), a youth-led organisation that organised grassroots communities in the rural South to fight for voting rights and against Jim Crow segregation. Brown was surveilled continuously by federal agents, received death threats from the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists, and was harassed and arrested by local police forces.

He served five years in a New York prison, where he converted to Islam, taking the name Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. Following his release, he settled in Atlanta, established a mosque in the West End of the city, and organised to provide safety and security to his community.

According to the reports, on the 29th of June 2000 parolee Otis Jackson––who matched eyewitness descriptions of the shooter–– allegedly confessed to the shootings to FBI agent Devon Mahoney. However, this and other supporting evidence was suppressed during Imam Jamil’s trial, which was conducted in an adverse climate that investigative reporter Hamzah Raza described as “In the midst of government surveillance on civil rights leaders and post 9/11 Islamophobia. It is also important to note that Al-Amin went to trial in March of 2002, less than six months after 9/11. At a time when hatred against Muslims in the United States was at an all-time high.”

Among his lawyers’ arguments are that Al-Amin was prevented from presenting specific evidence during his initial trial, which they say would have proven his innocence. The alleged murder weapon was not found near the scene of the shooting––Jamil’s grocery store––nor on him when he was arrested in Alabama four days later, yet prosecutors still found a way to tie him to it.

There have been recent efforts initiated by Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s defence team and family to start a new fair trial to prove his innocence.  More information about Imam Jamil can be found here.

Action required

Write to the Fulton County District Attorney-Elect Fani Willis at faniwillisfordistrictattorney@faniwillis.com  to start a new trial for Jamil Al-Amin

Model Template

[Your name]

[Your address]

[Date]

For the attention of District Attorney-Elect Fani Willis

Dear District Attorney Fani Willis,

Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the 76-year-old Muslim minister, has been serving a life term without parole since 2000. He was a prominent black rights activist and a recognised leader in the Muslim community. Given the anti-black and anti-Muslim climate in the US, I believe Imam Jamil was deprived of a fair trial. The investigative reporter Hamzah Raza described as “in the midst of government surveillance on civil rights leaders and post 9/11 Islamophobia. It is also important to note that Al-Amin went to trial in March of 2002, less than six months after 9/11. At a time when hatred against Muslims in the United States was at an all-time high.”

According to the reports, on the 29th of June 2000 parolee Otis Jackson––who matched eyewitness descriptions of the shooter–– allegedly confessed to the shootings to FBI agent Devon Mahoney. However, this and other supporting evidence was suppressed during Imam Jamil’s trial.

Among his lawyers’ arguments are that Imam Jamil was prevented from presenting specific evidence during his initial trial, which they say would have proven his innocence. The alleged murder weapon was not found near the scene of the shooting––Jamil’s grocery store––nor on him when he was arrested in Alabama four days later, yet prosecutors still found a way to tie him to it.

I want remind you your election declaration that “The District Attorney’s job is to make sure justice is done, not just convict people. That’s why, as District Attorney, I will always consider information that calls into question past convictions.” and urge you to reopen Imam Jamil’s case immediately to make sure Imam Jamil tried fairly.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

Your name