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12/2 Organizing Meeting;12/9 Events SF, PA, NY; 1/26 Oakland; 2/23-25 Stewart/Ratner Tour
by Mobilization to Free Mumia
Wednesday Nov 29th, 2006 10:54 PM
* 12/2 - Important Organizing meeting, SF, CA
* 12/9 - Commemoration events, SF, Berkeley, Philadelphia, NYC
* 1/26 - (Jan.) Commemoration event, Oakland, CA
* 2/23, 24, 25 (Feb.) Lynn Stewart / Michael Ratner Tour, SF area
* Letters from Mumia and Robert Bryan to Paris Mayor
* Bennett reviews Schiffmann: New German book reveals new evidence in
death-row case
* Radio interviews - Peter Wirs, Robert Bryan, Is Honoring Mumia a Crime?
Dear Mumia Supporters -

We have some important news in the struggle to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal as
critical oral arguments will be presented in a hearing in the 3rd Circuit
Court of Appeals early in 2007. Come to an important meeting of the
Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal this Saturday, December 2nd at 10:30
am at 298 Valencia Street, corner of 14th Street in San Francisco's Mission
District. We will be planning for the following:

2007 (info below)

INNOCENCE (Bennett reviews Schiffmann's book - more below)




Tour Dates Finalized: LYNNE STEWART and MICHAEL RATNER (President of the
Center for Constitutional rights defended detainees in Guantanamo Bay in
which they won an important victory before the United States Supreme Court
to test the legality of their detentions) will speak at several major
events throughout the Bay Area (Berkeley, SF, San Jose, Palo Alto) to raise
funds and consciousness for Mumia's and Lynne's legal and political
defense. In addition to the Mobilization and the Lynne Stewart Defense
Committee, the tour is being built and supported by the Bay Area National
Lawyers Guild, the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, the Middle East
Childrens' Alliance, and many many others.

Race Against Death: read the review below of German author Michael
Schiffmann's explosive new book on Mumia (revealing new evidence) is
featured on the Dissident Voice website, see links below. The book has not
been published in the United States yet, but the review and related essays
by Hans Bennett printed below are amazing in the new evidence that is
revealed. Please post this information as broadly as possible.

Take a Stand for Justice for Mumia! - Attend the events on Saturday,
December 9, hear updates about the case and purchase books and cd's:

*San Francisco: Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia Street, 2pm - 4pm -
Film and discussion (Framing of an Execution)

*East Bay: Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar St.
at Bonita, 7pm

Call 415-255-1085 for more information.

*On January 26, 2007: come to a special event to commemorate Mumia
Abu-Jamal's resistance and 25 years of incarceration on death row, and to
support an imminent hearing, as early as January 2007, where the decision
will come down on whether he gets a new trial, or life imprisonment, or
execution. Join us on Friday, January 26, 2007, 6:30 pm. Our honored
guests will be Kiilu Nyasha, Revolutionary Journalist and former Black
Panther; JR, of Prisoners of Conscience Committee; and Rudy and the United
Plaaz. Marcus Book Store, 3900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Oakland.

*There will also be national events on December 9th, including in New York
and Philadelphia, where the right-wing has been working up a vicious
campaign against Mumia and the International Concerned Family and Friends
and are suing the people of Paris and St. Denis, France, in attempt to
compel them to take away Mumia's honorary citizenship of Paris and to take
Mumia's name off an important street in St. Denis (info below).

See attached file of letters from Mumia and Robert Bryan to the Mayor of
Paris and the City Council of Paris (Bryan's note regarding the file is

***See you SATURDAY, December 2nd at 10:30 am at 298 Valencia Street, San

In solidarity,

Jeff Mackler and Laura Herrera
Co-coordinators of The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
298 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103


International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Philadelphia
From: icffmaj [at]
Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2006 18:03:53 -0500
Subject: [icffmaj] The importance of December 9

OnaMOVE! This December 9th marks 25 years since Mumia was shot, beaten
and railroaded to deathrow. It is more necessary than it ever has been for
everyone to take any action they can on December 9th due to the very
critical point of Mumia's legal battle and his life. At this time of
extreme urgency there has been tampering with emails and other
communications by International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia
Abu-Jamal. If you stop recieve our emails please contact us immediately so
that we can deal with the situation. Thanks,ICFFMAJ

From: icffmaj [at]
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 21:57:33 -0500
Subject: [icffmaj] updated info on Dec. 9 to fight for Mumia, Lynne Stewart
alongside Ward Churchill!

We are very happy to announce that Ward Churchill will be joining us on
December 9th in Philly to commemorate Mumia's 25 years of resistance, and
our determination to get him out from the hell hole where he has been all
these years. Ward and Natsu will then go to New York City with us for the
"Ode" rally on behalf of Lynne Stewart. The day will be a day of unity for
all these struggles, with speakers at each other's rallies, etc. Ward being
there will only intensify the quality of the struggle and the unity it will

*PHILADELPHIA assemble 11 am at the east side of Philadelphia City Hall -
12 pm we begin marching at the conclusion we encourage people to travel to
NYC. China town buses offer trips for $10 located only blocks away at 11th
and Cherry Sts, leaving Philly every hour.

* NEW YORK CITY, 7pm till.......
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
New York, NY

Below is info on the 12/9 Rally for Mumia, followed by info on the Lynne
Stewart Program afterwards...

I am writing to update you on that status of Lynne Stewart's case
after her sentencing on October 16th. While we were all relieved
that Lynne did not get 30 years, the Government has announced that
it has gone to the Solicitor General of the United States Justice
Department for authorization to appeal her sentence and that of her

They are not challenging the bail pending appeal but state that they
will only agree to one 30 day adjournment of the filing of the
appeal because they want everyone serving their sentences as soon as

What does all this mean for Lynne? Lynne's attorneys are not
surprised that the government wants to appeal her sentence.
Although sentences are not usually appealed it does happen and case
law in the 2nd Circuit which governs Lynne's case shows that
although rare, when a sentence is appealed and the Circuit sends the
case back for resentencing the result is a far longer sentence. We
are hopeful that Judge Koeltl's meticulous sentencing decision will
carry the day but we have no guarantees and must continue our
vigilance in the face of this latest move by the government. Of
course Lynne's attorneys will be filing the appeal of
her conviction within the year.

Remember to save the date and join us in an "Ode to Joy &
Struggle". December 9th 6:30 to ? The evening will be held at the
beautifully renovated Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square
South (near Thompson St.) in the West Village, New York City. The
event is mostly one of joy but of course the struggle continues. We
will also be commemorating Mumia Abu Jamal's 25 years behind bars
and to that end we will hear from:

Lynne Stewart - her case and current legal status

Pam Africa
Chair of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is currently
determining whether Abu-Jamal will be granted a new trial or sent
back to death row, which is the district attorney's preference.
Speaking about this at our event is Pam Africa, who will be joining
us after the annual rally in Philadelphia, which recognizes the day
Mumia Abu Jamal was shot and framed.


Robert Meeropol
Executive Director, Rosenberg Fund for Children
for your support over these last 4+ years
and uniting for the struggle ahead

Saturday, December 9th PHILADELPHIA assemble 11 am at the east side of
Philadelphia City Hall12 pm we begin marchingat the conclusion we encourage
people to travel to NYC. China town buses offer trips for $10 located only
blocks away at 11th and Cherry Sts, leaving Philly every hour. NEW YORK
CITY, 7pm till .......
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
New York, NY

Lynne Stewart
Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-
Robert Meeropol. Executive Director, Rosenberg Fund for Children

Music by:
Selah Eric Spruiell and The Fort Greene Project
Urbano Sanchez, Latin Jazz
Professor Louie and Fast Eddy
Professor Irwin Corey and Randy Credico
and MUCH more
(comedy, Latin jazz, rap)

Great Food & Drink provided

Judson Memorial Church resides on the southern edge of Washington
Square Park between Thompson and Sullivan Streets. Accessible by
subway from the 8th Street / NYU N and R stop, the West 4th Street
A, C, E, F and V stop or the Christopher Street / Sheridan Square 1,
2, and 9 stop.

Mobility Handicapped please enter through Thompson Street entrance.

International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, P.O. Box
19709, Philadelphia, PA 19143, 215-476-8812

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
350 Broadway, Suite 700
New York, NY 10013

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977


From: Robert R. Bryan
Sent: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 12:12 PM
Subject: Mumia Abu-Jamal - Paris update with letters [Please circulate]

Dear Friends: Recently some Philadelphia politicians contacted officials
in France demanding that Paris revoke Mumia Abu-Jamal's honorary
citizenship. The letter, sent by a lawyer in France who is not even
licensed to practice law in that country, contained misrepresentations and
outright lies. It is a fraud. Attached are letters that Mumia and I, as his
lead attorney, sent on November 7 to both the Mayor of Paris and the City
Council of Paris. In three decades of specializing in defending people
facing the death penalty, I have not seen a case in which the authorities
want so desperately to kill a client. Officials know that as long as Mumia
is alive he will continue being outspoken against governmental wrongs.
They are trying to silence the pen and voice of this great journalist by
killing him. We must not let that happen. Your concern and support is
appreciated. With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal



I am writing to announce the release of my newest essay in my series on
Mumia Abu-Jamal leading up to the December 9 mass demonstration in
Philadelphia marking the 25th anniversary of Mumia's 1981 arrest.

My new review of German author Michael Schiffmann's explosive new book on
Mumia (revealing lots of new evidence) is featured on the Dissident Voice

This is a shorter "reader-friendly" essay based on my exclusive reading of
the English version (not yet published in the US because Schiffmann is
still seeking a publisher) and an extensive interview, which is the only
public English language resource that documents the many new facts and
original ballistics analysis presented in the German book. This version
features several accompanying graphics. This is available on my website at:

This really is a dynamite book and couldn't come at a better time since the
oral arguments in Mumia's 3rd Circuit appeal will happen in early 2007. I
hope you enjoy the review and interview, and please spread the word and
share with friends. I just finished speaking with Pam Africa while she was
at the airport leaving for France, and she wanted to urge everyone to post
this review on as many sites as possible, so we can help publicize Mumia's
case in these crucial months.




Freiheit für Mumia Abu-Jamal!

Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal!
New German book reveals new evidence in death-row case

by Hans Bennett

"The history of the criminal case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, which is by now
almost 25 years old, has been characterized by bias right from the start:
against a black man whom the court denied a jury of his peers, against a
member of the economic underclass who did not have a real claim to a
qualified defense, and against a radical, whose allegedly dangerous
militancy obliged the state to eliminate him from the ranks of society."

So writes German author Michael Schiffmann in his new book Race Against
Death. Mumia Abu-Jamal: a Black Revolutionary in White America (an
expansion of Schiffmann's PhD dissertation at the University of
Heidelberg), just released in Germany this past month.

In 1982, Abu-Jamal he was convicted of killing white Philadelphia police
officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty
International has declared a "violation of minimum international standards
that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty."

Schiffmann writes that a third person (not Abu-Jamal or his brother Billy
Cook) most likely shot and killed police officer Daniel Faulkner on the
morning of December 9, 1981. This third person was Kenneth Freeman (Billy
Cook's friend and business partner), who – according to the available
evidence – was a passenger in Cook's car. Freeman likely shot him in
response to Faulkner shooting Abu-Jamal in the chest, and was therefore the
black male that six eyewitnesses reported to see fleeing the scene moments
before other police arrived.

Race Against Death asserts that ballistics almost certainly rule out
Abu-Jamal firing the first shot (into Faulkner's back), and that much
evidence shows that he also didn't fire the lethal bullet to Faulkner's
head. However, in the very unlikely scenario that Abu-Jamal did shoot
Faulkner, it would have been a response to being shot himself and would
therefore be justified self-defense.

MIT professor Noam Chomsky (a long-time supporter of Abu-Jamal) writes that
Schiffmann's "careful and scrupulous inquiry into the events and the
available evidence brings to light much that is new or was obscured," and
"raises understanding of this painful and critically important case to a
new level. Not only his comprehensive research, but also his penetrating
evaluation of the background and import, should be the basis for further
engagement in the case itself and the intricate array of issues in which it
is embedded."

Building upon evidence presented in the other two books written about
Abu-Jamal's case (Dan Williams' 2001 Executing Justice and Dave Lindorff's
2003 Killing Time), Schiffmann boldly presents both new evidence and an
entirely original analysis of previous ballistics evidence.

A New Witness: Photographer Pedro Polakoff

In May, 2006, Schiffmann discovered two photographs on the Internet that
were taken by the only press photographer immediately present at the 1981
crime scene – Pedro Polakoff. The photographer arrived within 12 minutes of
hearing about the shooting on the police radio and about ten minutes before
the Mobile Crime Unit (responsible for forensics and photographs) arrived.
This unit had still not taken any photos when Polakoff left after 30-45
minutes at the scene.

Upon contacting Polakoff, Schiffmann learned that three of his 31 original
shots were published in Philly newspapers at the time, and five others were
lost. Schiffmann told Z Magazine that he "published five of the 26
remaining photos to show the following three points:


"The cops manipulated evidence and supplied the trial court with
stuff that was simply stage-managed. On Polakoff's photos, P.O. Faulkner's
police hat at first is clearly on the roof of Billy Cook's VW, and only
later on the sidewalk in front of 1234 Locust where it was photographed by
the police photographer who arrived 10 minutes after Polakoff!


"In court Police Officer James Forbes claimed that he had 'secured'
the weapons of both Faulkner and Mumia without touching them on their metal
parts in order to not destroy potential fingerprints. However, in the
single photo reprinted in the book you can see that Forbes is touching the
weapons on their metal parts, and quite a few of Polakoff's other photos
make it clear that Forbes touched and smudged these weapons all over,
destroying any potential fingerprint evidence that may have been on them.


"The second-most important prosecution witness, cab driver Robert
Chobert, simply was not parked in the spot, allegedly right behind Officer
Faulkner's police squad car, where he claimed to have been and from where
he claimed to have observed Mumia fire the shot that killed the officer."

Polakoff's observations don't stop there. Schiffmann writes in Race:
"According to Polakoff, at that time all the officers present expressed the
firm conviction that Abu-Jamal had been the passenger in Billy Cook's VW
and had fired and killed Faulkner by a single shot fired from the passenger
seat of the car."

"Polakoff further reports that this opinion on the part of the police about
what had happened was apparently based on the testimony of three witnesses
who were still present at the crime scene, namely, by the parking lot
attendant in charge of the parking lot on the Northern side of Locust
Street, by a drug addicted woman apparently acquainted with the parking lot
attendant, and another woman. As Polakoff later heard from colleagues in
the media, the parking lot attendant had disappeared the day after, while
the drug-addicted witness died a couple of days later from an overdose.
Whatever it was that these witnesses saw or did not see, we will probably
never know – the interesting fact in any case is that neither of them ever
appeared in any report presented by the police or the prosecution."

Polakoff told Schiffmann that he was simply ignored when he repeatedly
contacted the DA's office to give them his account--and his photos--of the
crime scene.

Schiffmann has informed Mumia's lawyers about Polakoff's evidence--who are
looking into it further.

No Bullet Traces in Sidewalk

The prosecution claims that Mumia stood over and shot at Faulkner 3-4 times
(with only one shot hitting him) while Faulkner was lying on his back.
Schiffmann asserts that if this was true, there would have had to have been
2-3 large divots in the pavement (next to Faulkner's body) resulting from
the bullets' impact. Since photos and police reports do not reveal any
damage or bullet fragments in that location, Schiffmann concludes that the
prosecution scenario must be false.

While this "missing divots" observation was publicly revealed in 2001 by
Mumia's former lawyers, Schiffmann is literally the first writer to
investigate this further.

To support the assertion Schiffmann interviewed a German ballistics expert
and was told that "such divots couldn't possibly have been overlooked." He
concludes: "They were simply not there."

Furthermore, photographer Pedro Polakoff, "emphatically denied that there
could be any such divots beneath the blood or anywhere else in the area of
the sidewalk to be seen on his photos."

After asserting the fraudulence of the prosecution's scenario, Schiffmann
goes further and declares that the three prosecution witnesses supporting
this scenario must have been lying. Even ignoring previous evidence that
witnesses Robert Chobert and Cynthia White falsely testified, "the absence
of any bullet traces or bullets in the sidewalk in front of 1234 Locust is
irrefutable physical evidence that these two, plus witness Michael Scanlan
did not tell the truth at Mumia's trial. By that simple observation a
central part of the prosecution's theory is simply blown out of the water –
and new evidence is on the table thereby for the coaching, coercion and
manipulation of witnesses."

Bullet and Fragments at Crime Scene

Schiffmann's entirely original ballistics analysis is the most explosive
section of Race Against Death. Researched for more than three years, this
chapter analyzes both the unexplained bullet & fragments found in the
doorway of 1234 Locust Street and the copper bullet jacket found on the
sidewalk (all a full car-length from Officer Faulkner's body).

Most likely the bullet shot into Faulkner's Back (traveling at an upward
angle and exiting slightly beneath his throat) came from the sidewalk
behind Faulkner as he was facing northwest towards Mumia and towards the
parking lot situated at the northeastern corner of the intersection 13th
and Locust where Mumia came from. The most logical way for Mumia to
approach the scene was diagonally from Northwest to Southeast – but the
only bullet fragment found in or around 1234 Locust that could have had
anything to do with the shot in Faulkner's back traveled from Northeast to
Southwest, at a sharp angle from where Mumia was approaching the scene!
Schiffmann shows that even if Mumia had approached the scene in an indirect
and awkward way by almost circumventing it first, the bullet fragment in
question cannot have come from a shot fired by him at that time.

There was no evidence of any bullet further east down Locust – where it
would have been had Mumia shot Faulkner from his more logical approach to
the scene from a northwestern direction.

Schiffmann writes in Race that "this evidence shows that the first shot
that hit Faulkner did not come from the direction from which Abu-Jamal
approached the scene, could therefore not have been fired by Abu-Jamal, and
was thus necessarily fired by some third person, a possibility that the
prosecution has always adamantly denied."

Schiffmann told me: "The first key point is that Mumia is no murderer. If
he shot at all, he shot to defend his own life, after he intervened at the
scene in the first place to protect his brother who had already been beaten

"Second, it is very unlikely that Mumia even took his gun out of its
holster during that fateful night. What if the destruction of fingerprint
evidence on Mumia's gun (shown in Polakoff's photos) was not just
negligent, but deliberate? It would mean that the police themselves were
the ones who drew Mumia's weapon (which had been empty apart from five
spent cartridges to begin with) out of his shoulder holster."

The Third Person: Ken Freeman?

Schiffmann cites six witnesses (including several that were intimidated by
police) that saw someone run away before police arrived, and then argues
that this third person was most likely Billy Cook's business partner and
friend, Kenneth Freeman.

In the 1995 PCRA hearings it was revealed that Faulkner had a license
application in his front pocket (concealed from the defense for 13 years)
for one Arnold Howard – who testified that he had loaned his temporary
(non-photo) license to Kenneth Freeman.

Schiffmann explained to me that "Billy Cook's attorney Daniel Alva told
Dave Lindorff (in his book Killing Time) that Cook had told him within days
after the shooting that Freeman had been with him that night. There wasn't
the slightest reason for Alva do have done so if it was not indeed true.
Lying to journalists doesn't belong to the duties of a defense attorney,
and the assumption that a well-respected member of the Philadelphia legal
community such as Alva would do so for no apparent reason makes little
sense to me."

Returning to his ballistics analysis, Schiffmann argues: "A person coming
out of the passenger seat of Billy Cook's VW would have been ideally placed
to fire the shot that hit Faulkner in the back and exited through the
region below his throat. Faulkner had on a clip-on police tie that was
apparently hit right at that clip (since there was blood and lead on it).
The tie was found nowhere near 1234 Locust where it should have been found
had Mumia fired that shot in Faulkner's back. Instead, it was on the
Northern side of Locust shortly before the intersection 13th and Locust.
And this, in turn, means that the shooter must have been on the sidewalk in
front of 1234 Locust – not in the street coming from the parking lot, as
Mumia was."

Further supporting Schiffmann's argument are the mysterious circumstance of
Freeman's death. On May 13, 1985 (the same day police firebombed the MOVE
organization's headquarters) Freeman was found dead in a parking lot.
Likely murdered by police that day, he was found naked, handcuffed and had
a drug needle in his arm. Given the impossibility of injecting himself with
the needle while handcuffed, the official explanation for the 31year-old's
death (heart attack) seems incredible.

"If Freeman was indeed killed by cops, the killing probably was part of a
general vendetta of the Philadelphia cops against their 'enemies' and the
cops killed him because they knew or suspected he had something to do with
the killing of Faulkner," said Schiffmann.

The Arnold Beverly Confession

After years of careful analysis, Schiffmann concludes that the scenario
presented by career criminal Arnold Beverly in his 2001 affidavit (stating
that he killed Faulkner and that Mumia was not involved) is "too
contradictory to be tenable." However, Schiffmann is highly critical of the
courts' flippant rejection of the Beverly affidavit. Considering the
seriousness of a death-row homicide case, he argues that they should have
at least determined its credibility in a public court hearing

The controversial Beverly scenario is no longer an issue in the courts, but
Schiffmann argues that this may not be the worst thing. "The Beverly
affidavit has often been a distraction from what should be the really
central issues: frame-up, unfair trial, legal innocence, actual innocence.
No Arnold Beverly is needed to show that Mumia should be a free man and
shouldn't have spent even one day in jail."

Freiheit für Mumia Abu-Jamal!

Noam Chomsky argues that "Mumia's case is symbolic of something much
broader... The US prison system is simply class and race war... Mumia and
other prisoners are the kind of people that get assassinated by what's
called 'social cleansing' in US client states like Colombia."

Schiffmann also feels that Mumia's case is part of a much larger picture
and devotes most of his book to providing a proper historical context.
"Determined not to write the typical boring academic tract," Schiffmann
told me: "My book's not just about Mumia. His case is important because of
the larger legal, political, and social issues that his case exposes. I
investigate the U.S.'s constitutional tradition, the history of the Civil
Rights and Black Power movements, the horrendous history of city
development in the U.S. tragically exemplified in Philadelphia, Mumia's
extraordinary yet typical history of a Black youth alienated by the false
promises the U.S. 'offered' for him as a young man of the wrong color, and
finally the development of the U.S. into a virtual police state for many
segments of the population."

Schiffmann emphasizes the extreme importance of Mumia's current battle in
the courtroom, but feels that solid legal strategy will only go so far in
gaining a new trial. The key will be to exert maximum political pressure
from the grassroots in Philadelphia and around the world. A "broad,
multi-faceted and democratic mass-movement," emphasizing that "Mumia is all
of us," must be used to ensure real justice.

Schiffmann urges those in the U.S. to attend (or support locally) the
massive Philadelphia demonstration being organized to support Abu-Jamal on
December 9 – the 25th anniversary of Abu-Jamal's arrest. "We have kept
Mumia alive. Against the odds, we have won the first stage of an uphill
battle. Now we must go on all the way – and that is to free Mumia

This review is based on both an exclusive reading of the (unpublished)
English language version of Race Against Death and the author's recent
full-length interview with Schiffmann about his book and the German
movement supporting Mumia Abu-Jamal.


Michael Schiffmann's book Race Against Death: Mumia Abu-Jamal. a Black
Revolutionary in White America has just been released in Germany.
Schiffmann is still looking for a US publisher. He can be contacted via
email: mikschiff [at] . His website is .

Hans Bennett is a Philadelphia-based photo-journalist who has been
documenting the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political
prisoners for over 5 years. For more, please visit his new website: .



From: "Hans Bennett" <hbjournalist [at]>
To: herbavram [at]
Subject: RADIO INTERVIEW: Is Honoring Mumia a Crime?


These are my 2 new interviews on Mumia. Please enjoy and spread around.
It's also available on my website:

RADIO INTERVIEW: Is Honoring Mumia Abu-Jamal A Crime?

Telephone interviews with Peter J. Wirs (Chairman of Philadelphia's 59th
Republican Ward Executive Committee) and Robert R. Bryan, (Attorney for
Mumia Abu-Jamal) about the new criminal charges filed against two French
cities supporting journalist and death-row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

by Hans Bennett
15 minute version:

6 minute version:

2 minute version:

8 minutes 30 seconds version:

4 minutes 30 seconds version:

Because the audio is an edited version (to be listener and download
friendly) of each interview, the full-length transcripts of each interview
are included below so readers can read more and see the overall context to
the questions. In doing the audio editing, I made my best attempt to
accurately portray each side's argument.
Is it a crime to publicly honor the controversial black death-row prisoner
and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal (convicted of killing white Philadelphia
police officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial that Amnesty International
has declared a "violation of minimum international standards that govern
fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty")? Future
Philadelphia mayoral candidate Peter J. Wirs thinks so.

Acting as the Chairman of Philadelphia's 59th Republican Ward Executive
Committee, Wirs has filed criminal charges against the French cities of
Paris and Saint Denis. Their crime?

In 2003 Abu-Jamal was declared an honorary citizen of Parisóthe first time
since Pablo Picasso was similarly honored in the 1970s. This April, the
French city of St. Denis (a Paris suburb) named a major street after him.
Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal leads directly to the largest sports arena in Europe:
"Nelson Mandela Stadium."

Wirs and the GOP ward committee allege that these public honors "glorify" a
"cop-killer" and therefore violate French Penal Code, Article 24 ß 2 (L. 29
juillet 1881), prohibiting "the glorified perpetration of a crime [whose
elements include] the voluntary trespass to another person's life or
physical integrity ..."
The committee's press release explains the following:

"Wirs, a twice-elected state constable who specialized in civil rights
investigations, said that his exhaustive examination of court records
confirms what U.S. District Court Judge William Yohn also found; that
Abu-Jamal received a fair trial despite his own 'obstreperous conduct' that
hogtied his defense counsel's representation, and that alleged post-mortem
eyewitness recantations and inadvertent forensic deficiencies cannot
overcome the sheer weight of circumstantial evidence, that only a Charter
Arms .38 caliber revolver killed Officer Faulkner, being one of two
firearms found at the crime scene, purchased by and registered to
Abu-Jamal; the other being the fallen police officer's service weapon;
coupled with Abu-Jamal's knowingly self-avowed confession that 'I shot the
motherfucker, and I hope the motherfucker dies' heard twice by Thomas
Jefferson University Hospital security personnel where Abu-Jamal was being
treated after his arrest."

"Abu-Jamal's supporters seize on the Philadelphia Police Department's
admission they failed to test Abu-Jamal for gunshot powder, now a common
test to verify one discharged a firearm; and because the bullet recovered
>from Faulkner suffered too much mutilation, it could not be conclusively
matched with any specific Charter Arms revolver. Such contentions, Wirs
asserts, does not mitigate the fact that the bullet specimen had eight
lands and grooves with a right hand direction of twist consistent with a
Charter Arms revolver; and that Abu-Jamal's Charter Arms revolver was found
next to him which contained five 'Plus-P' high-velocity spent bullet shell

Read local article:

Calling Abu-Jamal a "punk," Chairman Wirs proclaims that "Abu-Jamal's
gratuitous exploitation of genuine international opposition to the death
penalty should be exposed for the 'snake-oil' scam that it is."

Wirs and the Committee's criminal charges coincide with two key events.
First, Abu-Jamal's newest appeal has now gone through four rounds of reply
briefs during the last year and now public oral arguments should begin
before the end of the winter in early 2007.

Second, this December 9 will mark the 25th anniversary of Abu-Jamal's
arrest and police officer Daniel Faulkner's death. Abu-Jamal's supporters
are organizing a mass demonstration at Philadelphia's City Hall on December
9. (see announcement):

Peter Wirs has said that advocates of Abu-Jamal's conviction may also be
organizing their own event that day a few blocks from City Hall at 13th and
Locust: the scene of the crime that December 9, 1981 morning, but it is
still undecided.

Mumia Abu-Jamal's Current Appeal

In December, 2001 Federal District Court Judge William Yohn affirmed
Abu-Jamal's guilt but overturned the death sentence. Citing the 1988 Mills
v. Maryland precedent, Yohn ruled that sentencing forms used by jurors and
Judge Sabo's instructions to the jury were confusing. Subsequently, jurors
mistakenly believed that they had to unanimously agree on any mitigating
circumstances in order to be considered as weighing against a death

Mumia's case is now in the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals. DA
Lynne Abraham is appealing the death penalty ruling while Mumia is
appealing the guilty verdict.

If the penalty ruling is overturned, a new execution date will be set for
Mumia. If his ruling is upheld, the DA can still impanel a new jury to
rehear the penalty phase, which could then sentence Mumia to
deathóregardless of the 3rd Circuit ruling.

Because the DA appealed Yohn's death penalty decision, Mumia has never left
death row, and is still unable to have such "privileges" as full-contact
visits with his family.

In December, 2005, the 3rd Circuit announced the beginning of deliberations
and shocked many by agreeing to consider two claims not "certified for
appeal" by Yohn in 2001.

Abu-Jamal's attorney Robert R. Bryan declared it to be "the most important
decision affecting my client since his 1981 arrest, for it was the first
time there was a ruling that could lead to a new trial and his freedom."
The courts are now considering the following four issues:

#1. Whether the penalty phase of the 1982 trial violated the legal
precedent set by the US Supreme Court's 1988 Mills v. Maryland ruling.
This issue was Yohn's grounds for overturning the death sentence and is now
being appealed by the DA.

#2. "Certified for appeal" by Yohn in 2001, the Batson claim, addresses
the prosecution's use of peremptory challenges to exclude blacks from
Abu-Jamal's jury. In 1986, the US Supreme Court ruled in Batson v.
Kentucky that a defendant deserves a new trial if it can be proved that
jurors were excluded on the grounds of race.

At trial, Prosecutor McGill used 11 peremptory challenges to remove black
jurors that were otherwise acceptable. While Philadelphia is 44% black,
Abu-Jamal's jury was composed of ten whites and only two blacks. From
1977-1986 when current Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell was Philadelphia's
District Attorney, the evidence of racism is striking: from 1977-86, the
Philadelphia DA struck 58% of black jurors, but only 22% of white jurors.

#3. The legality of McGill's statement to the jury minimizing the
seriousness of a verdict of guilt: "if you find the Defendant guilty of
course there would be appeal after appeal and perhaps there could be a
reversal of the case, or whatever, so that may not be final."

In 1986 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against McGill in another case
(Commonwealth v. Baker) on the same grounds. When Abu-Jamal addressed this
same issue in his 1989 appeal with the State Supreme Court, the court
reversed its decision on the legality of such a statementóruling against
the claim for a mistrial.

One year later, in the very next case involving this issue (Commonwealth v.
Beasley), the State Supreme Court flip-flopped and restored the precedent.
However, this would not affect the ruling against Mumia, because the court
ruled that this precedent would only apply in "future trials."

#4. The fairness of the 1995-97 Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) hearings
when the retired, 74-year-old Judge Sabo was called back specifically for
the hearing.

During the 1995 hearings, the mainstream Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that
the "behavior of the judge in the case was disturbing the first time
aroundóand in hearings last week he did not give the impression to those in
the courtroom of fair mindedness. Instead, he gave the impression,
damaging in the extreme, of undue haste and hostility toward the defense's

Concluding the PCRA hearing, Sabo rejected all evidence and every witness
presented by the defense as not being credible. Therefore, Sabo upheld all
of the facts and procedures of the original 1982 trial as being correct.

Is it a Crime to Honor Mumia Abu-Jamal?
Is it a crime to honor black journalist and death-row prisoner Mumia
Abu-Jamal? Was the 1982 trial fair enough (as Peter J. Wirs argues) that
Abu-Jamal is undeserving of a new trial? I have made an attempt to fairly
show both sides of the debate so that readers can make their own decision
about this controversial case.

These full-length interview transcripts are meant to promote my upcoming
article where I also have interviewed Philadelphia journalists Linn
Washington and David Lindorff about the criminal lawsuit and the fairness
of the 1982 trial. I have attempted to interview Michael Smerconish (local
journalist and longtime-advocate of Abu-Jamal's execution) for this
upcoming article, but he has not yet returned my telephone call.

I will be submitting the upcoming article to the 4 big local newspapers in
Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, Philadelphia Weekly,
and City Paper in my effort to present an article to the public that is
both fair and balanced: accurately presenting both sides of the debate so
that the readers can decide for themselves what to think.

Telephone interview Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hans Bennett: What exactly is the 59th Republican Ward Executive Committee?

Peter J. Wirs: It is part of the Republican Party in Philadelphia.

Hans: Is your suit independent of the city government?

Peter: The Republican Party has nothing to do with the government

Hans: Will you be traveling with a Philadelphia delegation to
France at the end of the month?

Peter: No, I've only said before that we were contemplating
traveling. No firm plans have been made, and since then some addition
elements have materialized that I'm not at liberty to discuss on the record
at this moment.

Hans: Are you organizing an event for December 9th.

Peter: No, because of materializing developments I'm not at liberty
to state on the record

Hans: I've spoken with a couple of Mumia's supporters who feel
that the trial was unfair and I wanted to give you a chance to respond to
what they said.

Peter: Alright

Hans: One thing they talked about was Mumia's [alleged] hospital
confession. I was wondering what you what you thought about the witnesses
reporting the confession two months later. Does that in any way challenge
their credibility?

Peter: No

Hans: Why not?

Peter: Let me explain why I'm involved in this. I'm a former twice
elected state constable out of the city of Harrisburg. My expertise, my
law enforcement career is in civil rights investigation.

The US District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania and
subsequently the Third Circuit appointed me under the Criminal Justice Act
to conduct what became the largest prosecution investigation in the history
of the federal courts in Pennsylvania

I am furthermore a 2 time elected board member of the south central chapter
of the ACLU. I have great expertise and experience in conducting civil
rights investigations--particularly in regard to prosecution and judicial
misconduct. That's one of the reasons a lot of people have asked me to be
involved in this.

When you look at the trial, (and i have examined the trial record
extensively, and thoroughly, and comprehensively) of course there were
instances where the system did not perform at an optimal level of
perfection, but as was well noted by the Supreme Court, no one is entitled
to a perfect trial, they're simply entitled to a fair trial. And in this
instance, Judge Sabo (not withstanding whatever alleged personal bias or
prejudice may be attributed to him) conducted as thorough and as fair of a
trial as possibleónot withstanding Mumia's own obstruction of the trial
process in the proceedings.

Let's look specifically at the evidence. Those of us involved in any form
of law enforcement (be it in the field or back in the court room) know that
it's not so much direct testimony, or eye witness testimony that is
substantive evidence of proof. Rather, it is the circumstantial evidence
that we wish to rely upon.

When you look at the circumstantial evidence that Officer Faulkner was shot
by a charter arms bullet (notwithstanding that the actual bullet itself was
so maligned that ballistic tests couldn't identify the bullet as coming
from Mumia's particular gun), coupled with the fact that the defendant was
found at curbside in immediate vicinity with a charter arms revolver and
five spent casings, what other inference can you draw from those 2 sets of
facts, other than Mumia Abu-Jamal shot officer Faulkner?

Hans: You were talking about the "8 lands and 8 grooves" that made
it consistent with the charter arms revolver?

Peter: Yes.

Hans: Well, one thing that Mumia supporters point out is that the "8
lands and 8 grooves" were only mentioned by police ballistics expert
Anthony Paul at the actual 1982 trial. He didn't actually write that in
his original report. He actually wrote that...

Peter: There's no trial that is perfect. We're all accustomed to
the CSI and Law and Order television shows and all these nice televised
scripts as to what has occurred. That's not reality. Particularly when
you look at 25 years ago the opportunities and advantages for forensic
evidence seen on TV today, were not available to us 25 years ago.

All else aside, there are 2 conclusive, clear, and convincing facts that
Mumia supporters have not controverted:

1) Officer Faulkner was shot by a bullet from a Charter Arms revolver.

2) The defendant was found immediately nearby with a Charter Arms revolver
and 5 spent casings.

On those two facts alone, the Commonwealth asked the jury to draw an inference,
which they did, and concluded that the defendant was guilty beyond
reasonable doubt

Hans: Can I ask you, regarding...

Peter: Hans, I want to explain in some detail, so you have a grasp
what is going on here, okay?

Peter: Now you have to understand law a little bit here and you also
have to understand evidentiary law, alright? There are (as in this trial)
a set of facts
and then the jury is asked to reach a conclusion. In most trials the facts
are not 100% picture perfect complete. In most crimes, the police officers
are in fact the eyes and ears of the jury. The prosecution packages what
evidence they have in a nice coherent package to the jury.

The problem that we have here is that often the jigsaw puzzle is not
complete, and you have to ask the jury to look at the jigsaw puzzle with
pictures missing and still ask them to imagine what the total picture is.
In law we have facts. We ask jurors to make reasonable inferences from
those facts in order to arrive at a conclusion - the conclusion whether the
defendant was innocent or guilty.

The bone that is in everybody's throat is that Abu-Jamal was convicted by
the jury drawing an inference, and people are not totally comfortable with
that. They don't like people being convicted and facing the death penalty
based on inference drawn by less than 100% fact.

Here, in this instance we had only 90% facts and the jury was asked to draw
an inference based from those facts. That's what people don't understand
occurred, and that's what people don't understand has to occur in every
trial that goes to court. As with every trial that goes to court, you
don't have video cameras
from beginning to end and you don't have eye witnesses anticipating the
situation to occur, so as a result the bone that is sticking in everyone's
throat is that he was convicted from the inference drawn from
circumstantial evidence...

Hans: Okay, can I go back to talking about how the bullet was tied
to the Charter Arms...

Peter: Because #1 the bullet was so maligned that it was impossible
to conduct a ballistics test on it with the technology we had 25 years ago
and #2 The CSI television show is fiction. It's not real. In the real
world we have to deal with evidence as we get it.

Notwithstanding that, there is no allegation by any party of interest (such
as Pam Africa or any of these other people) which mitigates these two
important uncontroverted facts. There is none.

Hans: Okay, let's go back to these "uncontroverted facts". Police
ballistics expert Anthony Paul didn't write about the "eight lands and
eight grooves" in his original report...

Peter: So what?

Hans: He actually said...

Peter: So what?

Hans: Could you hold on a second? He actually said that the
"general characteristics" were "indeterminable".

Peter: So what?

Hans: Do you think that's a significant contradiction that first he
said it couldn't be determined and then in court he said that it could?

Peter: It still doesn't mitigate the fact that the bullet was a
Charter Arms.
No one has controverted or disputed that Faulkner was shot by a Charter
Arms bullet.

Hans: That is in dispute, though, because it was the "eight lands
and eight grooves" that....

Peter: No one has ever disputed that in a court of law subject to
cross examination.

Hans: Actually, in the PCRA hearings in 1995 it was brought up and...

Peter: It was only brought up. It wasn't subject to valid cross
examination and it dealt with a process, not with a conclusion.

Hans: Well, the prosecution did actually cross examine George
Fassnaacht. He was the ballistics expert called by Mumia's defense team
and he was actually cross-examined by the prosecution when he testified to
this contradiction in Anthony Paul's report.

Peter: That still doesn't mitigate the fact that he was shot by a
Charter Arms bullet.

Hans: But that's the evidence that ties it to a Charter Arms
revolver. He didn't write that in the original report...

Peter: So what?

Hans: He actually said it was "indeterminable" and could not be tied
to it...

Peter: So what?

Hans: Then he changed his mind when he was on the stand.

Peter: So what?

Hans: Okay, so you're saying that it's not a strong enough

Peter: It doesn't mitigate the fact that was already established at
the trial, which was that Officer Faulkner was shot by a charter arms

Hans: Well another thing, Amnesty International has criticized the
fact that police didn't conduct the "smell" and "wipe" tests. Do you think
that challenges the prosecution's theory at all?

Peter: It certainly makes them look stupid, but it still doesn't
mitigate these 2 uncontroverted facts.

Hans: So you don't think the contradiction in Anthony Paul's police
report challenges the official connection to the charter arms revolver?

Peter: This is why people get hung up with what people do during
investigations. You saw the same thing in the OJ Simpson trial, alright,
and you see it in a lot of big highlighted trials. When people get involved
in it, they screw it up.

Look at the facts themselves. Forget what the people did because that's
just peripheral. The basic fact is that Faulkner was shot by a Charter
Arms revolver. Fact 2: the defendant was found with a Charter Arms owned
by him and registered to him with 5 spent casings.

If he had just a charter arms, that wouldn't mean anything. But he had a
charter arms that had had 5 spent casings. Where did those five bullets go
to? The subway system? Did he leave them inside, did he discharge them
inside his cab?

Hans: Well, they only recovered one bullet [besides the one in
Mumia's chest officially tied to Faulkner's gun], right?

Peter: Yes, inside Officer Faulker. The fact is there were 5 spent
casings out of his charter arms and no one has disputed that.

Fact #1: the defendant had a Charter Arms with 5 spent casings.

Fact #2: Officer Faulkner was shot by a Charter Arms.

Critics are trying to attack the bridge between those two facts what we
legally call "inference" and people are saying you don't convict people on
an inference. Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted on an inference.

The fact of the matter is in our legal system, at least 75% of people are
convicted on inferences, otherwise you wouldn't be able to convict

Hans: Okay, can I ask you more about the hospital confession?
Police officer Gary Wakshul originally reported on December 9, 1981 that
"the negro male made no comment". When Mumia's lawyer tried to bring this
into court on the last day of trial, Judge Sabo blocked it an would not
give the defense time to call Wakshul as a witness. You think that was
fair for Sabo to do?

Peter: One could argue whether it was fair or not, however it was
not reversible error.

Hans: So you argue that the trial was not as fair as it could have
been, but it was fair enough.

Peter: Yes, he got a fair trial. Judge Sabo bent over backwards.
I don't think Sabo was given the credit he deserved in accommodating Jamal.

Now, if I was in charge of things, would I want Judge Sabo to preside over
this trial?

They should have gotten another Judge to preside over this trial. As was
established in Commonwealth v. Jamal as well as the earlier Commonwealth v.
Africa, and other such trials of this nature, everybody needs to put their
best foot forward and that includes the First Judicial District by
appointing a judge whose standing and integrity is unassailable and

Judge Sabo, with his prior association as an under-Sheriff and as a
longtime member of the Fraternal Order of Police, gave ammunition, gave
fodder to the opposition.

Nonetheless, Judge Sabo was pushed to the point of exasperation in trying
to deal with Mumia Abu-Jamal. Keep in mind that Jamal did everything he
could to sabotage his trial and in the civil end of court we call this the
"doctrine of unclean hands". If you're committing something that's wrong,
you're doing something that's not right you can't ask for equitable relief
if you yourself have committed a wrong in that process.

It's called the doctrine of unclean hands and it's not right for you to
screw up your trial (turn your political into a circus) and then turn
around and say you didn't get a fair trial. Excuse me, you were the one
who were supporting law and order circus antics when you should have been
abiding by the system's rules and regulations set forth so the trial could
be fair. He sabotaged his trial. So the law says we can't hear you now.

Hans: Mumia's supporters have argued that Mumia didn't start his
combative behavior (interrupting Sabo and such) until Sabo actually denied
him the right to defend himself

Peter: No, Judge Sabo granted him the right because every defendant
in the US is allowed to proceed pro se. What Jamal objected to was the
appointment of Anthony Jackson to be his standby counsel. The judge has
every right to appoint standby council.

Hans: So the point at which Judge Sabo denied him the right to
defend himself, you agree with that? Because he denied him the right [a few
days into the trial].

Peter: No, he granted the right to proceed pro se.

Hans: For a couple days.

Peter: When Abu-Jamal refused to abide by the rules, by the proper
procedure, and continued to flaunt and abuse the authority granted him,
that's when Sabo (as permitted by law) revoked his right to proceed pro
se--because he was abusing it. With every right, there is a corresponding

If I'm the judge I'm going to give you the right to proceed pro se, but if
you want to be like council and represent yourself, then you better act
like council. It doesn't mean that you turn the courtroom into a sandbox.

Hans: Okay, going back to Judge Sabo, what do you think about court
stenographer Terry Mauer-Carter's 2001 affidavit... [saying she overheard
Judge Sabo say in regards to Mumia's trial that he was going to help the
prosecution "fry the nigger."]

Peter: It doesn't surprise me. why should that surprise me?

Hans: You don't think the affidavit should be allowed into his
current appeal?

Peter: First of all, it's not for me to second guess the Third
Circuit Court
in regard to that one claim that judicial bias tarnished the PCRA
proceedings, because under the law of Pennsylvania, there is no right to a
PCRA proceeding. So having said that they would have to argue about due
process and some state created right which may or may not be.

Is the PCRA (written by state representative Lois Haggerty of Montgomery
County) a model of constitutional clarity and compliance?

Absolutely not.

Hans: The statement was from the original 1982 trial, not the later
PCRA hearings.

Peter: Fine.

Hans: So you think Sabo probably did say it, but it doesn't affect
his trial enough that...

Peter: No, it would surprise me if he didn't say it. You know, you
have to understand something, okay? We call this conviction psychology.
This rule that you're presumed innocent until proven guilty is a joke, it's
a standing joke. We all know it because people suffer from conviction

Do you have siblings?

Hans: I was the oldest, I had a younger sister

Peter: Okay, when your younger sister complained to mom and dad that
you struck her, what did your parents do? They came back and yelled at
you, right?

Hans: Usually

Peter: We call that conviction psychology. Usually when people make
an accusation, when people hear about an accusation, the fact that the
allegation was made taints their objectivity and they give credence to the
accusation whether or not it is valid. Your sister could have made up the
thing that you struck her
but she nonetheless knew that if she ran in and told mom and dad that you
struck her you were gonna get your ass kicked.

It's the same thing in the court of law. Every defendant who walks into
the court of law has to bear the problem that people say: "well look, he
wouldn't have been here unless he did something wrong". As a result, the
judges and jurors and even courtroom observers think "the punk did
something wrong", he's gonna get convicted.

This is a major problem that we have in our court system. Our jurors are
not specifically trained to 1)identify conviction psychology, and 2)learn
that they have an inherent prejudice which they have to package and leave
outside that courtroom door.

Hans: So your saying "innocent until proven guilty" is not a reality?

Peter: Let me finish here. A judge, alright, he's just as human as
anyone else is. He, however (being trained in the law), knows that he has
personal bias and prejudice. Not only that, he knows that he has personal
biases and prejudices but he knows that it is incumbent upon the judge to
control them. That's why he wears the black robe: to conceal his personal
persona and remind himself and anyone else that whatever personal biases he
carries, he left outside the courtroom. When he stepped inside the
courtroom his disciplined thinking is that he could care less which side
wins. He has to make sure that it is fair, and to that extent, Judge Sabo
earnestly attempted to conduct a fair trail .

Was the trial (in the view of the judge, the Commonwealth, and maybe even
Anthony Jackson) a slam dunk? I'm sure they all thought it was a slam dunk.

They all thought they were going through the motions perhaps. Nonetheless
they went through the motions. They heard all the evidence and Judge Sabo
conducted the trial as fairly he could.

Did he conduct a perfect trial, no? But did he conduct a fair trial, yes?

Hans: Even though his comment that he was going to help "fry the

Peter: So what?

Hans: He said he was going to help them do it and that means he's
going to use his judicial power to help the prosecution, right?

Peter: I'm sure that was bravado more than anything else. Judge
Sabo bent over backwards to accommodate Abu-Jamal and moreover if you look
at the records, to those of us with a trained eye in looking at these
things we see no indicia of prosecution misconduct. We don't see any
indicia of appeal violations or what we now call today "404 ambushes". We
don't see any of that.

Joseph McGill did everything he could do to walk the straight and narrow.
There were times when he would bait Abu-Jamal, but it was all hard blows
that were clearly above the belt

Hans: So you don't...

Peter: The United States says the prosecution can strike hard blows,
but they have to be fair blows. McGill did nothing below the belt.

Hans: So you don't think that the jury should have heard about
officer Gary Wakshul's "negro male made no comment" statement the day at
the hospital?

Peter: For what? To impeach another witness?

Hans: Well, the confession was a big part of the conviction, and it
seems that if he said the "negro male made no comment," that it does
challenge the credibilty...

Peter: First of all, jurors back then (just as today) would more
likely than not have discounted the testimony of the police officers as
being self-serving.

The fact is that the Jefferson University Hospital security guard (who had
no axe to grind, and who was not traumatized by the event) was the most
levelheaded and objective of all people because she worked in the ER and
was used to seeing trauma on a daily basis. Her testimony would be the
most credible of any of the testimonies.

Hans: So what do you think about...

Peter: I'm sure that 25 years after the fact, Officer Wakshul is
still kicking himself for not reporting the confession at the time.
Nonetheless, the testimony of the security guard is all the more credible
and remains so today in that regard.

But even if you took out the confession and the errors of the police
officers, you still come back to these 2 simple basic facts:

fact 1) Jamal was found with a Charter Arms with 5 spent casings
fact 2) Faulker was shot by a Charter Arms

They would have easily convicted him on those 2 facts alone.

Hans: But if the confession was fabricated, do you think it
challenges other evidence?

Peter: No evidence was fabricated. No one has ever alleged in a
court of law that it was fabricated

Hans: Why do you think the security guard waited two months to
report it also?

Peter: Only because of the mishmash of events. Again, this is not a
television show we're talking about.

Hans: Okay, I have next just one more question for you. Going back
to the ballistics, the prosecution scenario has Faulkner shooting Mumia at
an upward trajectory while Faulkner was falling onto his back. However,
the bullet that went through Mumia's chest was at a downward trajectory.
What do you think about that?

Peter: I think that we weren't there, we didn't have a video camera
or a cellphone camera. We go back to the two fundamental facts that I have
First, Jamal had a Charter Arms revolver with 5 spent casings and fact #2:
Faulkner was shot by a charter arms bullet. Now, until you attack those 2
facts, until you attempt to mitigate those 2 facts, you don't have a leg to
stand on with anything.

Hans: Regarding the Charter Arms revolver, did you want to make any
more points about the contradiction in the police report. Like I've been
saying, they never tied the bullet to the Charter Arms revolver until
court. And it was a direct contradiction to the previous report that said
those characteristics were "indeterminable".

Peter: Again, human mistakes certainly screw up things. As I
explained to you before, this was not a CSI television show

Hans: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Peter: Again, with my expertise in civil rights, I have not seen any
indication of prosecution or judicial misconduct. It will be 25 years this
December 9th. I think it's time justice be served and that the widow be
granted closure on this issue.



Link to extensive 2005 Kiilu Nyasha interview with Robert Bryan detailing
his case for a new trial:

On October 23, attorney Robert R. Bryan (attorney for death-row prisoner
Mumia Abu-Jamal) filed the 4th Step Reply Brief with the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia. Bryan estimates that the
public hearing of arguments should begin in early 2007. After the hearing,
the panel of judges will then decide whether to grant Abu-Jamal a new
trial. Link to the Oct.23 brief:

Robert Bryan and Abu-Jamal recently sent a letter to France as a response
to the criminal lawsuit and the possible delegation consisting of Wirs and
others to France, but the possible visit to France is not happening after
all, according to Wirs in the interview above. Link to the letters written
by Bryan and Abu-Jamal:
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