Who Is Mumia?
Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning Pennsylvania journalist who exposed police violence against minority communities. On death row since 1982, he was wrongfully sentenced for the shooting of a police officer. New evidence, including the recantation of a key eyewitness, new ballistic and forensic evidence and a confession from Arnold Beverly (one of the two killers of Officer Faulkner) points to his innocence! Mumia had no criminal record.
For the last 23 years, Abu-Jamal has been locked up 23 hours a day, denied contact visits with his family, had his confidential legal mail illegally opened by prison authorities, and put into punitive detention for writing his first of three books while in prison, Live From Death Row.
His case is currently on appeal before the Federal District Court in Philadelphia. Mumia’s fight for a new trial has won the support of tens of thousands around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, The European Parliament, Alice Walker, Paul Newman, Maya Angelou, Sister Helen Prejean, Danny Glover, Rage Against The Machine, the Detroit and San Francisco City Councils, Amnesty International, and many others. Mumia Abu-Jamal’s fate rests with all those people who believe in every person’s right to justice and a fair trial.
“I remain innocent. A court cannot make an innocent man guilty. Any ruling founded on injustice is not justice. The righteous fight for life, liberty, and for justice can only continue.” Mumia Abu-Jamal , Oct. 31, 1998
Facts about Mumia’s 1982 trial:
* The policeman was killed with a 44 caliber gun. Abu-Jamal’s gun which he was licensed to carry as a night-time taxi driver, was a 38 caliber.
* The police never tested Abu-Jamal’s gun to see if it had been recently fired. They never tested his hands to see if he had fired a gun. They have never shown Abu-Jamal ‘s gun to be the fatal weapon.
* No police officers present at Abu-Jamal’s arrest claimed to have heard Jamal’s “confession” until two months after it allegedly occurred. This was right after Abu-Jamal had filed police brutality charges.
* Abu-Jamal’s doctor said that Abu-Jamal, who was unconscious, said nothing. He reported that a nurse found police with loaded guns pointed at Mumia as he lay unconscious in his hospital bed.
* William Singletary, a Vietnam veteran and local businessman, saw the whole incident and has testified that Abu-Jamal was not the shooter. However, the police forced him to change his story and intimidated him into leaving Philadelphia.
* Other key witnesses, such as Veronica Jones — who now testifies in support of Abu-Jamal, were harassed into giving false testimony. Two prosecution witnesses were given special favors, including exemption from criminal prosecution, for their testimony.
Elements in an unfair trial:
* The Judge, Albert Sabo, sentenced more people to death than any other sitting judge in the US.
* The public defender didn’t interview a single witness in preparation for the trial, and didn’t have funds for defending a capital case.
* The prosecutor removed 11 qualified African Americans from the jury. He also argued for the death penalty because of Mumia’s membership in the Black Panther Party, a practice later condemned as unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.
* The racial bias of Philadelphia’s courts has resulted in 120 people on death row, all but 13 non-white.
For current information, check out Free Mumia.