February 2012. It was a victory in a world of few victories. Philadelphia prosecutors decided not to take a chance on the outcome of a new trial on the sentencing of Mumia Abu-Jamal, which could have exposed police corruption and racism. Mumia’s death sentence was off the table!
They chickened out.
After 30 years of relentlessly trying to get this innocent man legally murdered, and while elements in the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) are still frothing at the mouth for Mumia’s death, the Philadelphia establishment called it a day.
Aided by Maureen Faulkner, the widow of the slain police officer, Daniel Faulkner, prosecutors crowed about how they would keep Abu-Jamal in jail for the rest of his life. But they were actually acting out of fear that somehow, if a new sentencing hearing were called, evidence of Mumia’s innocence would emerge.
We have Other Plans: Freedom for Mumia!
The real reason for the prosecution’s folding up their tents has to do with the fact that they never had a case in the first place. Their “case” was manufactured by cops and prosecutors through intimidation of “witnesses” who never saw what they said they saw at trial; the calculated invention of a “confession” by Jamal that he never made; and the systematic cover-up of evidence that should have proved Jamal innocent from the start.
Key witnesses, such as Cynthia White, the only one to claim she saw Mumia shoot the officer, and Robert Chobert, lied like a rug under intense police pressure. They both had good reason to fear being sent to prison for long terms if they didn’t cooperate; neither one was actually where they said they were; and neither saw anything of substance. Defense witness Veronica Jones, who saw two men jogging away from the scene of the crime, was also coerced by police to lie against Mumia on the stand. Another witness, businessman William Singletary, saw the whole thing, said Mumia didn’t do it, and was run out of town by police before the trial.
Mumia Was Targeted, and Framed
As a young Black Panther, Mumia was targeted by COINTELPRO, the infamous FBI program to disrupt the Panthers and other left groups. Later, as a former Black Panther and journalist-critic of racist police brutality in Philadelphia, Jamal was targeted directly by the equally infamous Mayor Rizzo, the defender of racist, corrupt cops on the inner-city beat, who were the first to frame Mumia up.
But the frame-up was a cover-up from day 1. According to Arnold Beverly, who confessed to being the real shooter, he, Beverly, was hired by these cops and their mob friends to kill Faulkner because Faulkner (who was a likely informant for FBI corruption probes) “interfered” with their pay-offs and graft.
All of this was “moot” to the courts, since Mumia’s guilt has already been decided, over and over again, in endless hearings and appeals, which systematically ignored precedent and covered up evidence. Only his sentence was still up for debate. But still prosecutors trembled: some of the truth might emerge even if the “new trial” was just about sentence.
Mumia Fights On!
After decades of persecution and confinement in a cell “no bigger than your bathroom,” as he put it, Mumia Abu-Jamal has emerged all the stronger, even though he is still falsely condemned and incarcerated. All the world knows Jamal not just as the symbol of the wrongly convicted and sentenced to death, but of those who, unconcerned about their own fate, fight back with whatever weapons are to hand against the capitalist system of racism and imperialist war.
We of the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia will not cease until Mumia is free. We have no confidence in the capitalist courts to free Mumia or others like him. We say instead: For mass action and labor action to free Mumia!