--Journalists and activists present evidence of innocence and an unfair trial in the death-penalty case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
The news conference organized by Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal featured an exclusive slide-show presentation of newly discovered crime scene photos, as well as presentations by local journalists David A. Love and Dave Lindorff, and Pam Africa of The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
INVITATION: This week marks the 26th anniversary of the December 9, 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner and the arrest of radical journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal. December 6 will mark the release of a new book titled "Murdered By Mumia," written by Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish. The Philadelphia Inquirer has already begun a three-part series that features excerpts from "Murdered By Mumia." The media-attention will continue this week with "Murdered By Mumia" scheduled to be featured on such news programs as The Today Show, The O'Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and many more.
In light of this significant week, the news conference was organized to present "the other side of the story," to the media so that it can be fairly balanced alongside the story presented by Faulkner, Smerconish, and others who argue that Mumia does not deserve a new trial and should be executed. Come and hear from activists and award-winning journalists who have thoroughly researched the case and concluded that Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial was blatantly unfair, and that there is considerable evidence suggesting that Abu-Jamal is innocent, as he has always maintained.
For the national media, and others unable to make it to the news conference, audio and video documentation has been made available via the internet.
CONTACT US: For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This news conference featured:
SLIDESHOW PRESENTATION OF NEWLY DISCOVERED CRIME SCENE PHOTOS
Philadelphia journalist Hans Bennett presented a slideshow displaying the crime scene photos recently discovered by German linguist, Michael Schiffmann (University of Heidelberg). Dr. Schiffmann has disclosed his discovery of 26 photographs (never seen by the 1982 jury), taken by press photographer Pedro P. Polakoff, which suggest more evidence that basic investigative protocol was violated by police from the earliest moments of the killing. Schiffmann and Bennett's website, Abu-Jamal-News.com, displays four of the photos to make these key points about the new evidence:
1. Mishandling the Guns - Officer James Forbes holds both Abu-Jamal's and Faulkner's guns, his bare hand touching the metal parts, suggesting perjury when he testified to properly preserving the guns' ballistics evidence.
2. The Moving Hat - Faulkner's hat is moved from the roof of Billy Cook's VW and placed on the sidewalk, where it remained for the official police photo.
3. The Missing Taxi - Robert Chobert testified to parking directly behind Faulkner's car, but the space is empty.
4. The Missing Divots – On the sidewalk, where Faulkner was found, there are no large bullet divots, or destroyed chunks of cement, which should be visible in the pavement if the prosecution scenario was accurate, according to which Abu-Jamal shot down at Faulkner – and allegedly missed several times – while Faulkner was on his back. Dr. Michael Schiffmann writes: "It is thus no question any more whether the scenario presented by the prosecution at Abu-Jamal's trial is true. It is clearly not, because it is physically and ballistically impossible."
DAVID A. LOVE
In October, 2007, Philadelphia-based lawyer and journalist, David A. Love, wrote about the new crime scene photos for The Black Commentator news website. Love's article titled "Photos Bolster Claims of Mumia’s Innocence and Unfair Trial" was featured in the national Black newspaper, The SF Bay View, where one of the photos was published for the very first time in the US. Love spoke at the news conference about why the new crime scene photos are an important and worthy story for the media to cover. (see above)
Dave Lindorff is the author of "Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal" (Common Courage Press, 2003), an independent examination of this important capital case. In his December 2, 2007 article titled "Maureen Faulkner and Mumia: Vengeance Isn't Sweet," Lindorff responds to the first in a three-part series in The Philadelphia Inquirer, that features experts from Maureen Faulkner's new book, written with Michael Smerconish, titled "Murdered By Mumia." He writes that Faulkner "is entitled to her anger and her grief," but "we are all diminished when justice is so willingly cast aside in the wrongheaded name of vengeance, as has clearly happened in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. No amount of sympathy for Faulkner's widow should be permitted to sway society or the courts from a commitment to justice, and there has been no justice in this case."
At the press-conference, Lindorff addressed the summary of evidence against Abu-Jamal, presented at the "Murdered By Mumia" website, that "Mumia Abu-Jamal was unanimously convicted of the crime by a racially mixed jury based on: the testimony of several eyewitnesses, his ownership of the murder weapon, matching ballistics, and Abu-Jamal's own confession."
--Award-winning investigative reporter Dave Lindorff has been working as a journalist for 34 years. A regular columnist for CounterPunch, he also writes frequently for Extra! and Salon magazine, as well as for Businessweek, The Nation, and Treasury & Risk Magazine. Over the years he has written for such publications as Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Village Voice, Forbes, The London Observer and the Australian National Times.
Pam Africa is the head of The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (ICFFMAJ). Africa will provide an update on the current media-activist campaign to "ensure fairness" for Abu-Jamal on the December 6 NBC Today Show, which spotlighted the release of the book "Murdered By Mumia." Africa and ICFFMAJ are asking that the The Today Show fairly show both sides of the Abu-Jamal / Faulkner story, and give equal time to an expert sympathetic to Abu-Jamal's case for a new trial.
--Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal (Abu-Jamal-News.com) was co-founded in May, 2007 by Philadelphia journalist Hans Bennett and German linguist Dr. Michael Schiffmann (University of Heidelberg), who is the author of the new German book about Abu-Jamal's case, "Race Against Death." For more information, please email: email@example.com
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