- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2002

ATLANTA (AP) A jury yesterday rejected the prosecution's call for a death sentence, sentencing former '60s radical H. Rap Brown to life in prison for killing a sheriff's deputy in a shootout two years ago.
The jury deliberated for about five hours before deciding to spare the life of the Muslim cleric now called Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. He will not have a chance for parole.
Al-Amin, once one of America's most notorious radical leaders, showed no emotion when the sentence was read.
He was convicted Saturday of gunning down Deputy Ricky Kinchen, who was trying to serve him with an arrest warrant. Another deputy who was wounded in the attack survived and identified Al-Amin as the gunman.
Al-Amin leads one of the nation's largest black Muslim groups, the National Ummah, which has formed 36 mosques around the nation.
H. Rap Brown was a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which organized protests against segregation in the 1960s. In 1967, after Brown gave a speech in Cambridge, Md., blacks staged a riot that left two downtown blocks in ashes.
Brown was charged with inciting a riot, but in 1970, while awaiting trial, became a fugitive. Brown who once said, "Violence is American as cherry pie" was arrested after a 1971 robbery in New York City that ended in a shootout with police. Brown was sentenced to prison and, by the time of his parole in 1976, he had converted to Islam and changed his name to Al-Amin.
Prosecutors portrayed Al-Amin as a deliberate killer who deprived a family of a husband, son and father. Members of Deputy Kinchen's family testified about their difficulty recovering from his death.
The surviving deputy, Aldranon English, testified that Al-Amin pulled out an assault rifle and opened fire when he and Mr. Kinchen tried to serve him with a warrant.
Al-Amin then produced a 9mm handgun and shot Kinchen three times as he lay bleeding in the street. Deputy English picked Al-Amin out of a photo lineup the next day.
Al-Amin was arrested in White Hall, Ala., four days after the shootings. The .223-caliber Ruger assault rifle and Browning handgun were recovered in the woods nearby.


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