December 16, 2011 |
MUMIA Abu-Jamal is officially off death row. The cop-killer was transferred from a maximum-security prison in western Pennsylvania Wednesday to the Mahanoy state prison, a medium-security institution in Frackville, 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Corrections Department spokeswoman Susan Bensinger confirmed the move yesterday. Abu-Jamal, who shot to death Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in December 1981, had spent the past 16 years at Greene state prison in Waynesburg, more than 260 miles west of Philadelphia.
December 13, 2011 |
It sure makes for one heck of an icebreaker whenever Christina Swarns mentions that she represents the notorious Mumia Abu-Jamal. But Swarns didn't take on such a controversial case just to engage in holiday party chitchat. Forget for a minute that Swarns believes in Abu-Jamal's innocence. She is just as passionate about what anti-death-penalty activists believe worldwide - that the application of the death penalty in this country is racist. It's the reason Swarns, director of the Criminal Justice Practice for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, has done capital-case work for 15 years.
December 7, 2011 |
In the decades since his conviction in the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Abu-Jamal has become one of the most recognized inmates in the world. On Friday, supporters of the former radio reporter will hold a gathering at the National Constitution Center marking the 30th anniversary of his arrest in the slaying of Faulkner. They will also pay tribute to Troy Davis, who was executed in September for the 1989 killing of a police officer in Savannah, Ga. The free program - titled "We the People: Honor Troy Davis!
October 20, 2011 |
IT'S JUST NOT done - a public defender asking a prosecutor to talk with a criminal defendant out of a belief that the charge against him is unfair. Joanne Epps, then in the U.S. Attorney's Office, got such a call from federal defender Maureen Rowley in the '80s. Joanne's reaction: "I'm a federal prosecutor, no way," she said. But Maureen explained that the young man, who was about to enter the military and had his life ahead of him, would be ruined by a conviction on a gun charge.
October 14, 2011 |
At 7 p.m. on Sept. 21, Troy Anthony Davis, a 42-year-old black man, was scheduled to be executed in Jackson, Ga., for the 1989 murder of Mark Allen MacPhail, a white policeman, a crime of which he claimed innocence until the end. On the same day and at the same time, Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, an avowed white supremacist, was scheduled to be put to death in Huntsville, Texas, for his role in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an unemployed black...
October 12, 2011 |
PROSECUTORS will have to pursue a second death-penalty sentence for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal or accept a life sentence after the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to review the racially charged case. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, has spent nearly 30 years on death row after his July 1982 conviction for murdering Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, a white man. A federal appeals court this year upheld the conviction, but agreed that the death-penalty instructions were potentially misleading and ordered a new sentencing hearing.
October 2, 2011
An executed man is eulogized in Ga. SAVANNAH, Ga. - Sent to death row 20 years ago as a convicted cop killer, Troy Davis was celebrated as "martyr and foot soldier" Saturday by more than 1,000 people who packed the pews at his funeral and pledged to keep fighting the death penalty. Activists who spent years trying to convince judges and Georgia prison officials that Davis was innocent were unable to prevent his execution Sept. 21. The crowd that filled Savannah's Jonesville Baptist Church on Saturday seemed resolved to capitalize on the worldwide attention Davis' case brought to capital punishment.
September 30, 2011 |
In No Exit , Jean-Paul Sartre encapsulated the torment of existence in his line "hell is other people. " Unlike the central character Tony in Kash Goins' gripping Tonight? , Sartre never lingered 30 years on death row for murdering five women. Sartre also didn't suffer years of abuse from a drunken mother who locked him in a closet for days without food, or a priest who molested him from ages 7 to 10. Over a 50-minute one-act at Adrienne's 2d Stage Theater, Goins' memory play revisits each of these heinous events; in true existential fashion, what else would Tony do when all he can do is wait?
September 29, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - A man convicted of murdering 13 people in northeastern Pennsylvania nearly three decades ago is mentally incompetent to be executed, Pennsylvania's highest court ruled Wednesday. George Banks has been on death row since he turned a semi-automatic rifle on his victims, who included 11 members of his own family - five were his children - in Wilkes-Barre and Jenkins Township in September 1982. "It appears that Banks is in a different place mentally than he was nearly 30 years ago when he committed his crimes and when he was tried.