Philadelphia, PA. Yet another witness has come forward to expose the police frame-up which has kept celebrated journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row for over 20 years. In a declaration filed last week in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by Jamal’s attorneys, Kenneth Pate swears that his half-sister, Priscilla Durham, in a telephone conversation with Pate in 1983 or 1984, repudiated her testimony against Jamal at his 1982 trial for the murder of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
Durham, a security guard, was on duty at Jefferson Hospital on December 9, 1981, when Jamal and Faulkner were brought into the emergency room with gunshot wounds. According to Pate, Durham told him that the only statement Jamal made at the hospital was, “Get off me, get off me, they’re killing me”, when the police were interfering with his medical treatment. This directly –contradicts– Durham’s testimony at Jamal’s trial that she heard
him yell out, while surrounded by numerous police, “I shot the motherf—er and I hope he dies.”
The story of Jamal’s purported “confession” at the hospital was not reported for two months by any police officers. According to Pate, the police appealed to Durham to “stick with” them because, as a security guard, she was part of the “brotherhood” of law enforcement officers. Durham claimed at Jamal’s trial that she had reported the alleged confession to her supervisor. Jamal’s jury never heard the testimony of a police officer responsible for guarding Jamal at the hospital who had filed a written report shortly afterwards in which he said that Jamal had made no statements the trial judge refused a defense request for a continuance in order to locate the officer.
Pate’s declaration now fully explodes the “confession” story as a complete fabrication. With the presentation of Pate’s testimony, Jamal’ attorneys have now provided the courts with sufficient proof to refute every piece of alleged evidence used to convict Jamal at his 1982 trial: Witness statements by Yvette Williams and private investigator Mike Newman prove that the Prosecution’s purported “eyewitnesses”, prostitute Cynthia White and cab driver Robert Chobert, did not even see the shooting. Arnold Beverly’s dramatic declaration, corroborated by a lie detector test and a wealth of other evidence, establishes that he, not Jamal, shot Officer Faulkner in a “mob hit” procured by corrupt police and organized crime because Faulkner was an obstacle to the “pay-offs” racket that corrupt police were running in center city Philadelphia in the 1980’s.
Despite the fact that no jury today could possibly convict Mumia Abu-Jamal after hearing all the evidence now available, he remains in prison and the Philadelphia District Attorney, egged on by the Fraternal Order of Police, remains committed to seeing him executed despite the evidence which proves his innocence.
For information on how persons or organizations can join in the amicus (“friend of the court”) brief filed in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in support of Mumia’s innocence by noted criminal defense attorney Michael Yamamoto, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
For more information:
Contact attorney Eliot Grossman at (626) 943-1945.
DECLARATION OF KENNETH PATE
I, KENNETH PATE, DECLARE:
1. I am related to Priscilla Durham, now known as Priscilla Ahmed, through marriage: My father, Perry Abner, married Priscilla’s mother, Dolores Durham, about 20-25 years ago.
2. Sometime around the end of 1983 or the beginning of 1984 I had a telephone conversation with Priscilla Durham in which the subject of Mumia Abu-Jamal came up.
3. I asked Priscilla how she was and she asked me how I was. I was kind of teasing her about her job as a security guard at the hospital, saying “why would a woman need to carry a big old gun like that?”
4. Priscilla began to complain about the way she was treated on the job, about her back hurting, and them “treating her like that” after all she did for them they laid her off.
5. Then Priscilla started talking about Mumia Abu-Jamal. She said that when the police brought him in that night she was working at the hospital. Mumia was all bloody and the police were interfering with his treatment, saying “let him die.”
6. Priscilla said that the police told her that she was part of the
“brotherhood” of police since she was a security guard and that she had to stick with them and say that she heard Mumia say that he killed the police officer, when they brought Mumia in on a stretcher.
7. I asked Priscilla: “Did you hear him say that?” Priscilla said: “All I heard him say was: ‘Get off me, get off me, they’re trying to kill me.'”
8. Priscilla also said there was a lot of chaos and confusion going on when the police brought Mumia in and when they were talking to her.
9. I am presently imprisoned at SCI Greene where I have been for about 3 years. At the time of my telephone conversation with Priscilla Durham, described above, I was imprisoned at SCI Graterford.
10. Back in 1982-1984 Priscilla and I had many telephone conversations when I was at SCI Graterford. I would call her house to talk to her or her daughter Sharon. Since then Priscilla and I have written each other many times.
11. Sometime in 1984, after I was transferred to SCI Huntington, I read a newspaper article about the Mumia Abu-Jamal case. It said Priscilla Durham had testified at Mumia’s trial that when she was working as a security guard at the hospital she heard Mumia say that he had killed the police officer. When I read this I realized it was a different story from what she had told
12. Mumia was also imprisoned at SCI Huntington at that time. I wrote a note to him about Priscilla and gave it to another inmate who was a “tier worker” to pass it on to him.
13. Sometime between December of last year (2002) and February of this year (2003) I was out in the prison yard at the same time Mumia was. I remember that the weather was still cold. We were a couple of cages away from each other. I mentioned to him about the telephone conversation I had with Priscilla back in 1983 or 1984 and that she said she did –not– hear Mumia say anything about killing the police officer. I told him that I thought she was still scared about telling the truth about what happened but Maybe she would.
14. My nickname or street name is “Kenny Stax.” That is how I am known by Mumia and other inmates.
15. I am willing to take a lie detector test to prove I am telling the truth about my conversation with Priscilla Durham.
This declaration is made subject to the penalties provided for in 18 Pa. Cons. Stats. Sec. 4904 for unsworn false statements to authorities.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that this declaration is true and correct and was signed by me on April 18, 2003, at Waynesburg, PA.