This from the Chicago Tribune.... (The author sounds like a nutt, however what's new w/racist) ------------------------------------------------- http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2008/03/mumia-abu-jamal.html ------------------------------------------------- Mumia Abu-Jamal revisited THE NEWS: Court: Abu-Jamal Deserves New Hearing Associated Press, today PHILADELPHIA - Former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal cannot be executed for murdering a Philadelphia police officer unless a new penalty hearing is held, a federal appeals court said Thursday. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Abu-Jamal's conviction but said he should get a new sentencing hearing because of flawed jury instructions..... MY VIEW: In 2000, preparing to cover the GOP convention in Philadelphia, I decided to take a close look at a controversial Philadelphia murder conviction that was sure to be the subject of street protests -- the conviction of Mumia Abu-Jamal for the 1981 murder of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Now many of you readers know me -- I'm a skeptic and a critic of the justice system. But I came away from many days of research profoundly unconvinced by the argument by activists that Abu-Jamal was framed (see below). Now (October 2007, when this item was first published) comes a new book, "Murdered by Mumia," an account co-authored by Faulkner's widow that dissects the thin case for Abu-Jamal's innocence. Here is one response to the book from "Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal and here is another from Abu-Jamal News. Cause celebre's silence speaks volumes on killing Eric Zorn column,.July 31, 2000 PHILADELPHIA--A world-famous celebrity will not be attending festivities held in his honor this week here in his hometown. Mumia Abu-Jamal has other obligations--he's on Death Row in a Pennsylvania prison and can't get away. So he won't be able to hear the car horns trumpeting in the "Honk for Mumia" campaign or see the placards bearing his name and likeness at numerous "Crashing the Executioners' Ball" rallies against the death penalty Tuesday, the day protesters have called for "direct action against the 'criminal injustice system.'" The Chicago Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, set to leave Monday afternoon for an all-night bus ride to the Republican National Convention, will demonstrate without him. But more notable than Abu-Jamal's absence will be his silence. Barring a major surprise, Abu-Jamal will not seize perhaps his biggest moment on the national stage to release a statement giving his version of what happened in Central Philadelphia on the morning of Dec. 9, 1981. For nearly 19 years, during which time he has gone from being a local cabdriver and African-American political activist who'd lost his job as a radio journalist to being an international, first-name-only celebrity and charismatic author, Abu-Jamal has never explained how it was he ended up collapsed on a curb badly wounded by a bullet from the gun of a police officer who lay dead several feet away. The officer, Daniel Faulkner, had been shot in the back and the face, and recovered bullet fragments were consistent with a handgun registered to Abu-Jamal found nearby containing five spent casings. Shortly before 4 a.m., Faulkner had pulled over a cab driven by Abu-Jamal's brother, William Cook, for going the wrong way on a one-way street. Cook began fighting with Faulkner, at which point Abu-Jamal ran onto the scene, his gun unholstered. Abu-Jamal's defenders argue that someone else shot Faulkner and fled. They say inconsistencies and improvements in witness accounts prove these witnesses were coached, bribed or coerced into telling lies that incriminated Abu-Jamal, whose criminal record was otherwise clean. What did this alleged phantom killer look like? Where did he come from? What did he do and say? In which direction did he run? Abu-Jamal and his brother, who has never testified at the trial or in appellate proceedings--won't say. "Mumia must be very careful about the context in which he makes any disclosures," explained Princeton Theological Seminary professor Mark Taylor, the founder of Academics for Mumia Abu-Jamal and a scheduled speaker at a rally Tuesday. "It's a risk-laden venture." Why? Well, as counter-demonstrators plan to argue, the evidence is strong that Abu-Jamal actually did shoot and kill Faulkner when he saw him fighting with his brother (explore the vast Web resources exploring all sides of this matter; you'll come to agree). He unwisely tried to win a full acquittal at trial rather than admitting to a heat-of-passion slaying that might have resulted in a manslaughter conviction. But his whole legal strategy--not to mention his considerable renown--is now based on him being an utterly innocent victim of racist conspiracy. The only way to sort out all the claims and counterclaims, say his supporters, is for the federal courts to grant him a new trial. Should he get that new trial and finally tell what happened, the prediction here is that we'll see just what a second-rate example for death penalty abolitionists Abu-Jamal truly is: He'll admit to an unpremeditated rage killing, a crime for which he has already served the maximum sentence. And those who'll honk and chant on his behalf in Philadelphia will realize they were suckered by a phony martyr and seduced by Abu-Jamal's star power--his eloquence, charisma and resume. They'll realize his long silence was simply an empty vessel into which they poured their preconceptions. They'll realize that all that energy--all that spray paint for "Free Mumia" graffiti, all those leaflets, all those petitions--could have and should have gone to one of the genuinely innocent residents of Death Row whose cases far better illustrate the troubling flaws in the capital justice system. And they'll realize they've been staking the credibility and momentum of their movement on a cop killer. If Abu-Jamal has a better explanation, I'm all ears.