(ATLANTA, GA – 5/24/23) – The Georgia chapter and national office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA/CAIR) today joined 28 other American Muslim organizations in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to transfer Imam Jamil Al-Amin (formerly known as H. Rap Brown) from federal custody in Arizona back to state custody in Georgia so that he can fully participate in an ongoing review of his wrongful conviction by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit.
In a letter sent to the DOJ and the Bureau of Prisons, local and national American Muslim organizations also noted that the person who confessed to committing the crimes for which Imam Al-Amin was convicted, federal inmate Otis Jackson (also known as James Santos) has provided consistent and credible confessions under oath.
The letter was mailed on Monday, May 22 to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant U.S. Attorney Civil Division for the District of Arizona Michael L. Linton. Muslim groups are requesting Imam Al-Amin be either transferred into the custody of the State of Georgia or, alternatively, to a federal facility located in or near Atlanta.
In a statement, CAIR said:
“Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, has spent decades in prison for a crime he did not commit. In fact, the real perpetrator has repeatedly and credibly confessed.
“Imam Jamil is a civil rights leader who inspired countless Black Americans to embrace activism, accept Islam, and improve their communities, including in Atlanta, where the imam’s efforts cleared several city blocks of real criminals, creating a safe space for families and children.”
“We call on the Justice Department to transfer Imam Al-Amin back to state custody in the State of Georgia so he can easily and fully participate in the Fulton County District Attorney’s ongoing review of his wrongful conviction.”
CLICK HERE: READ THE LETTER
BACKGROUND ON IMAM JAMIL AL-AMIN, COALITION LETTER REQUESTS:
Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, is a renowned civil rights leader who has unjustly spent decades behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis has directed her office’s Conviction Integrity Unit to re-examine Imam Al-Amin’s 2002 convictions, taking into account federal inmate Otis Jackson’s confession of the crime Imam Al-Amin was convicted for.
One of the key reasons for the organizations’ request for transfer is the significant geographical distance between Imam Al-Amin’s current incarceration facility in Tucson, Arizona, and his home and legal support network in Atlanta, Georgia.
With the Fulton County District Attorney’s office actively reviewing the case, relocating Imam Al-Amin to a prison closer to Atlanta would enhance communication between all parties involved in the review process. Furthermore, Imam Al-Amin’s family has faced significant challenges in visiting him due to the vast distance, exacerbated by the difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter emphasizes that the transfer aligns with federal law, specifically 18 USC Section 3621 (b), which requires the Bureau of Prisons to designate inmates to facilities as close as practicable to their primary residence, within 500 driving miles if possible.
Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s wrongful imprisonment has persisted despite credible confessions from Otis Jackson and extensive evidence indicating his innocence. Notably, during a December 2022 interview conducted by Imam Al-Amin’s legal team and attorney Aimee Maxwell of the Fulton County D.A. Conviction Integrity Unit, Jackson revealed bullet wounds on his arm, providing further corroboration of his admission that he was shot while exchanging fire with Fulton County Sheriff’s deputies.
Conversely, Imam Al-Amin was arrested without any bullet wounds, signs of injury, or evidence placing him at the crime scene. In addition to the substantial evidence of his innocence, serious constitutional violations occurred during the initial trial.
The transfer request also highlights the impact of the distance on the ongoing legal case, as Imam Al-Amin’s legal team, based in Atlanta, faces significant obstacles in meeting regularly with their client. Delays and difficulties in conducting hearings, including failed video conferencing attempts, have hampered the legal proceedings, hindering the pursuit of justice and exoneration.
Moreover, Imam Al-Amin’s health is a growing concern, as the 79-year-old suffers from various medical ailments that require timely and adequate attention.
USP Tucson has demonstrated an intentional failure to provide necessary medical care, including cataract surgery, leaving him unnecessarily blind for an extended period. Given his medical conditions and the potential final years of his life, it is imperative that Imam Al-Amin be closer to his family and receive the medical care he urgently needs.
The 30 state and national Muslim organizations emphasized in their letter the urgency of transferring Imam Jamil Al-Amin to a facility near Atlanta or returning him to state custody, allowing him to be closer to his family and providing a medium security institution suitable for his security designation.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
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