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Fulton County, Ga., Superior Court Judge Stephanie B. Manis said she would revisit a defense motion to bar the state from introducing excerpts from Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin’s published works during the penalty phase of trial, should he be convicted. The state had indicated it might use portions of Al-Amin’s books “Die N—-r Die” (1969), and “Revolution by the Book” (1994) if the defense sought to portray Al-Amin as a peace-loving member of the political mainstream during any possible mitigation in the sentencing phase of the trial. Al-Amin’s attorney John R. Martin said the possible use of the material is “very troubling.” He told the judge that using the books would make Al-Amin’s political and religious beliefs an issue. Those ideas, he said, might seem “somewhat radical” when taken out of context. If the state wants to use those books, he said, it should have to inform the defense which passages it wants to use so the court can decide whether the information has any business in evidence. Martin said that if the state intends to introduce excerpts from Al-Amin’s work, he will have to call experts to testify about the socio-political context of the times in which his client wrote those statements. ‘A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE’ “This is a very serious issue to us,” he said, adding that he’s worried that Al-Amin’s “political ideas … may become part of the state’s case for death.” Senior Assistant District Attorney Anna E. Green responded that the defense surely has some idea about the political and religious ideas Al-Amin’s published work contains. However, she said, the state would use excerpts from the book only if it needed to do so to counter the defense’s evidence on Al-Amin’s good character. “We don’t know how these writings may become relevant at trial,” she said. But Senior Assistant District Attorney Robert C. McBurney said there might be useful information in those works, and the material should be fair game for prosecutors at trial. “Obviously there’s something of great concern to Mr. Martin or this issue wouldn’t have come up,” he said. The judge remarked that it seemed Martin was asking the state to tell him how it intends to rebut evidence he isn’t going to tell them he’s going to present. Manis said she would read the books and make them part of the record in the case. However, she asked prosecutors not to introduce anything from the books until she has ruled on the defense motion.

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