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Supporters Mark 30th Anniversary of Mumia Abu-Jamal's Arrest

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On Wednesday, Dec.7, DA Seth Williams announced that he would not seek the reinstatement of the death penalty by not calling for a new sentencing hearing for death row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. Read more in the new article by David Love in The Grio, entitled From Troy Davis to Mumia: Have we turned a corner on the death penalty?

Today is the 30th anniversary of Mumia's arrest on Dec. 9, 1981. An historic event for Mumia featuring Cornel West, Michelle Alexander, and many others, will be held tonight at 7pm at the Constitution Center, 5th and Market (watch the live stream here.). Earlier in the day, there is also a press conference at 11am, Friends Center, 1515 Cherry Street and a Honk for Mumia, 4pm – 5:45, East Side of City Hall.

From www.freemumia.com:
Historic Event for Mumia to be held on Dec. 9 at National Constitution Center

ADMISSION/REGISTRATION IS FREE, YET REQUIRES REGISTRATION!
Reserve your ticket for pick-up at the door by 7:00 p.m. on December 9th at the National Constitution Center, by emailing december9maj@gmail.com

FOR BUS/TRAVEL INFORMATION:
PHILADELPHIA: 267-760-7344
NYC: 212 -330-8029

FEATURING:

Cornel West, Michelle Alexander, Vijay Prashad, Immortal Technique, Mark Lamont Hill, Ramona Africa
,
Michael Coard, Louisa Hanoune, Amiri and Amina Baraka, IMPACT Youth Repertory Theater, African Dance Ensemble, and SURPRISE GUESTS!
 

Comments

Again

Wesley Cook will die in prison...a better fate than he gave Officer Daniel Faulkner. As to a new sentencing hearing, the decision made was the correct one.. not to spare this convicted and affirmed murderer Wesley Cook but due to the fact after 30 years many witnesses are deceased or cannot be located and also, if Cook were sentenced to death again, appeal after appeal for another 30 years. This way...he can become friends with Bubba:)and die with a pain in his butt

Jon Pisano

Abu-Jamal (aka Wesley Cook) and his life sentence

Mr. Pisano's comments are typical of those who ignore the facts (or are ignorant of the facts) of Abu-Jamal's trial and appeals process. It is typical that such critics refer to "appeal after appeal" by the defense. Note that it was "appeal after appeal" not by the defense but by the DA, that dragged this case through the Third Circuit for 10 years after a Federal Judge in 2001 issued a very solid ruling that the initial sentencing by the trial court was done unconstitutionally! Had the DA accepted that ruling, the taxpayers would have been saved millions of dollars right there.

As for the conviction, it was almost certainly arrived at thanks to perjured testimony by the prosecution witnesses. Just take one: taxi driver Robert Chobert. He claimed to have been parked in his cab directly behind Faulkner's squad car, but not one crime scene photo, and not one other prosecution witness questioned by detectives reported seeing that cab. Furthermore, he would have been witnessing the shooting looking diagonally through Faulkner's car and the body of the VW owned by Abu-Jamal's brother, as the shooting occurred in front of that vehicle-- this at night with Faulkner's dome lights flashing in his eyes. But it gets worse. Chobert said he saw Abu-Jamal standing astride the prone Faulkner who was lying on his back on the sidewalk, and shooting down at the cop four times, hitting him once between the eyes. Problem: there were no bullet marks on the sidewalk around Faulkner despite the fact that he was only hit once by this point-blank "execution". I and my colleague, journalist Linn washington, got a gun like Abu-Jamals, and fired it at 18 inches above the surface in the same manner into a big hunk of old sidewalk concrete, filming the results, which are available in a video on the home page of our website listed above. The marks made by the same kind of high-velocity metal clad shells said to have been used by Abu-Jamal made big divots in the concrete, which because they exposed fresh concrete in the dirty surface of the worn sidewalk, were brightly visible even from a distance. The absence of these marks in the police crime photos give the lie to Chobert's testimony as well as to the testimony of three other supposed eye witnesses whose testimony supported parts of Chobert's testimony.

there are many such problems. the Prosecutor stressed to the jury that Chobert, a young white guy, had "no reason to lie," but that was a lie. The judge didn't let the jury know that Chobert, at the time he was parking his cab, allegedly directly behind Faulkner, was driving with a suspended license because of a DWI conviction. Further, he didn't let the jury know that Chobert was at the time on five years' probation for felony arson for tossing a fire bomb into an elementary school! (The judge said his crime didn't raise issues of his credibility as a witness!). They and the defense and the court were never told, furthermore, by the prosecutor, in what was clearly a case of prosecutorial misconduct, that Chobert had asked the prosecutor, before testifying, if he could "help fix his license"! That is a clear indication that Chobert was thinking that if he said the right thing, he might get his DWI charge lifted. A jury should have known all this about a key prosecution witness. But beyond that, would a man driving on a cancelled license, serving a five year probation for a felony have parked his cab behind a cop? Never!

I just picked one out of dozens of such problems with this pathetic trial. If you want more, read my book "Killing Time," which a reviewer for the Inquirer (the son of a cop), a newspaper that is no friend of Mumia's, called "the best book about this case by a person not directly connected to it."

I'll stand by that.

Dave Lindorff
journalist and founding editor
ThisCantBeHappening!
www.thiscantbehappening.net

Well slick

I attended most of the trial when I was not at trial myself...where were you? Did you ever address the FACT Shoemaker and Forbes, my co-workers, arrested Cook within 30 to 45 SECONDS after he executed Officer Faulkner. Have YOU or Washington personally ever asked Cook if in fact he did shoot Officer Faulkner? You completely discredit all of the witnesses. How about the FACT Cooks brother never testified in his brothers defence! How about the FACT Wesley's brother stated to the arresting Officers "I ain't got nothing to do with this" not my brother didn't do it...or some other guy did it....nothing. How about the FACT Cook was not licensed to carry a firearm...nothing said about that to justify his actions yet you condem the cab driver as a lier. In my opinion you sir are led by fooled fools

jon pisano

Forbes is a liar

He testified under oath that he followed strict guidelines in handling the evidence at the scene, yet there is a photograph of him, taken at the time he was gathering that evidence, showing him carrying both Faulkner's and Abu-Jamal's pistols in his bare hands, which are gripping both guns' grips. That was callous disregard for preservation of evidence.

You tell me why with all those cops on the scene, including detectives and supervisors, nobody (supposedly) bothered to do a standard gunpowder test on Abu-Jamal's (or Billy Cook's) hands to see if either man had fired a gun.

Are the Philly police that inept and stupid?

No they are not!

So we are left with the other conclusion: They did the test, as they always do, and it didn't give the answer they wanted.

Or tell me how Abu-Jamal managed to shoot straight down at Faulkner--according to testimony and the empty shells in his revolver, four times-- who was between his legs, and only hit his target once. And yet there were no bullet marks in the sidewalk around Faulkner's body.

Or tell me how Faulkner managed to shoot Abu Jamal in the left nipple with a bullet that coursed downward in a straight line according to medical examiner testimony, hitting not any bones, and lodging beside the lower spine, all while either falling backwards or shooting upwards from on his back on the sidewalk, as claimed by the prosecutor? Can't be done, which means the whole story of all the witnesses was fabrication.

Or tell me you really believe a cop who says he heard Abu-Jamal say "I shot the motherfucker and I hope he dies," but he didn't report it for 64 days because he was "in shock", or another cop who said he had heard the same thing but didn't report it for the same 64 days because "he didn't realize it was important." (This is the same cop, Wakschul -- maybe another friend of yours? -- who wrote in his report for the time he spent at the hospital guarding Abu-Jamal, which included the time in the ER when the alleged shout-out confession was "remembered" -- "The negro suspect made no comment.")

Sorry, pal, but I have a cousin who retired as detective after a career as a cop, and when he read about those two whoppers, he said, "You know, I always thought Abu-Jamal shot Faulkner, but I have to tell you, that confession story was made up! No cop, even if if was traumatized, would fail to come out of it hearing a confession, and no cop would ever think a confession wasn't important."

Face it, this case stunk from the beginning, was full of perjured testimony by cops and prosecution witnesses, and was poisoned by a Judge who wanted to "fry that nigger," as a fellow judge admitted heard Sabo say as he was leaving the courtroom early in the trial.

Dave Lindorff
www.thiscantbehappening.net

Well slick

lets take your misinformation as to evidence. Officer Forbes was CORRECT in that he was handling both weapons, Cook's and Faulkner's, from the grips. Now listen..it is FACT you cannot get good identifiable prints from other than SMOOTH grips and this was NOT the case therefor Forbe's did the right thing,,,check it out,

As to your second paragraph part of your first...regarding residue tests on the hands of the BROTHERS...that , the tests, would have been compromised due to a struggle when arresting Billy Cook and Wesley cook

As to your next paragraph...shoot down!!! Cook aka jamal shot Officer Faulkner in the Back from less than 12 inches(residue). As Officer Faulkner was falling he pulled his service revolver and shot the bent over shooter(ducking) which would give the correct angle of the disputed wound...neaning...DUCK...here it comes...logic isn't it ? Also, check with Homicide if there were any other holes in Officer Faulkner's clothing.

Now ...as to the Hospital statement by Cook..."I Shot the mother fucker and I hope he dies"..Now this was testified to as this killer was taken thru the ER doors he shouted that statement and this was heard by several Officers and security yet you dwell on a note made by an Officer standing in the ER treatment room waiting for the Doctor to arrive and the Officer wrote in his report that the defendant made no statement...Dah...that was AFTER he, Cook, entered the waiting area and was taken to the treatment area. FACT yet you believe a statement...issued after 20 YEARS by a passing steno and you take her word as gospel...geez

BTW..did your relitive ever witness their partner executed and the killer shout that he hopes the MF dies!!!!Remember, it was Officer faulkner's regular partner who was assigned to the ER wagon on that night... fateful night.. and had to take his friend and partners murderer to the hospital to save the scums life.

OK..now lets get to the next paragraph

As to your "cousin" I do not know his credentials or where he worked but I would suggest he contact Phila Homicide as to the factual evidence and testimony and not for book selling misinformation as posted by several misinformed web sites. For the FACTS please go to Justice for Officer Faulkner.com

I hope you, Mumia Abu Jamal and BUBBA have a good relationship.."Pants on the ground...pants on the ground" etc

Okay not so slick, here's my response to your nonsense

lets take your misinformation as to evidence. Officer Forbes was CORRECT in that he was handling both weapons, Cook's and Faulkner's, from the grips. Now listen..it is FACT you cannot get good identifiable prints from other than SMOOTH grips and this was NOT the case therefor Forbe's did the right thing,,,check it out,

1. It's not stated anywhere whether the grips were smooth or not, and my experts say he was wrong to hold them as he did.

As to your second paragraph part of your first...regarding residue tests on the hands of the BROTHERS...that , the tests, would have been compromised due to a struggle when arresting Billy Cook and Wesley cook

2. None of the prosecution's four "eye witnesses" reported a struggle with Abu-Jamal. Just back and forth shots fired. Oops. As for Billy Cook being in a struggle, there's no indication that it was hand to hand. Just a punch allegedly thrown by Cook at Faulkner, and Faulkner beating Cook on the head with his flashlight. Neither of those things would have "compromised" a hand wipe test. Nice try. In any case, again the cops at the time had no information at all about what happened, just two possible suspects in a cop slaying, and they were either incredibly inept in not doing those tests or, far more likely, they did them and got negative results and tossed them.

As to your next paragraph...shoot down!!! Cook aka jamal shot Officer Faulkner in the Back from less than 12 inches(residue). As Officer Faulkner was falling he pulled his service revolver and shot the bent over shooter(ducking) which would give the correct angle of the disputed wound...neaning...DUCK...here it comes...logic isn't it ? Also, check with Homicide if there were any other holes in Officer Faulkner's clothing.

Right. Abu Jamal is bending over. That makes sense. And Faulkner is falling, so he holds his gun up over Jamal's head and turns his hand downward and somehow manages to get a downward angle for there that ends up with the bullet below Jamal's waist. Nice trick.

Actually there was another eye-witness, Harkness, , interviewed by detectives in the investigation, but not called at trial, but called at the PCRA. He described a struggle between the shooter, who he couldn't identify, and Faullkner, and said Faulkner was thrown down on his hands and knees facing away from the shooter, who then fired at him. That would explain a bullet that entered Faulkner's lower back and exited his throat, blowing off his clip tie. Now if that was the mystery passenger in the car, that would be one thing. If it was Jamal, the question would be, when was Jamal shot right? It couldn't have been later, because Faulkner was on the ground at that point. And if Jamal was shot first, while coming to the aid of his brother, who was being beaten on the head with Faulkner's flashlight, we'd have a case of police brutality with Jamal trying to stop it, being shot, and then defending himself. Not pretty, but not first degree murder either. As for the second fatal shot, again if Jamal did it, he could arguably have been defending himself against being shot by Faulkner who still had his service revolver. Again not pretty but not first degree murder.

Now ...as to the Hospital statement by Cook..."I Shot the mother fucker and I hope he dies"..Now this was testified to as this killer was taken thru the ER doors he shouted that statement and this was heard by several Officers and security yet you dwell on a note made by an Officer standing in the ER treatment room waiting for the Doctor to arrive and the Officer wrote in his report that the defendant made no statement...Dah...that was AFTER he, Cook, entered the waiting area and was taken to the treatment area. FACT yet you believe a statement...issued after 20 YEARS by a passing steno and you take her word as gospel...geez

4. Nope. The doctor was there when Jamal was brough in. He testified that he watched Jamal being brought in and heard no such shout out. You haven't explained the nonsense of cops hearing a confession and not reporting it for over two months. Bullshit, pure and simple. And perjury. As for the steno, I didn't take her word. I talked to the Judge she worked for, who confirmed the incident and her talking to him about it at the time it happened.

BTW..did your relitive ever witness their partner executed and the killer shout that he hopes the MF dies!!!!Remember, it was Officer faulkner's regular partner who was assigned to the ER wagon on that night... fateful night.. and had to take his friend and partners murderer to the hospital to save the scums life.

Sorry. My cuz says that tale of PTSD forgetfulness, and the other tale of "not knowing it was important" are simply incredible, and I concur. If your partner is shot, and you hear some guy say "I shot him and I hope he dies," you report it. And besides, that partner said he replied something to the effect of "he shouldn't die, you should," indicating that he wasn't all that shocked when he heard it, if it really ever happened.

OK..now lets get to the next paragraph

As to your "cousin" I do not know his credentials or where he worked but I would suggest he contact Phila Homicide as to the factual evidence and testimony and not for book selling misinformation as posted by several misinformed web sites. For the FACTS please go to Justice for Officer Faulkner.com

My cousin worked to retirement in a major urban police department, and won many honors for bravery , retiring as a detective. Suck it up. Not every cop buys this silly story of a two month late report of a confession. It's ridiculous.

I hope you, Mumia Abu Jamal and BUBBA have a good relationship.."Pants on the ground...pants on the ground" etc

Your

last paragraph is really out there. NO JUDGE ever stated he heard Judge Sabo make that statement,,,none PLUS your "informant" who related what she alleged to have heard, came forward after TWENTY YEARS...yet you and your misinformation highway take that as GOSPEL!!! as you take sworn testimony as fake. I guess ,as to your logic..all of the District Attorneys Office and All of the Police Officers and Judges...both Local/ State and Federal were corrupt in finding and affirming Cook in fact GUILTY of MURDER...where in Gods name is your sense of logic or does the $$$$ cloud your thoughts and reason.

jon psano
Stakeout Unit retired

Killer Mumia

With your expertise you should apply to the Philadelphia P.D. Forensics Unit. If you are basing your blind conclusions on your testing perhaps you should reexamine your blind opinions. I would ask you to take the few days it would take you to read the entire transcript of this fair trial and come to the erroneous conclusion that this yahoo is innocent. There are just too many facts to find this man innocent of anything. Personally I could care less if he is put to death. I would prefer he suffer the rest of his natural born life in prison. Unfortunately people like yourself bring attention to this dirt bag because you are not completely familiar with the entire testimony presented at trial.. Please find another agenda to champion, perhaps the poor economy, the unemployed, etc. Mumia has had his day in court far far too many times. The appeals are done. The death penalty is off the table. The man has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, so please give it a rest.

You obviously didn't read to the end of my first comment

I wrote the only independent journalistic book on this case, and I read every single word of the transcript of every hearing in this case, as well as attending most of the appellate hearings. I've poured over the evidence files (not the copy iin the DA's office, which was denied to me), I intrviewed the prosecutor, Joe McGill, I interviewed most of the witnesses, plus others who've come forward since the trial. I also have interviewed some of the cops who were on the scene. One who was one of the first ones there noticed the photo taken before the official police photographs, which showed Faulkner's hat on top of the passenger side of Billy Cook's VW, the window of which was open (on a cole December 9 morning at 4 am!). The hat, by the way, was deliberately moved from that location where it was found by police arriving at the scene, to a spot on the sidewalk next to Faulkner's body, where it was used as evidence and later for a dramatic summation by McGill. This cop made an interesting observation to me. He said, "Back in those days in the early '80s, we cops in Philly all had big hair, and we were really proud of our hair. Look at Danny's hair. He was really proud of his hair too. We didn't like to wear our hats, because they mussed up our uniforms, but you got cited if a supervisor saw you without one, because it was part of the uniform. If we made a stop, we'd take the hat with us, and when you were talking to the driver, you'd put it on the top of the car, so you could grab it and put it on if you saw a supervisor. I pointed out that Faulkner's hat was not on the roof of the driver's side of the car, and this cop said to me, 'Well, he must have been talking to someone in the passenger seat.'"

Uh-huh. So there's another question. Why would Faulkner have been talking through a window on the passenger side of the VW? That's not how you question a driver. Never seen it done. That opens another whole line of questioning about this sorry case. The prosecution insists there was no other person around besides Faulkner, Abu-Jamal and Cook, but there were witnesses who said otherwise, and now the hat, shown to have been moved, adds to that mystery.

Anyhow, don't give me that tired line about reading the whole transcript. I read the whole damned thing, and it's footnoted all through my book, which I would suggest YOU read. You'd learn something. Like the fact that prosecutor McGill committed prosecutorial misconduct by not telling the court and the defense and the jury that his star witness, Robert Chobert, had asked him if he could "fix" his DWI-revoked drivers license, a face Choburt blurted out at the PCRA in 1995, . Instead, in his summation McGill lied and said to the jury, "what reason would this man have to lie?"

Read the transcript, indeed!

As I said, Abu-Jamal's trial was an embarrassment to the American concept of justice and it remains a stain on Pennsylvania's court system to this day.

Dave Lindorff
founding editor
www.thiscantbehappening.nat

Killer Mumia

You are right I didn't read everything and I apologize for being as ignorant as you as to all of the facts. However, one fact will remain. The appeals are done, and not you or any of the other ill informed idiots will ever be able to see this murderer see the outside of a cell. As an American however, I do respect your right to have an opinion, albeit I believe it misguided. I am sorry too that I wouldn't read your book because I am not a lover of fiction. Have a nice evening sir, and although you may not agree our system of justice in Pennsylvania works just fine. If you would like to see it changed perhaps you could run for office and offfer some piece of legislation to fit it more to your needs.

Whatever happens...

This Pennsylvania system of justice that you say "works just fine" will never work the way you want it to ever again. No more of people being executed for they color or because a politician doesn't like what you write. One of the reasons why is because we ARE running for office - and winning!

Game Changer

Keep on dreaming, this isn't a black and white issue. But like I said to the editor this is the good ole USA and your opinion is welcome.