Mumia Abu Jamal on science fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek and American imperialism


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Wow, I have never heard him speak before. What a voice.

I used to live in Philadelphia. White folks there hate him with such a passion.


#3

[quote=“doctorow, post:1, topic:71348, full:true”]Jamal is serving a life-sentence for a widely deplored conviction for killing a police officer.
[/quote]

Can anyone shed light on why it’s so widely deplored? I understand that any case involving a black defendant and a white victim would be likely to be unfair, but the evidence of his guilt looks pretty strong.


#4

It’s not in the Wikipedia article for some reason (and I’m not about to add it, being hearsay), but I read somewhere that there was some kind of history between them and Faulkner and that Mumia was afraid Faulkner was about to shoot his brother and shot Faulkner pre-emptively. Take from that what you will.


#5

Yes, Cecil Adams can:

Abu-Jamal was found guilty of murder one but still might have avoided execution had it not been for the highly irregular penalty hearing. As was his right, the defendant made a contentious statement to the court. This ticked off the judge, who ruled that Abu-Jamal, who had not testified during the trial, could be cross- examined. The prosecution took the opportunity to introduce Maoist rhetoric the defendant had spouted 12 years before at age 16. These irrelevant remarks apparently convinced the mostly-white jury that Abu-Jamal was a dangerous revolutionary, and though he had no prior criminal record they sentenced him to death. Amnesty International has rightly protested that he is being killed for his political views. The guy maybe deserves prison but probably not the fatal dose. –Cecil Adams, The Straight Dope


#6

+1 for SD

–a teeming millionth


#7

It looks like the death penalty has been dropped and the state hasn’t re-pursued it since 2011, partially for the reasons listed by the SD. So by that article it shouldn’t be widely deplored anymore.


#8

Mumia is serving a life sentence for killing a police officer, period. There is no shortage of groups willing to have him speak to their groups, buy his books, and profess his innocence. Except there was never any doubt as to his guilt. Overwhelming evidence, including his repeated confessions do little to diminish his support.

To this day, people support OJ Simpson and claim his innocence. Why is that?

If a white man killed a black police officer, and then went on a speaking tour of KKK meetings, would you rush to publish his ramblings? Why is it OK to have Mumia speaking in schools and receiving a hero’s welcome?

These are the kinds of issues that turn Democrats into Republicans.


#10


#11

So a black dude who was convicted of killing a police officer is being kept in jail, but is allowed to write books, profess his innocence, and possibly speak to remote groups of people. That’s all you need to shift your political stance?

Did you take a look at the money G. Zimmerman has received from private sources? Did that make you want to become a Green Party member or something?


#12

There is reason to doubt Mumia’s conviction, because:

Several witnesses recanted, citing police coercion and bribery; Judge Sabo said while the trial was still underway, “I’m gonna help them fry that n----r!”; the original photographs of the scene were “lost”; the fact of another man fleeing the scene was not allowed in court and witnesses to that effect were not allowed to testify; no ballistics investigation was made to determine whether Mumia’s gun had been fired or whether he had fired a gun; the two people who claimed that Mumia confessed at the hospital (which makes little sense) were a guard and a cop; Mumia’s lawyer said in the trial that he didn’t prepare for the trial and was later disbarred; Mumia’s defense was given all of something like $600 to hire expert witnesses; another man named Arnold Beverly later confessed to the murder but the courts have refused to hear his testimony; still another suspect was later found dead and handcuffed after Philadelphia PD’s bombing of MOVE (before Beverly’s confession); and numerous other details.

Some information:

www.freemumia.com/who-is-mumia-abu-jamal/

www.mapiano.com/mumia1.htm

https://www.solidarity-us.org/node/996


#13

No, there isn’t.


#14

I’m getting a real Carl Sagan vibe. Sounds like he has charisma to burn.


#15

If you read what is available about the trial Mumia represented himself essentially saying the state had no right to try him. The state said you were there & you killed the cop. The evidence is a bit, in my opinion, murky, but he was there & the cop was killed. He then attempted to turn the trial into a political vehicle, which was not a good tactic to use with a Philadelphia jury. The citty Paper or The Weekly did great reporting on it, sorting out all BS & presenting a seemingly clear view of the whole case.
I asked a guy from the neighborhood where Mumia was from about it & he said word on the street is that Mumia’s brother killed the cop & Mumia took the rap figuring he was either unconvictable or at least wouldn’t face death for it.


#16

What is the overwhelming evidence, can you give a few choice examples? (preferably not dependent on asking us to believe some witnesses over others based on their “character” or “believability” or any such nebulous narrative arguments–physical or recorded evidence would be most convincing). As for “repeated confessions”, the wikipedia article only mentions one confession which a police officer and a hospital security guard claim to have heard, and also mentions the security guard’s brother-in-law later claimed that she admitted to him she hadn’t actually heard any confession. Do you know of any others?

If a white man killed a black police officer, and then went on a speaking tour of KKK meetings, would you rush to publish his ramblings?

For this analogy to work, Mumia would need to have given a talk for some group that hates whites and wants to give them less rights than blacks–given that he’s a Marxist I doubt he’d associate with such an organization. If a white man was convicted of killing a black officer, but proclaimed his innocence and never showed evidence of racial hatred, and organizations that believed his innocence and were not themselves motivated by racial hatred published his thoughts, I wouldn’t see anything wrong with that.


#17

Sure, no problem. The bullets that killed Officer Faulkner were fired from Mr. Abu-Jamal’s weapon. The weapon was registered to Abu-Jamal and was found at the scene, covered with Abu-Jamal’s fingerprints. Link


#18

Thanks for the link. The most relevant part is here:

The extracted slugs were identified as Federal brand .38 Special +P bullets with hollow bases, which matched the shell casings in Abu-Jamal’s handgun retrieved at the scene. Rifling characteristics evident on the bullet fragments extracted from Faulkner’s body matched those of the handgun. Anthony L. Paul, Supervisor of the Firearms Identification Unit, testified that the type of bullet was rare at the time, with only one manufacturer, though he could name two other manufacturers which produced weapons bearing the same rifling characteristics.

Googling a little to see how Mumia’s supporters address this evidence, I found this page which says the police ballistics report contradicts the claim above that “Rifling characteristics evident on the bullet fragments extracted from Faulkner’s body matched those of the handgun”:

The police ballistics report states that the bullet taken from Faulkner’s brain was “extremely mutilated and distorted… destroying the major portion of the rifling markings” such that its general characteristics are “indeterminable.” The ballistics report, which was unsigned, concluded that a comparative examination of the evidence bullet against the test fired bullets “has shown insufficient characteristic markings to permit a positive comparison.” However, a photograph taken of this alleged bullet discloses a largely intact lead bullet with pronounced filing impressions. This indicates that a comparative analysis with the original exemplar bullets fired from it could have resulted in a determination as to whether or not the bullet was fired from Mumia’s Charter Arms revolver.

In addition, the relative widths of the lands and grooves on the bullet reportedly taken from Faulkner’s head wound is opposite of all, but a few percent of the Charter Arms revolvers produced. Thus, the prosecution’s ballistics evidence (or lack thereof) itself raises a strong likelihood that the bullet in evidence from Faulkner’s head wound was not fired by Mumia’s gun.

It also notes that although shell casings at the site did come from a .38 caliber gun like Mumia’s, both the gun identified as being Officer Faulkner’s (though the page questions the evidence it was actually his), and the gun of an additional person linked to the crime scene (and held for questioning by the police), Kenneth Freeman, were also .38 caliber. In addition it says the Firearms Identification Unit report did not actually say the casings were from Winchester .38 +P’s which would have been more specifically associated with Mumia’s gun:

Mumia’s gun was a .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver with a two inch barrel. As described before, the gun turned over to the investigators as being Faulkner’s service revolver was a damaged and dirty .38 caliber Smith and Wesson with a four inch barrel. The gun Cook claims that is passenger Kenneth Freeman was carrying was identified simply as being a .38 caliber revolver. And, last, but not least, Arnold Beverly claims to have been given a .38 caliber Policeman’s Special, as well as his own .22 caliber revolver.

…

Forbes also testified at the 1982 trial that the five spent casings from the Charter Arms revolver he says he found at the scene had been four Winchester .38 +P’s and one Smith and Wesson. The Firearms Identification Unit report dated 1/5/82, however, recorded that the casings removed from the Charter Arms revolver were four Federal fired cartridge cases, caliber .38 Special, and a Smith and Wesson fired cartridge case, caliber .38 Special.

Of course this is just a page I found when I did some quick googling, I don’t know whether the information is accurate–if it’s not I’d be interested in seeing a rebuttal.


#19

Well, that rebuttal needed to come from George Fassnacht, the defense’s ballistics expert, who didn’t dispute the findings of the prosecution’s experts, contrary to the asinine, prevaricating dissembling and stridently absurd protestations of Mr. Abu-Jamal’s team of Internet defense experts. Mumia Abu-Jamal murdered Daniel Faulkner. Case closed, show’s over, go home, the end.


#20

Of course that’s where any rebuttal “needed” to come from in a purely legal sense, but the comment by Professor59 which I was originally responding to wasn’t just saying he had been found guilty legally, it was saying there was “overwhelming evidence” that should leave use with no “doubt as to his guilt”, i.e. saying the evidence strongly supports the conclusion that he actually did the crime he was legally convicted for. You can tell Professor59 was talking about real-life guilt vs. innocence as opposed to just talking about legal rulings, because he/she went to to say “To this day, people support OJ Simpson and claim his innocence” and rhetorically ask “why is that?”, when of course OJ was legally found not guilty.

contrary to the asinine, prevaricating dissembling and stridently absurd protestations of Mr. Abu-Jamal’s team of Internet defense experts

Name-calling is not really an argument, if you can’t point to any specific errors in the page I linked to. Do you think defense experts are invariably incapable of errors or oversights?

Edit: Also, I see this book on the case mentions that “George Fassnacht, the ballistics expert Jackson retained pretrial to assist him, testified that he quit the defense team prior to trial because the defense was unable to pay his fees.” So it sounds like the defense didn’t even have the money to hire a new ballistic expert to rebut the statements made by the prosecution witnesses.


#21

You asked for “a few choice examples of overwhelming evidence” and specified you’d be most convinced by “physical or recorded evidence” I then provided you with exactly that.

To this day, people support OJ Simpson and claim his innocence" and rhetorically ask “why is that?”, when of course OJ was legally found not guilty.

In the criminal trial, yes. In the civil trial, O.J. was found liable for the wrongful death of and battery against Ronald Goldman, and battery against Nicole Brown.

Name-calling is not really an argument,

I didn’t call you or anybody else names.

if you can’t point to any specific errors in the page I linked to.

The burden of proof is on the writer of that heavily biased essay of dissembling irrelevance. She provides no proof, and I’m not going to waste time debating her opinions and “facts.”

Do you think defense experts are invariably incapable of errors or oversights?

No.