December 9, 1998 |
Don't number ABC newsman Sam Donaldson among the celebs who believe that Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent. "Everything that we looked at compellingly points to the fact that Mumia shot [Philadelphia police officer Daniel] Faulkner in cold blood . . . and was convicted properly, and was sentenced according to the laws of the state of Pennsylvania," Donaldson said in a telephone interview yesterday. "And as far as I'm concerned, as long as it's on the books, the death sentence has to be carried out. " Donaldson got a primer in the case of the convicted cop-killer and his Hollywood A-list defenders while researching a piece that airs at 10 tonight on 20/20.
December 14, 2011 |
LAST WEEK, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced that his office would no longer pursue the death penalty against Mumia Abu-Jamal. This announcement, combined with the huge pro-Mumia event at the National Constitution Center, has brought his case back to the center of public conversation. As a Mumia supporter, and as a friend who has co-authored a book with him, I have many questions to answer over the case. Here are the ones I get asked most often: Q: Why are you backing a cop-killer?
December 20, 2001
With the stroke of his pen, U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr. scrubbed cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal's role as poster child for the growing opposition to death row. Good move, judge. Not only that, the decision works on two fronts. One, it's likely Abu-Jamal never will feel the sharp end of an executioner's needle. That fact should put an end to his distracting presence as an international rallying cry against a flawed U.S. capital punishment system. Two, it's just as clear Abu-Jamal will remain where he so richly deserves to be - locked away for life in a prison cell with a view of the sun through iron bars.
April 23, 1999
By the tens of thousands, caring people are expected to come to Philadelphia to march for justice. Yet tomorrow's event cannot possibly advance the cause of justice. There will be banners decrying police misconduct - a grave problem that has disgraced departments in Philadelphia, New York and around the country. But the dedicated opponents of uniformed brutality, racism and corruption are undercutting their credibility by marching and rallying on behalf of a convicted cop-killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
October 16, 1999 |
Some 17 years after a jury said he should die for killing a cop execution-style, and one day after his death date was finally set, the state's best-known death row inmate, Mumia Abu-Jamal, has taken his case to the federal courts, seeking a new trial. "Every element of the trial in this case. . .was riddled with misconduct and error," his lawyers wrote in a 160-page brief filed yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia. In addition to the legal moves yesterday, pro-Abu-Jamal demonstrators took to the streets, and police were investigating the defacement of a South Philadelphia mural of former Mayor Frank Rizzo, including the spray-painted words "Free Mumia.
May 1, 1999 |
Last Saturday, thousands of activists came to Philadelphia to take their places near Independence Mall in the grand tradition of American protest. They came to place Mumia Abu-Jamal on the pedestal of the wrongfully accused and politically oppressed. Comparing him to Sacco and Vanzetti, Dred Scott and Joe Hill, they attacked the racism and militarism of American society and the capitalist system that consigns so many poor and blacks to forgotten lives of political oppression. I would have been a likely candidate to join in. After all, I am a political activist.
July 20, 1995 |
Wearing a "Free Mumia" button on his purple shirt, Robert Rockwell taunted the protesting 300 off-duty cops by holding up his right hand and shouting, "Sieg heil!" "Shame! Shame!" retorted the cops, dressed in shorts, T-shirts and sneakers, and holding a vigil in memory of slain Policeman Daniel Faulkner. Faulkner was the officer whom Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of fatally shooting in 1981. The standoff last night took place on Locust Street near 13th, just outside the union hall of the Hospital Workers Union Local 1199C, where a "Free Mumia" fund-raiser had been canceled.
November 8, 1998 |
They came marching down Broad Street, a throng of several hundred people beating drums, waving banners, and chanting: "Free Mumia! Free Mumia!" Clots of police officers stood at a nonthreatening distance. Bullhorns blared. Cars honked. Video cameras caught it all on tape. "We're going to free - Mumia - Abu - Jamal - brick by brick - wall by wall. " The chant had the cadence of the antiwar and civil rights movements, to which a speaker referred at a premarch rally yesterday at the State Office Building on North Broad.
July 20, 1995 |
Daniel Faulkner's brethren gathered yesterday near the corner where the police officer left them. Tom Kurowski, like most of his colleagues, had never met the Sixth District cop. But at 21 and in his first year on the job, he still remembers the early morning of Dec. 9, 1981 when Faulkner was shot to death. "They say you can become callous or numb over certain things. " But not about an officer shot, Kurowski, of the 17th District, said. "It's just like a little kid getting killed.
October 25, 2005 |
WHEN HE WAS in college in New York, my son faced an ethical dilemma. Should he take Amtrak for his visit home, or take advantage of the "Free Mumia" bus carrying students to Philadelphia for yet another demonstration? (He took the train.) At the height of the surreal movement on behalf of cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, no liberal arts-college freshman could feel properly matriculated until solicited to demonstrate for the cause. Mumia's true believers didn't care that the evidence pointed to Mumia and no one else in the execution of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.