This case truly stinks. Those of an open mind may care to read the background, which can easily be checked with the court records:
1. THE TRIAL Mumia was denied his constitutional right to represent himself in court and was removed from the courtroom. His court-appointed attorney hadnt interviewed one witness and informed the judge before trial that he was not prepared to proceed. The defense investigator quit before the trial and no ballistics expert or pathologist was hired because of insufficient defense funds.
In 1995, the news media exposed a festering Philadelphia police scandal: the framing-up of innocent people, corruption and police brutality. In all, 300 convictions were thrown out and many innocent victims set free. A videotape of Philadelphias District Attorney acknowledged that blacks have been routinely excluded from juries. In Mumias case 11 blacks were.
2. THE JUDGE Albert Sabo, a former member of the Fraternal Order of Police was forced into retirement,but not before he had sentenced twice as many people to death as any other sitting judge in the U. S. Six former Philadelphia prosecutors have
sworn in court documents that no accused could receive a fair trial in Judge Sabos court. Five of the seven judges on Pennsylvanias Supreme Court were supported by the Fraternal Order of Police which is waging a campaign to execute Mumia. How can he possibly get a fair trial?
3. THE FALSE WITNESSES Three key prosecution witnesses Veronica Jones, Cynthia White, and Robert Chobert all with criminal charges hanging over their heads, testified for the prosecution. For their cooperation, they were given special exemptions from criminal prosecutions. Later, Jones, while recanting her original false testimony in court, was immediately arrested on the witness stand on other charges.
4. THE TRUE WITNESSES Five witnesses, all from different vantage points, saw the real killer flee the scene while Mumia lay shot on the ground. Due to prosecutorial and/or police misconduct all but one failed to testify.
5. THE EVIDENCE An entry in the original coroners report that stated that a .44 caliber bullet killed the policeman is now considered a clerical error. Mumias gun, a .38 caliber pistol, could not have fired such a bullet. A medical examiner testified that the bullet was smashed, but a defense expert asserts that the bullet remained intact. A ballistics expert told the defense that switching bullets was done all the time.
6. THE CONFESSION Mumias supposed confession was first reported by police two months after the fact. The emergency room doctor said Mumia remained silent.
7. THE DEAD Policeman Faulkner. Also dead is the possible killer who had borrowed the drivers license found in the pocket of the dead policeman. He was arrested on other charges two months after the murder while in possession of a .22 caliber gun. He was found dead in 1985, coincidentally on the day the police bombed the black commune MOVE house, killing eleven including five children.
8. THE DEFENDANT: Mumia Abu-Jamal last year supported the NABET/CWA workers in their lockout by ABC-TV, refusing to give an interview to scabs during the dispute. He also endorsed the ILWUs Neptune Jade solidarity defense campaign from death row. He has been fighting for the oppressed since the age of 14 when he protested the racist presidential campaign of then-Alabama Governor George Wallace. A year later he joined the Black Panther Party and learned journalism. Mumia had no criminal record before his arrest for the killing of police officer Faulkner. While president of Philadelphias Association of Black Journalists, he received an award for his expose of police brutality.
9. THE FRAME-UP: Philadelphia Mayor and former Police Commissioner, Frank Rizzo, at a 1978 news conference following the death of a policeman, vowed to hold the new breed of journalist like Jamal responsible. The FBIs COINTELPRO anti terrorist program of the 70s targeted Black Panthers and other black militants for frame-ups and assassinations. Police recognized Mumia, wounded at the crime scene, where they beat him. The sham trial and subsequent rejected appeals make a mockery of justice.
10. Philadelphia courts have sentenced 126 people to death. All but 14 are people of color the highest racial disparity on death row in the nation. In an interview from death row a few years ago Mumia was asked about the fairness of capital punishment. He jokingly responded, Them that aint got the capital, get the punishment. When asked this year by The Dispatcher why the U.S. alone of the modern industrialized countries uses this barbaric practice, he pointed to the history of slavery, ... the American criminal (in)justice system is lineally descended from that horrific history. It taints the system, just like it taints consciousness. For the first time ever the human rights group Amnesty International placed the United States on its list of human rights violators along with Turkey, Algeria and Cambodia, because of police brutality, violations against imprisoned people and increased numbers of executions.
The judge in this case doesn't exactly seem like a shining example of US justice, to say the least:
[ 12-18-2001: Message edited by: Samantha Joanne Ollendale ]</p>