Tuesday, October 07, 2008

UPDATE: From Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)

This decision is completely separate from the appeal to the US Supreme Court re the recent Third Circuit decision that denied a new guilt phase trial. The deadline for Mumia and the DA to appeal this to the US Supreme Court is October 20, unless Mumia's lawyer applies for a 60 day extension.

I just received this quote from lead attorney Robert R. Bryan re. today's news. Last night he arrived in France for a film festival showing of the film "In Prison My Whole Life", and to do a related press conference. Today, following the news, he told me: "Today, as expected, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Petition for Writ of Certiorari which I filed some time ago on behalf of Mumia. As reported in my recent Legal Update, this concerned uncovered evidence of prosecutorial and police fraud. Even though I now have proof that the 1982 trial was literally a trial by fraud, there were procedural problems caused by the previous lawyers not presenting the new evidence in a timely and proper manner. As you know, I took over the case in nearly six years ago (Mumia first began seeking my representation in 1985; I was too busy at the time)."

"Please understand that as you pointed out, this is unrelated to the petition I will file later in the year in the Supreme Court. That will relate to the 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, concerning racism-jury-selection, and material misrepresentations made by the prosecutor at the guilt-phase argument."—said Bryan.

Below here I have compiled info regarding the affidavits of Kenneth Pate and Yvette Williams, and other overall frame-up and police corruption that their stories's expose.

Kenneth Pate's Affidavit and the Fraudulent Hospital Confession

Kenneth Pate is the step-brother of hospital security guard Priscilla Durham, who testified at the 1982 trial to hearing Abu-Jamal confess at the hospital, to shooting Officer Daniel Faulkner. Pate now states in an April 18, 2003 affidavit that Durham confided to him during a telephone conversation "around the end of 1983 or the beginning of 1984" that she had actually lied about hearing the alleged hospital confession.

Pate states that Durham told him on the telephone that "Mumia was all bloody and the police were interfering with his treatment, saying 'let him die.' 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.''

Even before Pate's affidavit, Durham's account was very suspicious.

The alleged "hospital confession," where Mumia reportedly declared, "I shot the motherf***er and I hope the motherf***er dies," was first officially reported to police over two months later, by hospital guards Priscilla Durham and James LeGrand (Feb. 9, 1982), PO Gary Wakshul (Feb.11), PO Gary Bell (Feb.25), and PO Thomas M. Bray (March1).

Only two of these five witnesses were called by the DA: Priscilla Durham and Gary Bell (Faulkner's partner and "best friend").

Priscilla Durham

Durham testified in 1982, and added for the very first time (not reported to the police on Feb.9), that she had reported the confession to her supervisor the next day, making a hand-written report. Neither her supervisor, nor the alleged handwritten statement were presented in court.

Instead, the DA sent an officer to the hospital, returning with a suspicious typed version. Sabo accepted the unsigned and unauthenticated paper despite both Durham's disavowal (because it was not hand-written), and the defense's protest that authorship and authenticity were unproven.

Gary Bell

Bell testified that his two month memory lapse resulted from him being so upset over the death of Faulkner, that he forgot to report it to police.

Gary Wakshul: 'the negro male made no comment.'

Police Officer Gary Wakshul was not a prosecution witness, and on the final day of testimony in 1982, Mumia's lawyer discovered Wakshul's statement from Dec. 9, 1981 (Mumia's supporters cite this late discovery as another example of incompetent representation--to which defense attorney Anthony Jackson testified about at the 1995 PCRA hearings).

After riding with Abu-Jamal to the hospital and guarding him until his treatment, Wakshul reported: "the negro male made no comment."

When the defense immediately sought to call Wakshul as a witness, the DA reported that he was on vacation. On grounds that it was too late in the trial, Sabo denied the defense request to locate him for testimony.

Subsequently, the jury never heard from Wakshul or about his contradictory written report. When an outraged Abu-Jamal protested, Judge Sabo cruelly declared to him: "You and your attorney goofed."

At the 1995 PCRA Hearings, Wakshul testified that both his contradictory Dec. 9 "the negro male made no comment" report and the two month delay were simply bad mistakes. He repeated his earlier February 11, 1982 statement given to the police IAB investigator that he "didn't realize it had any importance until that day." Wakshul also testified to being home for his 1982 vacation—in accordance with explicit instructions to stay in town for the trial so that he could testify if called.

Mysteriously, just days before his PCRA testimony, Wakshul was savagely beaten by undercover police officers in front of a Judge in the Common Pleas Courtroom, where Wakshul worked as a court crier.The two attackers were later suspended without pay, as punishment. With the motive still unexplained, the beating was possibly used to intimidate Wakshul into maintaining his "confession" story at the PCRA hearings.

Regarding the alleged confession, Amnesty International concluded: "The likelihood of two police officers and a security guard forgetting or neglecting to report the confession of a suspect in the killing of another police officer for more than two months strains credulity."

Yvette Williams' Affidavit and the Police Coercion of Cynthia White

Yvette Williams' July 8, 2002 affidavit, is the just latest evidence discrediting the prosecution's star witness at the 1982 trial: Cynthia White.

Suspiciously, no official eyewitness even reported seeing White at the scene, and White is the only "witness" to report seeing alleged eyewitness Robert Chobert's taxi cab parked behind PO Faulkner's car.

Amnesty International documents that key DA witnesses Chobert (an arsonist on probation, driving his cab without a license) and White (a prostitute facing multiple charges) "altered their descriptions of what they saw, in ways that supported the prosecution's version of events."

Importantly, Williams' account of 1) White being coerced by police to give false testimony, and 2) Police seeking out even more false testimony, is strongly supported by the testimony of Veronica Jones (at the 1982 trial and the 1996 PCRA) and Pamela Jenkins (at the 1997 PCRA).

The New Affidavit

Yvette Williams declares: "I was in jail with Cynthia White in December of 1981 after Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed. Cynthia ['Lucky'] White told me the police were making her lie and say she saw Mr. Jamal shoot Officer Faulkner when she really did not see who did it....Whenever she talked about testifying against Mumia Abu-Jamal, and how the police were making her lie, she was nervous and very excited and I could tell how scared she was from the way she was talking and crying."

Explaining why she is just now coming out with her affidavit, Williams says "I feel like I've almost had a nervous breakdown over keeping quiet about this all these years. I didn't say anything because I was afraid. I was afraid of the police. They're dangerous."

Pamela Jenkins' 1997 PCRA Testimony

At the 1997 PCRA hearing, former prostitute Pamela Jenkins testified that 1) Police tried pressuring her to falsely testify that she saw Abu-Jamal shoot Faulkner, and 2) In late 1981, Cynthia White (who Jenkins knew as a fellow police informant) told Jenkins that she was also being pressured to testify against Mumia, and that she was afraid for her life.

As part of a 1995 federal probe of Philadelphia police corruption, Officers Thomas F. Ryan and John D. Baird were convicted of paying Jenkins to falsely testify that she had bought drugs from a Temple University student named Arthur Colbert. Jenkins' 1995 testimony about Colbert and others she falsely testified against, helped to convict Ryan, Baird, and other officers and to dismiss several dozen drug convictions.

At the 1997 PCRA, Jenkins testified that this same Thomas F. Ryan was one of the officers who attempted to have her lie about Mumia!

The Attempts to Silence Veronica Jones

Veronica Jones (a prostitute working at the scene) first told police that she had seen two men "jogging" away from the scene before police arrived. Then, as a defense witness at the 1982 trial, Jones denied making the statement, but started to describe a pre-trial visit from police, where "They were getting on me telling me I was in the area and I seen Mumia, you know, do it..They were trying to get me to say something that the other girl [Cynthia White] said. I couldn't do that." Jones then explicitly testified that police offered to let her and White "work the area if we tell them" what they wanted to hear regarding Mumia's guilt.

The DA moved to block her account, calling her testimony "absolutely irrelevant." Judge Sabo agreed to block the line of questioning, strike the testimony, and then ordered the jury to disregard Jones' statement.

Later, at the 1996 PCRA, Jones testified that in 1982 she had been coerced by police to recant seeing the two men jogging away, but resisted police pressure to falsely testify that she saw Abu-Jamal shoot Faulkner.

Intimidation of Jones continued at the PCRA. Before she testified, Judge Sabo threatened her with 5-10 yrs imprisonment for admitting perjury. After testifying, he allowed NJ police to handcuff and arrest her for an outstanding arrest warrant on charges of writing a bad check.

Outraged by Jones' treatment, even the normally 'anti-Mumia' Philadelphia Daily News reported that: "Such heavy-handed tactics can only confirm suspicions that the court is incapable of giving Abu-Jamal a fair hearing. Sabo has long since abandoned any pretense of fairness."

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