Thursday, May 31, 2007
Mumia Abu-Jamal was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party joining at the age of 15 in 1969 and founded the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party and became the minister of information. Mumia went on to become an award winning journalist who became known as “the voice of the voiceless” as a Philadelphia radio host. Because of Mumia’s radical political ideology he was one of the only few journalists, black or white, that would cover the MOVE organization and showed its members not as violent blacks with dreads but as freedom fighters for their community.
To make ends meet, Mumia was a night taxi driver and on the night of December 9, 1981 his entire life would be changed. William Cook, Mumia’s brother, was pulled over by Officer Daniel Faulkner. Mumia saw the officer beating his brother and the rest of the story is surrounded in a cloud of mystery with the exception of the facts that Faulkner was dead and Mumia was shot in the stomach. Mumia supporters believe that Mumia was shot by Officer Faulkner who was then killed by an unknown assailant who then fled the scene. Anti-Mumia supporters believe Mumia shot Faulkner and Faulkner was able to return fire before dying.
Mumia was put on trial in front of Judge Albert Sabo and was convicted of first-degree murder and has been on death row ever since. Mumia’s case has attracted international attention. Regardless of Mumia’s innocence or guilt his trial was not fair and full of bias. Many believe that Mumia was set-up by the FBI’s COINTELPRO which disrupted many progressive organizations.
At the rally on May 17, Mumia supporters were outside hoping that the courts will give a new and fair trial to Mumia. Mumia’s lawyer gave a press release after the court hearing. According to Mumia’s defense team, it is now up to the courts to decide if Mumia should receive a new trial or not. This decision could take up to 90 days. There are three outcomes that could happen for Mumia:
· Mumia receives a new trial and is found innocent and able to return to his family and friends.
· Mumia receives a new trial and is found guilty and remains on death row.
· Mumia does not receive a new trial at all and remains on death row.
Mumia’s lawyer made it clear that if Mumia is not given a new trial or not found innocent, Mumia will be put to death very shortly afterward. Yet, Mumia’s lawyer said that if a new trial is given, he is confident that Mumia will be released because of the overwhelming new evidence and evidence not permitted in Mumia’s first trial.
If you are interested in knowing more about Mumia or supporting Mumia here are some websites to check out:
There are many sites for and against Mumia. I encourage everyone who liked this blog to do their own investigation and decide for yourself if you are sympathetic to Mumia’s cause or not.
If so come out to the rally in Harlem for Mumia on June 14. (More info on freemumia.com)