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A Black Panther’s Last Stand: The Perilous Fight Of America’s Last Political Prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal Persist

While many within the black community are now mesmerized by the Marvel film Black Panther, which is based on a futuristic fantasy of a technologically advanced African Nation called Wakanda, the perils of a true Panther is continuously embroiled in a realistic fight for justice, for judicial correctness, and the power of people’s longevity in a fight to free a convicted “cop killer” despite the mountain of evidence that suggest not only his innocence, but that police along with a corrupt prosecutor’s office consciously framed former Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal. He has never obtained nearly as much support from black people in this country as the fictional comic book character Black Panther has garnered.

Dubbed all over the world as a political prisoner, Jamal’s decades old fight for freedom has garnered international attention, and for 37 years Abu Jamal has continuously maintained his innocence in the killing of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. A former member of the Black Panthers party, Mumia was already a prominent journalist and activist at the time of the incident. He has always claimed his innocence and people around the world have stood in solidarity with him since then, organizing events, spreading information and petitioning authorities to “Free Mumia.” In fact if you don’t know his story, then perhaps you haven’t been living on the planet earth the past 40 years.

Followers of his globally renowned case say that many within the African American community have failed Mumia. Although he continues to maintain tremendous support from Black America, the base of his support has always primarily come from social groups, governments, and other human rights organizations from outside of the United States. His case has always been racially biased and politically motivated. Mumia was framed by the Philadelphia police department and the prosecution, with help from the Attorney General’s office and the FBI, because he was so outspoken in his defense of the oppressed, particularly the politically oppressed, such as the MOVE organization at that time in Philadelphia.

In fact, Mumia’s troubles began during his teen years when he was the Minister of Information for the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther party. When Mumia’s COINTELPRO records were obtained from the U.S. government, it showed that they had a dossier on him when he was just 15 years old, in the late ‘sixties. There they said, in effect, despite his young years, he should be on the ADEX file (a list of who the FBI felt should be rounded up and put into concentration camps if there was any political turmoil in the country). They said Mumia belonged on that list because of his ability to speak out in advocacy. Mumia was also once featured in a front-page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which described this young man who was speaking out in defense of the Panthers and against police brutality. The cops in Philadelphia knew who he was and they were tracking him.

So there is a long history there of knowing who Mumia was, targeting him, trying to silence his voice and ultimately to murder him. What happened on the night of December 9, 1981 was that Mumia came across a police altercation in the street. He was driving a cab at that point because he had been drummed out of mainstream news reporting for his defense of the MOVE organization. In the midst of a purported shoot-out, a police officer named Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed. Depending upon who you believe, the events of that night are perplexing to say the very least. Shady witnesses, coerced witness testimony, crime scene manipulation, crooked cops, and a corrupt prosecutor’s office would all culminate in the successful prosecution and subsequent conviction of Mumia Abu Jamal.

Several people have testified against him, claiming he’s the man they saw shooting Faulker. Some have said they saw a third man shooting and running (those accounts were thrown out by the judge presiding over the initial trial). Others have even confessed they were the shooters themselves (The confession of Arnold Beverly) acting as hit men for the police, who commissioned them to get rid of Faulker as he was interfering with their corrupt businesses (The first working day after Abu Jamal’s trial and conviction were completed, 30 Philadelphia cops were indicted in the “Center City” police corruption sting), giving tremendous credibility to the allegation that dirty Philly cops wanted the young cop (Faulkner) dead, but despite a volume of compelling evidence regarding the case against Abu Jamal, his conviction stood, and for thirty years he was on death row until his punishment was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2011. Now a potential new front has opened up in the fight to free Mumia Abu-Jamal.

About a year ago, in a different case, after many attempts to get a ruling, it was found that it is a conflict of interest and a denial of a fair and impartial appeal process to allow a judge to sit, who had previously been personally involved in a significant fashion in the earlier prosecution of the same case. Basically, it required all the appeals that a judge had sat on, and that had been negatively decided against the defendant, to be thrown out and to be able to start over again.

This ground breaking judicial ruling, now case law, applies directly to Abu Jamal, and specifically his appeals. In a very important case that was decided by the United States Supreme Court. It involved the fact that one of the justices who became the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Ronald Castille, had been the prosecutor in Philadelphia, following Rendell as the chief DA. He had been a DA and ran on a law-and-order platform, and was endorsed and received major funding from the Fraternal Order of Police. Nonetheless, when he became a Philadelphia Supreme Court justice he sat and ruled on a number of cases, including Mumia’s case, despite  Abu Jamal’s requests for him to remove himself on grounds of bias and conflict of interest. When Castille became a state supreme court justice, he had already been the architect of all the DA’s support of Mumia’s conviction.

Many instances in Mumia’s case, and with all the challenges to Mumia’s conviction that began in 1995 and went on through 2008, Castille refused to removed himself from the case and instead ruled against Mumia in each of these cases. The argument is now being made in conjunction with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Castille violated the fundamental precept that as a prosecutor involved in the case he should never have sat as a judge, especially in adjudication of any Mumia Abu Jamal cases.  Mumia has finally gotten some compelling arguments. The DA’s office tried to get it thrown out on grounds that it was brought too late and didn’t apply anymore. The judge ruled that it did in fact apply and that the case should go forward. Now it has become an issue of the DA’s office being ordered to produce evidence that shows Castille’s involvement in Abu Jamal’s cases. They have been noncompliant with the order and recalcitrant in not providing real information, instead provided no record of his involvement in Mumia’s case.

Now the Philadelphia’s DA office is stonewalling, pretending that Castille’s involvement in Mumia’s prosecution and appeals didn’t exist. They are concealing evidence and refuse to open their files. it will take more political pressure and protesting to further agitate justice for Mumia. Now, Mumia is 63 years old and is suffering from cirrhosis due to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections purposefully, and consciously mistreating his hepatitis C disease. We must continue to agitate his injustice conviction. Free Mumia Abu Jamal now!

 

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David B Adams

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

While many within the black community are now mesmerized by the Marvel film Black Panther, which is based on a futuristic fantasy of a technologically advanced African Nation called Wakanda, the perils of a true Panther is continuously embroiled in a realistic fight for justice, for judicial correctness, and the power of people’s longevity in a fight to free a convicted “cop killer” despite the mountain of evidence that suggest not only his innocence, but that police along with a corrupt prosecutor’s office consciously framed former Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal. He has never obtained nearly as much support from black people in this country as the fictional comic book character Black Panther has garnered.

Dubbed all over the world as a political prisoner, Jamal’s decades old fight for freedom has garnered international attention, and for 37 years Abu Jamal has continuously maintained his innocence in the killing of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. A former member of the Black Panthers party, Mumia was already a prominent journalist and activist at the time of the incident. He has always claimed his innocence and people around the world have stood in solidarity with him since then, organizing events, spreading information and petitioning authorities to “Free Mumia.” In fact if you don’t know his story, then perhaps you haven’t been living on the planet earth the past 40 years.

Followers of his globally renowned case say that many within the African American community have failed Mumia. Although he continues to maintain tremendous support from Black America, the base of his support has always primarily come from social groups, governments, and other human rights organizations from outside of the United States. His case has always been racially biased and politically motivated. Mumia was framed by the Philadelphia police department and the prosecution, with help from the Attorney General’s office and the FBI, because he was so outspoken in his defense of the oppressed, particularly the politically oppressed, such as the MOVE organization at that time in Philadelphia.

In fact, Mumia’s troubles began during his teen years when he was the Minister of Information for the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther party. When Mumia’s COINTELPRO records were obtained from the U.S. government, it showed that they had a dossier on him when he was just 15 years old, in the late ‘sixties. There they said, in effect, despite his young years, he should be on the ADEX file (a list of who the FBI felt should be rounded up and put into concentration camps if there was any political turmoil in the country). They said Mumia belonged on that list because of his ability to speak out in advocacy. Mumia was also once featured in a front-page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which described this young man who was speaking out in defense of the Panthers and against police brutality. The cops in Philadelphia knew who he was and they were tracking him.

So there is a long history there of knowing who Mumia was, targeting him, trying to silence his voice and ultimately to murder him. What happened on the night of December 9, 1981 was that Mumia came across a police altercation in the street. He was driving a cab at that point because he had been drummed out of mainstream news reporting for his defense of the MOVE organization. In the midst of a purported shoot-out, a police officer named Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed. Depending upon who you believe, the events of that night are perplexing to say the very least. Shady witnesses, coerced witness testimony, crime scene manipulation, crooked cops, and a corrupt prosecutor’s office would all culminate in the successful prosecution and subsequent conviction of Mumia Abu Jamal.

Several people have testified against him, claiming he’s the man they saw shooting Faulker. Some have said they saw a third man shooting and running (those accounts were thrown out by the judge presiding over the initial trial). Others have even confessed they were the shooters themselves (The confession of Arnold Beverly) acting as hit men for the police, who commissioned them to get rid of Faulker as he was interfering with their corrupt businesses (The first working day after Abu Jamal’s trial and conviction were completed, 30 Philadelphia cops were indicted in the “Center City” police corruption sting), giving tremendous credibility to the allegation that dirty Philly cops wanted the young cop (Faulkner) dead, but despite a volume of compelling evidence regarding the case against Abu Jamal, his conviction stood, and for thirty years he was on death row until his punishment was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2011. Now a potential new front has opened up in the fight to free Mumia Abu-Jamal.

About a year ago, in a different case, after many attempts to get a ruling, it was found that it is a conflict of interest and a denial of a fair and impartial appeal process to allow a judge to sit, who had previously been personally involved in a significant fashion in the earlier prosecution of the same case. Basically, it required all the appeals that a judge had sat on, and that had been negatively decided against the defendant, to be thrown out and to be able to start over again.

This ground breaking judicial ruling, now case law, applies directly to Abu Jamal, and specifically his appeals. In a very important case that was decided by the United States Supreme Court. It involved the fact that one of the justices who became the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Ronald Castille, had been the prosecutor in Philadelphia, following Rendell as the chief DA. He had been a DA and ran on a law-and-order platform, and was endorsed and received major funding from the Fraternal Order of Police. Nonetheless, when he became a Philadelphia Supreme Court justice he sat and ruled on a number of cases, including Mumia’s case, despite  Abu Jamal’s requests for him to remove himself on grounds of bias and conflict of interest. When Castille became a state supreme court justice, he had already been the architect of all the DA’s support of Mumia’s conviction.

Many instances in Mumia’s case, and with all the challenges to Mumia’s conviction that began in 1995 and went on through 2008, Castille refused to removed himself from the case and instead ruled against Mumia in each of these cases. The argument is now being made in conjunction with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Castille violated the fundamental precept that as a prosecutor involved in the case he should never have sat as a judge, especially in adjudication of any Mumia Abu Jamal cases.  Mumia has finally gotten some compelling arguments. The DA’s office tried to get it thrown out on grounds that it was brought too late and didn’t apply anymore. The judge ruled that it did in fact apply and that the case should go forward. Now it has become an issue of the DA’s office being ordered to produce evidence that shows Castille’s involvement in Abu Jamal’s cases. They have been noncompliant with the order and recalcitrant in not providing real information, instead provided no record of his involvement in Mumia’s case.

Now the Philadelphia’s DA office is stonewalling, pretending that Castille’s involvement in Mumia’s prosecution and appeals didn’t exist. They are concealing evidence and refuse to open their files. it will take more political pressure and protesting to further agitate justice for Mumia. Now, Mumia is 63 years old and is suffering from cirrhosis due to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections purposefully, and consciously mistreating his hepatitis C disease. We must continue to agitate his injustice conviction. Free Mumia Abu Jamal now!

 

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David B Adams

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

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One Response to “A Black Panther’s Last Stand: The Perilous Fight Of America’s Last Political Prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal Persist”

  1. Soledad Wendy

    I found a great…

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