October 7, 2015
Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin: A Legal Update
Imam Jamil Al-Amin continues to appeal his Georgia conviction as he maintains his innocence of the murder of two Fulton County sheriff deputies. His federal habeas corpus filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia raises numerous grounds for reversal of the conviction and sentence, including ineffective assistance of trial counsel, the failure to investigate the confession of an individual who continues to assert his guilt since March 2000, misidentification and FBI misconduct. In addition to addressing discrepancies, the habeas challenges constitutional errors that occurred during the Georgia trial that resulted Imam Jamil Al-Amin's conviction.
In March 2013, Karima Al-Amin, attorney and wife of Imam Jamil Al-Amin, submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to produce documents on her husband. On June 27, 2013, the FBI responded that it had identified and would produce 21,649 pages of records from the more than 44,000 pages it held on Imam Jamil. Finally, on August 20, 2014, the FBI released the first of 44 CD's.
On September 24, 2015, two days after the close of discovery in the federal habeas case, the FBI forwarded the 4th Interim CD release. After a careful review, the attorneys found several documents supporting Imam Jamil's innocence that were not produced before trial. Of significance is one document, a BOLO ("be on the lookout") bulletin issued to all law enforcement agencies that day after the March 16, 2000 incident that specifically described the height and weight of the shooter as being within the range of 5'8- 5'9", and 150-160 lbs, on foot and wearing a black coat. This description is inconsistent with Imam Jamil's body type-6'5 and 185-190 lbs.-and consistent with the body type of the confessor.
Additionally, Imam Jamil produced two witnesses at trial, who were not interviewed at the time the BOLO bulletin issued, and who gave the same description of the assailant. Their testimony at trial was discounted, and this document is one of perhaps many that could have used to exonerate Imam Jamil, if released to hsi defense counsel.
On October 6, 2015, the newly-disclosed FOIA documents were presented to the Court as a supplement to the habeas. As a result, the legal fight to exonerate Imam Jamil continues in the U.S. District for the Northern District of Georgia.