Mumia Abu-Jamal - no new trial says SCOUS

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by hapaboy, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Monday, April 06, 2009

    High court lets Abu-Jamal's conviction stand


    Death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal lost his bid for a new trial in the killing of a city police officer after the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not take up the case.

    Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and one-time radio reporter, had claimed prosecutors improperly excluded blacks from the jury that convicted him of murdering white Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.

    Abu-Jamal's attorney, Robert R. Bryan of San Francisco, called his client's trial "a mockery of justice" and said Monday he would seek a rehearing by the high court.

    But prosecutor Hugh Burns said that "for practical purposes, this was the last remotely realistic chance for getting a new trial."

    Abu-Jamal's death sentence remains in limbo. The Supreme Court has not yet acted on the state's request to reinstate his capital punishment, said Burns, chief of the appeals unit for the Philadelphia district attorney's office.

    A Philadelphia jury convicted Abu-Jamal in 1982.

    The 25-year-old patrolman had pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother on a darkened downtown street. Prosecutors say Abu-Jamal saw the traffic stop and shot Faulkner, who managed to shoot back. A wounded Abu-Jamal, his own gun lying nearby, was still at the scene when police arrived. Authorities considered the evidence against him overwhelming.

    In March 2008, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld Abu-Jamal's conviction but ruled his death sentence invalid. The appeals court found the jury was given flawed instructions during the penalty phase of his trial.

    A new death penalty hearing would give jurors the option of sentencing Abu-Jamal to life in prison.

    Since Abu-Jamal's conviction, activists in the United States and Europe have rallied in support of his claims that he was the victim of a racist justice system. Abu-Jamal, 54, has kept his case in the spotlight through books and radio broadcasts.

    Faulkner's widow, Maureen, has also written a book and done numerous media interviews to tell her side of the story.

    Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham issued a statement Monday saying she is gratified by the ruling.

    "It is a pity that Maureen Faulkner had to go through the last 26 years to hear what she knew from the beginning: that (Abu-Jamal) murdered her husband, Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, in cold blood," Abraham said.

    The case is Abu-Jamal v. Beard, 08-8483.
  2. Eight


    Does this form of punishment we have serve up people as bad examples? That's the point of punishment. Use a guilty guy as a signal to fools that would follow in his footsteps that it's verboten..

    Maybe it does really, many countries have executions within a month of the end of the trial, I wonder if that is a stronger message or a weaker one?

    If a guy is on death row for decades he's just another animal in a cage, I think that's a stronger message than a public hanging, I could go with either really...

    I'd say don't let these guys in prison publish anything, they sit in there and write a book putting "the system" on trial when they are the guilty parties...
  3. [​IMG]

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Debra J. Saunders

    Who Wants To Free Mumia Now?

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal seeking a new trial for death-row inmate and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 shooting of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Earlier, a lower court rescinded Abu-Jamal's death penalty, which prosecutors have asked to be reinstated. Meanwhile, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, last week's ruling "virtually guarantees that the internationally known death-row inmate will never be freed."

    Perhaps there were tears shed in Paris, where he is an honorary citizen and where the suburb of St. Denis named a one-way street "Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal" in 2006. But I see it as a sign of healthy change that in America the ruling went largely unprotested.

    Call it progress. Being convicted for killing a police officer has lost the cachet it once had for the far left -- especially since Oakland just buried slain police officers Sgts. Mark Dunakin, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai, and Officer John Hege.

    Consider that Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, introduced a House resolution honoring the four Oakland officers. She once signed a letter against Abu-Jamal's execution. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution naming a day in Abu-Jamal's honor. Ditto the European Parliament. The anti-Iraq war group Not in Our Name proudly advertised Abu-Jamal's endorsement as one of its celebrity signatories -- unbothered by the prospect of dubbing a cop-killer as a committed peacenik. Writer Alice Walker likened Abu-Jamal to South African leader Nelson Mandela.

    Oakland schools scheduled a Mumia teach-in for January 1999 -- although it was mostly derailed after a sniper shot Oakland officer James Williams Jr., whose funeral was held on the same day. The teach-in lesson plan had referred to Abu-Jamal not as a cop killer, but as a "political prisoner."

    Be it noted, the letter signed by Lee and others argued against Abu-Jamal's execution because "he well may be innocent." The usual Hollywood stars -- Ed Asner, Mike Farrell -- were happy to impugn the motives and behavior of Philly police and prosecutors. Devotees desperately clung to the notion that Abu-Jamal, formerly Wesley Cook, was a victim of racism. Indeed, they so wanted to believe that Abu-Jamal was unfairly convicted that they overlooked the gratuitous execution of Faulkner.

    But the evidence was overwhelming. A jury -- and not all the members were white, as it included two African-Americans -- convicted Abu-Jamal and sentenced him to death.

    After police pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, a battle followed. Faulkner was shot five times, once between the eyes. Authorities found Abu-Jamal near the mortally wounded Faulkner because he could not run away, as his brother did; Faulkner had shot Abu-Jamal in the chest. Also, four eyewitnesses identified Abu-Jamal. Two witnesses heard Abu-Jamal admit to shooting Faulkner and that he hoped Faulkner dies.

    What is more, Abu-Jamal has never explicitly stated that he did not shoot Faulkner. He did not testify at his own trial before his conviction. He served as his own lawyer -- with professional backup counsel -- yet failed to produce his brother as a witness. Guilty.

    But he knows how to play to a certain crowd swayed more by race-laden rhetoric than fact. So from death row, he keeps cranking out books, radio commentaries and self-congratulatory hype about how the racist system put him in prison. As in his latest self-homage, "This is the story of law learned, not in the ivory towers of multibillion-dollar endowed universities (but) in the bowels of the slave-ship, in the hidden, dank dungeons of America."

    I suppose it is possible that if the Supreme Court reinstates Abu-Jamal's justly deserved death sentence, apologists will again clamor for TV time to rail against the injustice of Abu-Jamal's conviction. But if his followers really believe he is innocent, they should remain committed to the cause, whether he faces execution or not.

    Their rallying cry is, after all, "Free Mumia." I would like to think that the Hollywood and Bay Area left have become wiser and now understand that the murder of a cop is not justifiable and cannot be overlooked because good liberals are too busy being righteous and denouncing the racist criminal justice system. Sure, there were a few left-wing loons who lionized Oakland cop-killer Lovelle Mixon, but local politicians knew which funeral to attend and whom not to defend.

    Maybe the difference is that Dunakin, Romans, Sakai and Hege fell close to home.
  4. Good.

    Death to Cop Killers.

  5. only allah knows what happened
  6. And, apparently, a couple of witnesses too...