From Philladelphia Independent Media Center
On Thursday, May 17th, oral arguments will be heard in federal court on what could be the last appeal of death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, known internationally as the “Voice of the Voiceless.” Many events are planned in Philadelphia and around the world in solidarity. On Wednesday, May 16, Educators for Mumia [held] a teach-in on the case. (Read Mark Lewis Taylor’s essay about organizing this event). Later that evening, Immortal Technique is hosting a fundraising concert at the Rotunda. On Thursday, the day of the oral arguments, a solidarity protest will gather at 6th and Market at 8:30am. Several contingents are organizing, including Rainbow Flags for Mumia. And on Friday, German author Michael Schiffmann will speak at the A-Space about Mumia’s case.UPDATE: Read case background, and view crime scene photos never published before in the United States from abu-jamal-news.com. Also: read veteran Philadelphia journalist Linn Washington, Jr’s commentary on the May 17 hearing — LW has been covering the Abu-Jamal case since the morning of Dec.8, 1981. Amy Goodman interviews LW | Hans Bennett interviews LW
More Info: PSAs from Prison Radio | Indybay Roundup of SF Actions | Portland IMC Roundup | Apr24: Mumia’s Birthday Celebration | See more past coverage and background links below…
World-renowned black death-row prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial that Amnesty International has deemed unfair (see report). Supported internationally by a variety of activists, workers, and educators, his books and radio essays challenging injustice everywhere have earned the former Black Panther the nickname “The Voice of the Voiceless.”
His court case has now hit the fast track with oral arguments beginning [today]. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is considering four issues in regards to granting Abu-Jamal a new trial. Supported by the NAACP, NLG, UK Lawyers, and The German Parliament, Philly Journalists Linn Washington and Dave Lindorff have optimistically written of Abu-Jamal’s chances for a new trial.
In April, longtime French support (2005 photos) continued when the Paris suburb of St. Denis named a major street after Mumia (see video) and was quickly condemned with government resolutions in the US (pdf booklet), while local media continued a long history of bias.
Nadir: I went to some of the sites you posted, but they didn’t convince me that this guy is innocent (nor has any information convinced me of his guilt). You list many articles, and it is a chore to figure out which ones address the voracity of this case. Can you recommend a few that make the case for his innocence? And I’m curious for your reaction to the wikipedia description.
Mumia’s innocence or guilt is definitely unclear. There were many irregularities in his trial with witness intimidation, changes in testimony and many other problems.
A court stenographer came forward years later to say she heard the judge at Mumia’s trial say, “Yeah, and IÃ¢Â€Â™m going to help them fry the n****r.” Later another man confessed to killing Daniel Faulkner, but the courts refuse to allow the confession to be admitted as evidence.
The main fight is for him to receive a new trial. The state has fought this at every turn.
This article offers a pretty clear account, though it is solidly pro-Mumia. Most observers are pro-Mumia when examining the facts, and at least believe that a new trial could help clear up some of the problems of the first trial. The court and police department have exhibited a bias against Mumia since before the shooting.
OK, that’s the impression I have so far from reading some of your articles: innocence is not clear-cut, but problems with the trial are clear cut enough to warrant calls for a new trial.
I think that those Duke boys should demonstrate their gratitude to the universe by looking into as many cases like this as possible, with their personal knowledge of how police and prosecutors nail innocent people, and then donate their celebrity to as many people as possible whom they deem unjustly prosecuted. I think that their defense team should play a role in a formal effort along these lines. This would be a very effective mechanism for both freeing some innocent people, and for exposing to the general population some much needed reforms for police and prosecutors.
“I think that those Duke boys should demonstrate their gratitude to the universe by looking into as many cases like this as possible, with their personal knowledge of how police and prosecutors nail innocent people, and then donate their celebrity to as many people as possible whom they deem unjustly prosecuted.”
Yeah. Hold your breath and wait on that to happen…
This is the sort of thing that they promised to do at their exoneration press conference.
…holding my breath…