Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Berlin Free Mumia Committee Getting Ready for December 9


For 29 years a journalist has been locked up on death row - because he dared to speak the truth.

For 29 years a human being has been isolated from his family – because prisoners have no rights in his country.

For 29 years an Afro-American has been threatened with death – because the death penalty is the last resort of a social system doomed to downfall.

The prisoner's name is Mumia Abu-Jamal; he is locked up in the US state of Pennsylvania, near a place called Waynesburg. He is in a state-run prison factory where forced labor annually
produces about 50 million dollars in profit. In the middle of this factory is a high security section where nearly 250 human beings wait, in almost totally isolation, for their lives to be terminated. Confined to cells six square meters in size they are certain of only one thing: that they will never depart from these buildings alive. Some of them already know the date on which they are to die.

While 80 percent of the US-population is of European descent, the majority of those living in the forgotten death rows in maximum security prisons are Afro-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanos or people of Asian descent. Only 34 percent of the prisoners belong to the majority
population group.

It is the same picture in factory prisons spread all over the United States. The prison industrial complex is one of the largest domestic branches of the US economy. Control over almost totally unpaid labor was the historic motor for the early development of the North American colonies. Slavery, though officially permitted when the USA was founded, was officially abolished in 1865. But all the same it still exists - within the prison industry. No country in the world has more prison
inmates than the USA, neither in percentage terms nor in actual numbers. And the death penalty represents an ultimate threat to guarantee that a fearful population keeps quiet.

Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death on a framed-up charge of killing a policeman. The real reason was because he was committed to reporting on racism, police violence and politicians' corruption. He has continued this activity up to the present and, despite his isolation in prison, he
is able to reach millions of people. He thus lends a voice to all those otherwise ignored by the media. Now, however, after protests were able to save his life for decades, the government is again trying to force through his execution. A very similar political frame-up policy has been used against Leonard Peltier because of his commitment to the American Indian Movement (AIM) and against the Cuban Five, who tried to prevent terrorist acts directed, with the support of secret agencies of the USA, against Cuba. According to human rights groups more than 100 people are currently in US-prisons because of their political views. Some anti-repression groups believe the number is over 4000.

We know of all the sterile calls where those whose only crime was often an inability to afford a proper legal defense, are now awaiting a violent death. We know what strength is lent to those in such sterile walls of death by letters, reports of solidarity activities, or visits. We stand together with Mumia Abu-Jamal and all the others threatened by execution. No country has the right to murder prisoners!





Demonstration: Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 2.00 PM
Starting at Heinrichplatz in Kreuzberg, Berlin! concluding at the USA Embassy at Brandenburg Gate.

Info: V.i.S.d.P.: Anton Mestin, Selchowerstr., Berlin

After the Nov 9th hearing in Philly, what does Mumia face, what do we need to do?


The only legal options that were considered by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal court immediately below the US Supreme Court, at the November 9 hearing were whether Mumia Abu-Jamal is to be executed or get life in prison without parole. The question of Mumia's guilt or innocence and the opportunity of a new trial was not part of this hearing. The Third Circuit decided that issue in March 2008 in a decision made by the same three judges who conducted this hearing.

To grasp the significance of this hearing, one needs to revisit Federal District Court Judge William Yohn, Jr.'s decision of December 18, 2001. In that ruling the judge upheld Mumia's conviction but at the same time threw out his death sentence on the grounds that the verdict form used by the jury for sentencing at his trial violated the U.S. Supreme Court's Mills precedent, thereby prejudicing the jury toward the death penalty rather than life in prison. Yohn then gave the state 180 days to convene a new jury trial only on the issue of Mumia's penalty, in which the choices would be either death or life in prison without parole. On the other hand, if the state did nothing, Yohn ruled that Mumia would automatically be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

At the time he made this decision, Judge Yohn stayed his ruling on overturning the death sentence while the prosecution appealed his decision to the next higher level of federal court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. (At the same time Mumia appealed Judge Yohn's decision upholding his conviction). Mumia was therefore never removed from Death Row and remains there to this day.

On March 27, 2008, the Third Circuit upheld Yohn's decision on the death penalty in a 3-0 vote. Again the decision was stayed while the state appealed to the highest federal level, the Supreme Court. (In the same decision, the Third Circuit rejected Mumia's appeal on the conviction by 2-1 that is, finding him guilty and, as before, Mumia appealed that ruling.)

On April 6, 2009 the US Supreme Court refused to hear Mumia's appeal of the Third Circuit's decision upholding his conviction.

On January 10, 2010, the Supreme Court ordered the Third Circuit to reconsider its decision on the death sentence in light of its unanimous rejection of an appeal from a white-supremacist named Spisak. That man admitted to killing at least two people in Ohio and openly stated that he wished to have murdered more. He had appealed his death sentence also as a violation of the Mills precedent, but involving a different aspect of it than Mumia's case. The Sixth Circuit, as did the Third Circuit in Mumia's case, ruled that the death sentence should be thrown out. However, the Supreme Court ruled that the Mills precedent did not apply in Spisak's case, and therefore execution rather than life in prison was the appropriate penalty. Based on that decision, the Supreme Court questioned the Third Circuit's ruling in Mumia's case, and asked it to reconsider the issue of execution for him as well.

Thus, the hearing on November 9th was on Mumia's penalty only. The choices before the court were either to sustain Yohn's and its own earlier decisions or to reinstate the death penalty. According to those in the courtroom, the attorney who represented Mumia on this issue, Judith Ritter, argued the applicability of the Mills precedent very convincingly. On that basis Mumia's death sentence should not be reinstated. The history of Mumia's case, however, has shown that precedent and effective arguments, as in the argument of racial bias in jury selection made before the same three judges three years ago, are often ignored by the court in favor of a political agenda at least to keep Mumia locked up if not executed and completely silenced. That racial bias issue easily could have resulted in Mumia's conviction being thrown out, but in a split 2-1 vote, the judges established a new precedent just for Mumia. (All three judges blew off the question of Mumia's innocence).
After hearing the arguments and asking questions, Chief Judge Scirica said that the court would 'take the matter under advisement'.) It may be months before a decision is announced.

If the Third Circuit reaffirms its earlier decision to sentence Mumia to life in prison without parole, the state will most likely appeal to the Supreme Court. If that court agrees with the Third Circuit, or in the unlikely event that the state doesn't appeal at all, the state then will have 180 days to implement Judge Yohn's decision.

In that case the prosecution would have to decide whether to do nothing and let the life sentence
stand or ask for a new penalty trial (which would take place in a Pennsylvania state court) in the hope of "winning" a death sentence again. Mumia would certainly want the latter to happen since it would give him some opportunity to introduce new evidence challenging the prosecution's version of what happened on December 9, 1981, which was the basis for the jury's guilty verdict at his 1982 trial. Thus, while this proceeding would not be a trial on the question of guilt or innocence, but only a hearing on the sentencing issue, new evidence that could undermine Mumia's conviction itself might be introduced.

If the Third Circuit rules against Mumia, Mumia will surely appeal to the Supreme Court. But the odds for the Supreme Court to overturn the Third Circuit's decision favoring execution are very small given the reactionary composition of that court.

However, even if the Supreme Court rules for a death sentence, Mumia would still have some legal options. Back in 2001, when Yohn threw out the death penalty based on the Mills precedent, he did not deal with several other issues raised by the defense. Therefore, Mumia would have the right to go back before Judge Yohn and ask him to address these other significant issues related to the improper sentencing process at his trial. Such a hearing, though limited to life in prison or execution, would inevitably also include challenges to the prosecution's version of what happened at the crime scene. This would especially be true if grassroots work continues to expose the fraudulent nature of the trial and appeals process as has been done dramatically in the last few years; for example, through the release of the long hidden photographs of the crime scene, and the evidence that four people, not three, were present at that scene. This would also be true if grassroots work continues to press for a Department of Justice civil rights investigation and draws greater support and activism. Not only might the death penalty be once again overturned, but Mumia's conviction itself might get thrown out.

Mumia's legal situation remains extremely dangerous as the re-imposition of the death sentence would surely be a big setback in his struggle to demonstrate his innocence. The authorities in Philadelphia are mobilizing for Mumia's execution, and the Supreme Court seems likely to be sympathetic to that agenda. But even with that being said, the right that remains for Mumia to go back to Judge Yohn is very important for opening up space to expose the level of injustice, the violation of due process, and the racism that has permeated the entire history of this case. While the US legal system looks very powerful and impenetrable to justice, the grassroots movement in the US combined with international pressure could force the courts to make decisions that they otherwise would not. Surely Mumia's being alive today, despite three attempts to kill him, twice with scheduled execution days, is a tribute to the massive struggles waged by people across this globe.

The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

Tigre Hill in Trouble with "Barrel of the Gun"

In the middle of the Abu-Jamal case

Philadelphia Business Journal - by Jeff Blumenthal
Thursday, November 11, 2010

David Wolfsohn spends his days representing clients in intellectual property litigation. The Woodcock Washburn partner most recently represented Philadelphia's largest insurance broker, The Graham Co., in a copyright case involving a trade secret dispute.

But earlier this week, Wolfsohn was caught up in the middle of the protracted case of one of the world's most controversial death row inmates — Mumia Abu-Jamal. After participating in a debate about the Abu-Jamal case, pro-Mumia activist Michael Coard handed local filmmaker Tigre Hill a letter from Wolfsohn demanding that he "immediately cease all screenings" of his new documentary, "The Barrel of a Gun," which concludes Abu-Jamal was justly convicted for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police office Daniel Faulkner.

Wolfsohn represents filmmaker Hugh King, who claims that without permission, Hill used an interview with Abu-Jamal from his film about Philadelphia Police brutality in the 1980s, "Black and Blue."

But don't expect Wolfsohn to start protesting outside the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office or come to Woodcock's Cira Centre offices in a "Free Mumia" T-shirt. Nor was Wolfsohn one of the majority pro-Mumia crowd shouting down Hill and the Philadelphia district attorney when they tried to tell their side of the Mumia saga Monday evening at the National Constitution Center.

"I'm not taking sides in this," Wolfsohn said. "But it was a clear copyright violation. Mr. Hill should have asked for a license [to use King's footage]."

Wolfsohn said his client wants Hill and his production company, Dacua Communications of Havertown, to pay restitution. If there is no response, Wolfsohn said the filing of a copyright infringement lawsuit could be in the offing.

Hill could not be immediately reached for comment.

Read more: In the middle of the Abu-Jamal case | Philadelphia Business Journal

RT News reporting on Mumia

Thanks to Betsey Piette for sharing this:

This is a good piece that RT News did on Mumia, the Third Circuit Court hearing and the Tues demonstration in Philadelphia.

Vietnam Vet Witnessed Faulkner's Shooting!

From V. Alba:

..Vietnam veteran William Singletary said he witnessed the shooting and Abu-Jamal was not the shooter but police forced him to hightail it out of town before the trial began...

Revisiting The Injustice of The Justice System: The Case of Mumia
NOVEMBER 12, 2010 12:02 PM

On December 9, 1981, in Philadelphia, near the intersection of 13th and Locust Streets, police officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and murdered and Mumia Abu-Jamal was shot and injured.

Albert Magilton, a pedestrian, said he didn't see the murder but witnessed Faulker pull over Mumia Abu-Jamal's brother, William Cook, who reportedly told police at the crime scene " I ain't got nothing to do with this."

A drunken cab driver who said he'd been parked behind the officer's vehicle fingered Mumia Abu Jamal as the shooter, begging the question; how many cab drivers with D.U.I.s voluntary roll up on the police?

A garden variety prostitute testified that a man (presumably Jamal) emerged from a parking lot and shot Faulker.

But wait, it was later discovered that the prostitute's eyewitness descriptions of the crime scene were found to be inconsistent. Apparently, her descriptions of the crime scene  described a scene in which Abu-Jamal's car was both present and absent (I guess it's hard out there for both the pimp and prostitute).

Vietnam veteran William Singletary said he witnessed the shooting and Abu-Jamal was not the shooter but police forced him to hightail it out of town before the trial began. In the end, journalist and Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal was convicted of murder via unanimous verdict. The "voice of the voiceless" was silenced, sentenced to the death.

I don't know who's on second, who's on third, or who shot Officer Faulker on that night in Philly. But the fact that I don't know and worse, have no idea, speaks to the fact that Mumia Abu Jamal deserves a new trial.

Before you pummel me with stones, let me say that I am not mocking the complexities of this case, or Mumia Abu-Jamal's life behind bars.

To the contrary, I am highlighting the inefficacy of a judicial system unable to make the most logical choice available when faced with an accumulation of new evidence and the weakened veracity of old evidence.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday over jury instructions given during Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial. Jury instructions?  Our judicial system sometimes sweats the small stuff; jury instructions, jury sequestering, sentencing guidelines and the like. But where the over-arching questions of guilt and innocence are concerned, our system is overwhelmingly inept.If Abu-Jamal is guilty, no one cares about the jury's instructions, or whether he gets life or the death penalty? The people who are spending every ounce of energy defending him are doing so because they believe him innocent. This is the central question that must be asked and answered. Everything else is just playing with inconsequential moving parts, putting in miles on the gerbil wheel.

Abu-Jamal has modeled himself as the mythical American revolutionary.  A young, bright, enigmatic rebel wrongfully convicted while poised on the precipice of a movement. It is time to separate mythology from history. Time for a once and for all verdict on Abu-Jamal's guilt or innocence. Everything else is just vacuous posturing.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill Staffer turned political blogger. She currently publishes two blogs, and

The Voice of Detroit Coverage of November 9 Actions


Nice piece and photos on 11/9 for Mumia at

November 9 actions in Brazil and Guadaloupe


The comrades  in Brazil now have a blog and propaganda for their December 9 event. Actually, they're going to do their demonstraton at the U.S. Consulate on December 10 at 10 o'clock in the morning and then do some film showings on the 11th and 12th. They also have a Black Consciousness event on November 20, where information about Mumia's case is a major theme.

The address of their blog is and the mailing address is


Support from Guadaloupe!


On November 9, 2010, the Federal Court of Appeals in Philadelphia will again review the situation of Mumia Abu-Jamal. This hearing will determine the final verdict for Mumia -- either execution or life imprisonment.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Black American journalist and renowned author, has been on Death Row for 28 years, accused of murdering a white policeman. He has always affirmed his innocence. The trial of Abu-Jamal, which was held in 1982, was tainted by police corruption and racial discrimination.
There were a multitude of irregularities during the trial -- including the sentencing pronounced by a judge belonging to a white racist organization. Yet despite these documented violations of Abu-Jamal's constitutional rights, the U.S. court system has continuously rejected the demand for a new trial.

This case therefore highlights the violation of basic constitutional rights and racism in the United States.

The struggle for freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal is part and parcel of the fight for dignity of workers and peoples and for abolishing the death penalty in the United States and in all countries that still practice it. It should remind us that in a country that prides itself on being the world's largest democracy, a man can rot in jail and be sentenced to death because of the color of his skin color and his political views.

The LKP (Collective Against Exploitation) supports Mumia Abu-Jamal and his legal defense team. The LKP joins the international campaign to demand justice and freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal.


For the Collective Liyannaj KONT pwofitasyon (LKP
Elie Domota

Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
November 6, 2010