|Born||April 24, 1954|
|Residence||SCI-Greene, near Waynesburg, Pennsylvania|
|Education||Goddard College (BA); |
California State University, Dominguez Hills (MA)
2.Marilyn "Peaches" Cook (former)
|Parent(s)||William and Edith Cook|
Mumia Abu-Jamal (IPA: /ˈmu.mi.ɑː ə.buʔ dʒə.ˈmɑːl/); (born Wesley Cook on April 24, 1954) is a former Black Panther Party activist, cab driver, author, and journalist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, convicted for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. He is serving a presently undefined sentence of imprisonment at State Correctional Institution - Greene near Waynesburg, Pennsylvania in consequence. Originally sentenced to death, that sentence was quashed and resentencing ordered in December 2001 by a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Both he and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have appealed the ruling alternately as to the appropriateness of affirming the conviction and that of disaffirming the validity of the original sentence.
His acknowledged cause célèbre has received international attention. Supporters and human rights campaigners variously assert that he is innocent, that the incident in question was a setup, that he did not receive a fair trial, and/or express their opposition to the possibility of the administration of the death penalty. Skeptics and opponents assert that he is guilty, that he received the benefit of due process and was legitimately convicted of murder. Execution proponents among these assert that under Pennsylvania law, his eventual judicial execution is warranted and mandated by the nature of his crime.
The attention received has spawned controversies surrounding naming of public places; his status as an honoree of municipal, educational and civil society organizations; and his engagement as a radio commentator, writer and commencement speaker. During the period of his imprisonment he has continued his activism as a spoken word commentator and as a published author of several works - most notably Live from Death Row.
- 1 Early life and activism
- 2 Arrest for murder and trial
- 3 Verdict, death sentence, and reactions
- 4 Appeals and legal developments
- 5 Life as a prisoner
- 6 Foreign honors and related controversy
- 7 Free Mumia campaign
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early life and activism
Born Wesley Cook, his father died when he was nine years old. He was given the name Mumia in 1968 by his high school teacher, a Kenyan instructing a class on African cultures in which students took African classroom names. He adopted the name appending Abu-Jamal ("father of Jamal" in Arabic) as his choice of surname after the birth of his son Jamal from his first wife on July 18, 1971. Abu-Jamal claims that 'Mumia' means "Prince" and was the name of certain anti-colonial African nationalists conducting warfare against the British in Kenya at the time of the Uhuru.
In his writings Abu-Jamal describes his adolescent experience of "being kicked into the Black Panther Party" through suffering a beating at the hands of white racists and police at the same time as being charged with assault for his efforts to disrupt a George Wallace for President rally in 1968. The following year he helped form the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party, taking appointment, in his own words, as its chapter "Lieutenant of Information" exercising a responsibility for authoring propaganda and news communications. In one of the interviews he gave at the time he quoted Mao Zedong, observing how the Black Panthers had learned through their treatment at the hands of police that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun". That same year, he dropped out of Benjamin Franklin High School and took up residence in the branch's headquarters. Spending the winter of 1969 in New York and the spring of 1970 in Oakland, he lived and worked with BPP comrades in those cities. He was a Party member from May 1969 until October 1970 and was subject to some degree of FBI COINTELPRO surveillance from then until about 1974.
A first marriage, to Biba when he was aged 19, proved to be short-lived. Their daughter, Lateefa, was born shortly after. Mazi, Abu-Jamal's son by his second wife, Marilyn a.k.a. "Peachie", was born in early 1978. Abu-Jamal commenced living with his third and current wife, Wadiya, while separated from Peachie prior to the events that resulted in his incarceration.
After leaving the Panthers he returned to high school, but was suspended for distributing literature calling for "black revolutionary student power". He also led unsuccessful protests to change the school name to Malcolm X High. After attaining his GED, for a number of semesters he studied at Goddard College in rural Vermont. By 1975 he was pursuing a vocation in radio newscasting, first at Temple University's WRTI and then at commercial enterprises. In 1975, he was employed at radio station WHAT and he became host of a weekly feature program of WCAU-FM in 1978. He was also employed for brief periods at radio station WPEN, and became active in the local chapter of the Marijuana Users Association of America. From 1979 he worked at WUHY public radio station until 1981 when he was asked to submit his resignation pursuant to a dispute about the requirements of objective focus in his presentation of news. As a radio journalist he earned the moniker "the voice of the voiceless" and was renowned for identifying with and giving exposure to the MOVE anarcho-primitivist commune in Philadelphia's Powelton Village neighborhood, including reportage of the 1979–80 trial of certain of its members (the "MOVE Nine") charged with the murder of police officer James Ramp. At the time of the killing of Daniel Faulkner, Abu-Jamal was working as a taxicab driver in Philadelphia. He was at that time also the outgoing President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists and had been working part-time concurrently as a reporter for WDAS, then an African-American-oriented and minority-owned radio station.
Arrest for murder and trial
- See also: Mumia Abu-Jamal legal proceedings
In the early hours of December 9, 1981, around 3:51 a.m., Philadelphia Police Department officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed during an altercation that ensued from a routine traffic stop of a vehicle driven by William Cook, Abu-Jamal's younger brother. During the altercation Abu-Jamal was also shot and wounded. Officers arriving at the scene found a .38 caliber revolver beside Abu-Jamal that records show he had purchased in 1979. Abu-Jamal was found still wearing his empty firearm holster across his shoulder, while the cylinder of his revolver contained five spent cartridges. He was taken directly from the scene of the shooting to a hospital and was treated for his injury. He was charged with the first-degree murder of Faulkner. He initially retained the services of criminal defense attorney Anthony Jackson.
The case went to trial in June 1982 at Philadelphia's City Hall. The judge initially acquiesced to Abu-Jamal's request to represent himself, with Jackson continuing to act as his legal advisor. During the first day of the trial, however, Abu-Jamal repeatedly and vociferously dissented from accepting the judge's rulings on points of law and procedure to the extent that he was removed from representing himself and it was ordered that Jackson resume the role of acting as his sole advocate by reason of what the judge deemed to be intentionally disruptive actions on Abu-Jamal's part. In all, according to his detractors, Abu-Jamal was removed from the courtroom at least 13 times for disruption during the course of the legal proceedings and trial.
The following sequence of events was presented in evidence by the prosecution before the jury at his trial:
- During the traffic stop, Cook assaulted Faulkner, who in turn attempted to subdue Cook.
- Abu-Jamal emerged from a nearby parking lot, crossed the street, and shot Faulkner in the back.
- Faulkner was able to return fire, seriously wounding Abu-Jamal.
- Abu-Jamal then advanced on Faulkner, fired some additional shots at close range, one of which struck Faulkner in the face causing his death.
- Abu-Jamal was unable to flee due to his own gunshot wound, collapsed on a nearby curb, and was taken into custody by other police officers, who had been summoned by Faulkner at the time of the traffic stop.
Four eyewitnesses to the shooting were produced by the prosecution:
- Robert Chobert, a disqualified/unlicensed cab driver on parole for arson, with two arrests for drunk-driving, who in 1995 admitted to having sought the advice of the trial prosecutor as to how he could reclaim his driving privileges;
- Cynthia White, a street prostitute;
- Michael Scanlon, a motorist;
- Albert Magilton, a pedestrian.
These witnesses testified that they were at or in sight of the scene at the time of the shooting.
Robert Chobert said he was in his cab parked directly behind Faulkner's police car. He positively identified Abu-Jamal as the shooter, testifying: "I heard a shot. I looked up, I saw the cop fall to the ground, and then I saw Jamal standing over him and firing some more shots into him...Then I saw him [Jamal] walking back about ten feet and he just fell by the curb." During cross-examination, he admitted that he had originally told police that the shooter had moved 30 rather than 10 ft away from Faulkner, and had been 30-to-50 pounds heavier than Abu-Jamal. He explained, "I'm not good at weight. Do you think I'm going to stand there for a couple of minutes and ask him how much he weighs?" In his September 25, 2001, affidavit private investigator George Newman describes that under interrogation Chobert had recanted the aspect of his testimony that his taxi had been parked directly behind Faulkner's police car as well as the assertion that he had witnessed a person firing bullets into the body of Faulkner as the latter lay prone on the ground.
Cynthia White testified to witnessing the shootings from a nearby corner. Describing Abu-Jamal's actions, she said: "he was running out of the parking lot and he was practically on the curb when he shot two times at the police officer. It was the back. The police officer turned around and staggered and seemed like he was grabbing for something. Then he fell. Then he came over and be came on top of the police officer and shot some more times. After that he went over and he slouched down and he sat on the curb." Dessie Hightower has stated that he observed her to be at least half a block further away. Prostitute Veronica Jones said later that she had been offered favorable treatment by police on condition that she corroborate Cynthia White. In her declaration of January 28, 2002, Yvette Williams affirmed to having been incarcerated with White in December 1981 and being told by her that she had not even seen who shot Faulkner and that she had entirely fabricated a witness account identifying Abu-Jamal out of fear of the Philadelphia police. Police informant Pamela Jenkins testified at a post-conviction relief hearing on June 26, 1997, that she had been pressured by Philadelphia police offers to falsely state that she had witnessed the killing of Faulkner and to falsely identify Abu-Jamal as the murderer. She also testified that she knew White to be in fear of her life from police in the period after the shooting of Faulkner and before the trial of Abu-Jamal, and that she had tracked down and discovered Ms White in the company of some Philadelphia police as recently as March 1997. However, the prosecution produced Cynthia White's death certificate showing that she had died in 1992.
Scanlan testified that he saw Faulkner assaulted in front of his police car shortly before another man ran across the street from a parking lot and shot Faulkner. Scanlan was not able to identify the shooter. Under cross-examination, which was interrupted by Abu-Jamal being removed from the courtroom for disruption, Scanlan admitted to being mildly under the influence of alcohol and was unable to describe in detail the appearance of the assailants.
Magilton testified to witnessing Faulkner pull over Cook's car and that at the point of seeing Abu-Jamal start to cross the street toward them from the parking lot he turned away and lost sight of what happened next until he heard gun shots. He did not see any shooting, or Chobert's vehicle parked behind Faulkner's. He reported to defense investigators that he had seen a person wearing a green army jacket fleeing the scene in the aftermath.
The prosecution presented two witnesses, security officer Priscilla Durham and Police Officer Garry Bell, who testified that while Abu-Jamal was at hospital, he acknowledged that he shot Faulkner by once or even twice proclaiming, "I shot the mother fucker, and I hope the mother fucker dies." The hospital doctors are recorded as having said that Abu-Jamal was not capable of making such a statement during the time that he was reported to have uttered it. The original report of Gary Wakshul, a police officer who accompanied Abu-Jamal to and at the hospital, relates that "the negro male made no comments". Wakshul later claimed to recall hearing Abu-Jamal's alleged confession on the night of the killing, over two months after the arrest when interviewed by police Internal Affairs officers. He blamed "emotional trauma" for the delay. Judge Albert F. Sabo did not permit the trial jury to receive Wakshul's report as evidence.
Coroner Dr. Paul Hoyer, who autopsied Daniel Faulkner, recorded in the examining report that he extracted a .44 caliber bullet noting "shot w/ 44 cal". He later testified to the effect that his description of it had been a "rough guess" based on his own observations, that he was not a firearms expert and that he had not received any training in weapons ballistics. Tests performed with the available physical evidence verify that Faulkner was killed by a .38 caliber bullet. The extracted slugs identified as Federal brand .38 Special +P bullets with hollow bases. It may be noted that the hollow base in a +P bullet is distinguishable from Federal ammunition otherwise used at that time. The type, brand, and caliber of the extracted bullets all match those of the shell casings obtained from Abu-Jamal's Charter Arms revolver which was retrieved at the scene. That manufacturer is known for rifling the barrels of their revolvers with eight lands and grooves in a right-hand direction of twist - characteristics also evident on the bullet fragments extracted from Faulkner's body. Anthony L. Paul, Supervisor of the Firearms Identification Unit, testified at trial that he could name two other manufacturers "right off the bat" which produce weapons bearing exactly the same rifling characteristics of pattern and twist direction. Experts testified that the bullet taken from Abu-Jamal had been fired from Faulkner's service weapon. George Fassnacht, a ballistics expert proferred by the defense, did not dispute any of the findings of the prosecution's weapons and ballistics experts.Amnesty International has made reference to the physical evidence to the extent of expressing their view that there was:
".. a lack of adequate ballistic tests to determine whether [Abu-Jamal's] gun had recently been fired. It was not determined, for instance, whether there was residue on his hands from firing a gun."In a 1995 hearing, another defense ballistics expert testified that due to Abu-Jamal's struggle with the police during his arrest, such a test would have been difficult to accomplish and, due to the gunpowder residue possibly being shaken or rubbed off, would not have been scientifically reliable.
The defense presented statements made by four witnesses describing the fact that one or more men were running along the street shortly after the shooting: Deborah Kordansky, Robert Chobert, Veronica Jones, and Dessie Hightower. This became known as the "running man theory", based on the possibility that a "running man" may have been the actual shooter. Of those witnesses, only Chobert averred to actually witnessing the shooting. He testified that shortly after the shooting he had told police that he had seen Abu-Jamal shoot Faulkner in the face, and that Abu-Jamal had then run a short distance and collapsed on the sidewalk – himself having also been shot by Faulkner. The remaining three witnesses made various statements about a man or men running in or away from the area. None of them claimed that the running man, or men, were involved in the shooting.
The defense also presented nine character witnesses including poet Sonia Sanchez. Sanchez testified that Abu-Jamal was "viewed by the black community as a creative, articulate, peaceful, genial man." During cross examination the prosecution raised the issue of her association with convicted felon and Black Panther activist Joanne Chesimard; Sanchez was also asked over defense objections whether she supported other blacks who had killed police.
Witnesses not called at trial
"At my trial I was denied the right to defend myself. I had no confidence in my court-appointed attorney, who never even asked me what happened the night I was shot and the police officer was killed; and I was excluded from at least half the trial. Since I was denied all my rights at my trial I did not testify. I would not be used to make it look like I had a fair trial."
He did not state his version of events for the initial police investigation, nor for almost another 20 years afterwards until subsequent to his third set of lawyers offering the 1999 affidavit of Arnold Beverly. Beverly purported to confess that, "wearing a green (camouflage) army jacket", he had run across the street and shot a fallen Daniel Faulkner in the face as part of a contract killing connected with a desire to keep Faulkner from interfering with graft and payoff to corrupt police. Abu-Jamal's May 2001 sworn statement avers that he had been sitting in his cab across the street when he first heard shouting, then saw a police vehicle, then heard the sound of gunshots. It further asserts that, upon seeing his brother standing in the street staggering and appearing disoriented he ran across the street to him and was shot by a uniformed police officer. It also incorporates Abu-Jamal's claim to have been tortured by the police while he was still in need of medical assistance for his wounds. It concludes with his claim of innocence: "I never said I shot the policeman. I did not shoot the policeman. I never said I hoped he died. I would never say something like that." The statement includes no mention of Abu-Jamal's use or possession of his Charter Arms revolver.
For a similar period, William Cook also did not testify or make any statement whatsoever about events other than his utterance at the crimescene, "I ain't got nothing to do with this." On April 29, 2001, Cook belatedly authored a declaration to the effect that he would be willing to testify and that both he and his brother "had nothing do with shooting or killing the policeman". The statement inculpates Kenneth Freeman as being armed with a .38 caliber firearm, present in Cook's vehicle passenger seat immediately prior to the confronation with Daniel Faulkner, wearing a green army jacket of a fashion described by as many as four witnesses observing those present at the scene, and admitting to planning to kill Faulkner and participating in his shooting. Freeman's handcuffed and naked corpse was discovered in a vacant lot in North Philadelphia the day after the police bombing of the MOVE communal residence in 1985 and neither his name nor the fact of his presence at the crimescene was raised at any stage during the course of the trial and sentencing in 1982. At the time of his death, Daniel Faulkner was in possession of the replacement temporary driver license of Arnold Howard which the latter had recently "loaned" to Freeman for unspecified purposes. 
Of those witnesses proposed to be supportive of Abu-Jamal's case, William Singletary has stated that he directly witnessed the entire incident and that he would be willing to testify that Abu-Jamal was not the gunman. Singletary's post-conviction review hearing testimony of August 11, 1995, described that police tore up two of his written statements and that he was prevailed upon to sign a false dictated statement incorporating content to the effect that he had witnessed Abu-Jamal shooting Faulkner. Police officer Vernon Jones testified at a post-conviction relief hearing on August 14, 1995, that at the crimescene Singletary had inquired of him what had transpired and said that he not witnessed any shooting other than hearing some shots that he thought were firecrackers. William Harmon, a pimp in 1981, testified in an August 1996 post-conviction relief hearing that he had seen a man other than Abu-Jamal execute Faulkner and flee in a car which pulled up at the crimescene.
Court stenographer Terri Maurer-Carter stated in an affidavit of August 2001 that in the presence of herself and two others the presiding Judge had exclaimed, "Yeah, and I'm going to help them fry the nigger", regarding Abu-Jamal's case shortly before the start of the trial.
I read a newspaper article about the Mumia Abu-Jamal case. It said Priscilla Durham had testified at Abu-Jamal's trial that when she was working as a security guard at the hospital she heard Abu-Jamal say that he had killed the police officer. When I read this I realized it was a different story from what she had told me. ... [when I asked her] ... "Did you hear him say that?" [she] answered, "All I heard him say was: 'Get off me, get off me, they're trying to kill me'".Pate reported that the conversation occurred "sometime around the end of 1983 or the beginning of 1984", while he was in the same prison as Abu-Jamal. His affidavit was released during another period in which both he and Abu-Jamal were housed in the same prison – a time postdating the death of Ms Durham. Pate's affidavit has been tendered as evidence by Abu-Jamal’s lawyers to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2006.
In corroboration of the four prosecution eyewitnesses, Robert Harkins testified on August 2, 1995, that he had witnessed a man stand over Faulkner as the latter lay wounded on the ground, who shot him point-blank in the face and who then "walked and sat down on the curb."
Verdict, death sentence, and reactions
The jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict after three hours of deliberations. In the sentencing phase of the trial Abu-Jamal read to the jury from a prepared statement and was then sworn and cross-examined about issues relevant to the assessment of his character by Joseph McGill, the prosecuting attorney. In addressing his statement Abu-Jamal criticized his attorney as a "legal trained lawyer" who was imposed on him against his will who "knew he was inadequate to the task and chose to follow the directions of this black-robed conspirator, [Judge] Albert Sabo, even if it meant ignoring my directions." He claimed that all his rights had been "deceitfully stolen" from him by the Judge, particularly focusing on the denial of his request to receive McKenzie friend assistance at the counsel table from John Africa and his being prevented from proceeding pro se. He quoted remarks of John Africa and declared himself "innocent of these charges".
Abu-Jamal was subsequently sentenced to death by the unanimous decision of his jury on July 3, 1982. The date of the sentence is recorded as May 25, 1983. Judicial execution in Pennsylvania is by means of lethal injection and would occur at the State Correctional Institution - Rockview.Cite error: Closing
District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who at times has supervised aspects of the Abu-Jamal case, is on record stating that the matter of the death of Daniel Faulkner was the "most open-and-shut murder case" she had ever tried, and that Abu-Jamal:
"Never produced his own brother, who was present at the time of the murder, (yet) he has offered up various individuals who would claim that one trial witness or another must have lied; or that some other individual has only recently been discovered who has special knowledge about the murder; or that someone has fallen out of the skies, who is supposedly willing to confess to the murder of Officer Faulkner."
Appeals and legal developments
1983 - 1999 State appealsDirect appeal of his conviction was considered and denied by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on March 6, 1989, subsequently denying rehearing. On October 1, 1990, the Supreme Court of the United States denied his petition for writ of certiorari, and his petition for rehearing twice up to June 10,1991.June 1, 1995 his death warrant was signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge. Its execution was suspended while Abu-Jamal pursued state post-conviction review, the outcome of which was a unanimous decision by six judges of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on October 31, 1998 that all issues raised by him, including the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, were without merit. The Supreme Court of the United States denied the petition for certiorari against that decision on October 4, 1999, enabling Governor Ridge to sign a second death warrant on October 13, 1999. Its execution in turn was stayed as Abu-Jamal commenced his pursuit of federal habeas corpus review.
2001 Federal ruling directing resentencing
Judge William H. Yohn Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania voided the sentence of death on December 18, 2001, citing "irregularities" in the original process of sentencing.Particularly,
"When the jury instructions and verdict sheet employed in Jamal’s case are considered, it becomes apparent that there is a reasonable likelihood that the jury has applied the … instruction [and form] in a way that prevents the consideration of constitutionally relevant evidence, regarding the existence of any named mitigating circumstances."He ordered the State of Pennsylvania to commence sentencing proceedings anew within 180 days and ruled that it was unconstitutional to require that a jury's finding of the existence of circumstances mitigating against determining a sentence of death be restricted to unanimous findings with respect to exclusive discrete categories of those factors defined in advance. Eliot Grossman and Marlene Kamish, attorneys for Abu-Jamal, criticized the ruling on the grounds that it denied the possibility of a trial de novo at which they could lead evidence to establish their case that their client had been the subject of a frameup. Both parties appealed.
2005 Federal higher appeal
- in relation to sentencing, whether the jury verdict form had been flawed and the judge's instructions to the jury had been confusing
- in relation to conviction and sentencing, whether racial bias in jury selection existed to an extent tending to produce an inherently biased and unprofessional jury and therefore an unfair trial (the Batson claim)
- in relation to conviction, whether the prosecutor improperly attempted to reduce jurors' sense of responsibility by telling them that a guilty verdict would be subsequently vetted and subject to appeal
- in relation to post-conviction review hearings in 1995-6, whether the presiding Judge - who had also presided at the trial - demonstrated unacceptable bias in his conduct.
On March 17, 2006, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed its appeal seeking to reinstate the sentence of death. Governor Ed Rendell has pledged to sign a third execution warrant should the appeal be upheld in that regard. On October 23, 2006, Abu-Jamal's counsel filed their reply brief. They asked the Third Circuit Court to reverse the prior ruling on the basis that it would be the "only remedy .. available to correct .. injustice and excessive bias that .. denied [him] a fair trial". The Third Circuit Court heard oral arguments in the appeals on May 17, 2007, at the United States Courthouse in Philadelphia. The appeal panel consisted of Chief Judge Anthony Joseph Scirica, Judge Thomas Ambro, and Judge Robert Cowen. Maureen Faulkner traveled from Southern California to be in attendance. Abu-Jamal's attorneys sought to obtain a new trial, while the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania challenged Judge Yohn's ruling insofar as it had presumed to invalidate the outcome of the original sentencing procedure.
Life as a prisoner
Writings, broadcasts, and intellectual pursuits
Since imprisonment, Abu-Jamal has continued his political activism, publishing Live from Death Row, a book on life inside prisons, and other works during the more recent years of his incarceration. As Live from Death Row proved to be a bestselling publication which raised substantial funds for the benefit of himself and his defense, he was punished with 30 days solitary confinement for "engaging in the business or profession of journalism" without authority and contrary to prison regulations applicable to him.
He has attained a Bachelor of Arts from Goddard College and a Master of Arts from California State University, Dominguez Hills, both by distance education during the course of his imprisonment. The New College of California School of Law has presented him with an honorary J.D. degree.
In May 1994 he was commercially engaged by National Public Radio's All Things Considered program to deliver a series of monthly 3-minute commentaries addressing issues of crime and punishment. The broadcast plans and commercial arrangement were cancelled following condemnatory public outcry in anticipation encouraged by the Fraternal Order of Police in concert with US Senator Bob Dole (R-KA). The commentaries appeared in print in May 1995.
In 1999, he was invited to deliver the keynote address for the graduating class at The Evergreen State College. He accepted, and a recording of his speech was played at the commencement ceremony, being that he was not legally permitted to attend in person. The event was protested heavily by police officers from around the US. Among other schools whose graduates he has addressed are Antioch College, UC Santa Cruz, Kent State University, and Occidental College.
While his spoken word commentaries are recorded regularly, broadcast across 80 stations on Free Speech Radio News and may be listened to online at Prison Radio, and he continues to write a Saturday weekly column for the German language Marxist newspaper junge Welt, restrictions have at times been imposed upon his ability to communicate with his supporters, interested media, and the general public. Subsequent to the airing of the 1996 HBO documentary Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for Reasonable Doubt? which included footage from visitation interviews conducted with him, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections acted to ban outsiders from using any recording equipment in state prisons. By 1998 litigation before the US Court of Appeals he has successfully established his right to conduct journalism and writing for publication, including for reward, from prison. The same litigation also established that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections had illegally opened and disseminated his confidential legal mail and had, in denying media requests to interview him in the period from February through June of 1995, illegally retaliated against him motivated by the content of his writing and journalistic activities. Nevertheless, local prison authorities severed the connecting wires of his telephone from their mounting when, for a brief time, he began delivering his radio commentaries live on the Pacifica Network's Democracy Now! weekday radio newsmagazine. They did so even at a time when he was on-air and in mid-performance.
In his poetry book Death Blossoms, he expresses his belief, which follows no denomination, in a Mother God who coexists with all male religious understandings and which he refers to by the name of "Mama".
Claim of 1992 confession
In 1999, Vanity Fair revealed that a volunteer named Phillip Bloch visited Abu-Jamal in prison in 1992 and asked him whether he regretted killing Faulkner, to which it was reported that Abu-Jamal replied, "Yes." Bloch, otherwise a supporter of Abu-Jamal's case, stated he came forward after he grew concerned about the vilification of Daniel Faulkner. In response, Abu-Jamal is reported to have said "A lie is a lie, whether made today or 10 years later", and thanked Vanity Fair "...not for their work but for stoking this controversy, because controversy leads to questioning, and one can only question this belated confession."
Foreign honors received
- In 1999 Abu-Jamal was made an honorary citizen of Bobigny and similarly honored in subsequent years by numerous French localities including Malakoff and Villejuif. Copenhagen municipality and the cities of San Francisco, Venice, Palermo, and Montreal have also conferred their citizenship upon him.
- In 2001 he received the biannual Erich Mühsam Prize of the Erich Mühsam Society, Lübeck, awarded to "individuals and groups that deal with moral courage and idealism for social justice and persecuted minorities".
- In October 2002 he was conferred honorary membership of the Berlin-based Association of Those Persecuted by the Nazi Regime - Federation of Antifascists and Antifascist Groups (VVN-BdA).
- In October 4, 2003, he was made an honorary citizen of Paris as an act symbolizing the refusal of the death penalty.
- On April 29, 2006, a newly-paved road in the Parisian suburb of St Denis was named Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal in his honour.
House Resolution 407
On May 19, 2006, US Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced a concurrent resolution designated House of Representatives Resolution 407, and on June 15, 2006, Richard Santorum (R-PA) introduced the identical Senate Resolution 102, being :Page Template:Quote/styles.css has no content.
- condemn the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Danny Faulkner
- urge the city of Saint-Denis to change the name of Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal, and, if they do not, urge the French government to take action against the city to change the name
- commend police officers all over the world for their commitment to public service and public safety.
On December 6, 2006, the House of Representatives voted 368-31 in favor of HR407, "Condemning the decision of St. Denis, France, to name a street in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted murderer of Philadelphia Police Officer Danny Faulkner." A bipartisan delegation of elected Philadelphia City Council officials has confirmed its intention to undertake a lobbying mission to Paris in the month of November 2007 in furtherance of the Resolution's purposes.
Lawsuits involving French municipalities
On December 11, 2006, the executive committee of the Republican Party for the 59th Ward of the City of Philadelphia (covering approximately Germantown, Philadelphia), filed suit with two criminal complaints in forums of the French legal system against the government of the city of Paris and the city of Saint-Denis citing the wrong of those municipalities' actions "glorifying" Abu-Jamal and alleging the offence "apology of crime" in respect of those actions.
Free Mumia campaign
A broad international movement has allied in support of Abu-Jamal's cause with noteworthy opposition coalesced about the family of Daniel Faulkner, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the activities of the Fraternal Order of Police including its August 1999 national resolution calling for an economic boycott against all individuals and organizations that have expressed sympathy for Abu-Jamal. Whether to protest at perceived injustice affecting him or to deplore the possibility of future application of the death penalty in his and other cases, support encompasses that to date supplied by prominent American labor unions and congresses; that attributable to individual letter-writers and endorsees of the Partisan Defense Committee's exoneration campaign on his behalf; acts by some US and foreign city governments; outspoken encouragement from a number of US and foreign artists and celebrities and notable persons; references in popular and underground music; the formation of groups of parliamentarians, lawyers, educators, and journalists; a 2004 resolution of the NAACP and legal intervention on behalf of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; support claimed from the Episcopal Church of the United States of America; interest adopted by human rights advocacy organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International; and the persistence of activist cells variously known as chapters of the Free Mumia Coalition and the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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- Burroughs, Todd Steven (2004). "Prologue: Joining the Party". Ready to Party: Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Panther Party. The College of New Jersey. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- Burroughs, Todd Steven (2004). "Part IV: Leaving the Party". Ready to Party: Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Panther Party. The College of New Jersey. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- Abu-Jamal, Mumia (February 7, 2003). "Question for Mumia: Tell Me About Your Name". Mumia Abu-Jamal Radio Broadcast of 7 February 2003. Prison Radio. Retrieved 2007-10-30. Check date values in:
- Burroughs, Todd Steven (2004). "Part I: "Do Something, Nigger!"". Ready to Party: Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Panther Party. The College of New Jersey. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- Burroughs, Todd Steven (2004). "Epilogue: The Barrel of a Gun". Ready to Party: Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Panther Party. The College of New Jersey. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- Burroughs, Todd Steven (2004). "Part II: The Party in Philadelphia". Ready to Party: Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Panther Party. The College of New Jersey. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- Burroughs, Todd Steven (2004). "Part III: 'Armed and Dangerous': Tracked by the FBI". Ready to Party: Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Panther Party. The College of New Jersey. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- Bisson, p.119 quoted at "The Religious Affiliation of Mumia Abu-Jamal". Adherents.com. September 3 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-18. Check date values in:
- See ages given in: Vann, Bill (April 27, 1999). "Tens of thousands rally in Philadelphia for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal". World Socialist Web Site news. International Committee of the Fourth International. Retrieved 2007-10-31. Check date values in:
|date=(help) and Erard, Michael (July 4, 2003). "A Radical in the Family". The Texas Observer. Retrieved 2007-10-31. Check date values in:
- Hill, Craig (November 6, 1993). "The fight to save Mumia Abd-Jamal: Wadiya Jamal at NYC Rally". The Michigan Citizen. Retrieved 2007-10-18. Check date values in:
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- Burroughs, Todd Steven (September-October, 2004), "Mumia's voice: confined to Pennsylvania's death row, Mumia Abu-Jamal remains at the center of debate as he continues to write and options to appeal his police murder conviction dwindle", Black Issues Book Review, retrieved 2007-10-18 Check date values in:
- "The Suspect - One Who Raised His Voice". The Philadelphia Inquirer. December 10, 1981. Retrieved 2007-10-18. Check date values in:
- Abu-Jamal, Mumia. All Things Censored
- "30 Moments in Journalism". National Association of Black Journalists. December 2 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-18. Check date values in:
- "Philadelphia AM Radio History". Radio-History.com. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- "Developments in the Mumia Abu-Jamal case". CNN.com. December 18 2001. Retrieved 2007-10-18. Check date values in:
- "1982 trial and post-conviction relief hearing transcripts" (pdf). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- "Trial Transcript §1.72–§1.73". Commonwealth v. Mumia Abu-Jamal a.k.a. Wesley Cook. Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Criminal Trial Division. June 17, 1982. Retrieved 2007-10-30. Check date values in:
- "danielfaulkner.com summary of case facts (p. 2)" (PDF). Justice for P/O Daniel Faulkner. 1998. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- "Trial Transcript §3.216". Commonwealth v. Mumia Abu-Jamal a.k.a. Wesley Cook. Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Criminal Trial Division. June 19, 1982. Retrieved 2007-10-30. Check date values in:
- "Trial Transcript §3.226". Commonwealth v. Mumia Abu-Jamal a.k.a. Wesley Cook. Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Criminal Trial Division. June 19, 1982. Retrieved 2007-10-30. Check date values in:
- "PCRA Hearing Transcript pp.5–6". Commonwealth vs. Mumia Abu-Jamal aka Wesley Cook. Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Criminal Trial Division. August 15 1995. Check date values in:
- "Trial Transcript §3.210–§3.211". Commonwealth v. Mumia Abu-Jamal a.k.a. Wesley Cook. Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Criminal Trial Division. June 19, 1982. Retrieved 2007-10-30. Check date values in:
- "Trial Transcript §3.235–§3.247". Commonwealth v. Mumia Abu-Jamal a.k.a. Wesley Cook. Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Criminal Trial Division. June 19, 1982. Retrieved 2007-10-30. Check date values in:
- Newman, George Michael (September 25, 2001), Affidavit of George Michael Newman, Free Mumia Coalition, retrieved 2007-10-31 Check date values in:
- "Trial Transcript pp.94–95". Commonwealth v. Mumia Abu-Jamal a.k.a. Wesley Cook. Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Criminal Trial Division. June 21, 1982. Retrieved 2007-10-30. Check date values in:
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|date=(help) Interview with William Singletary published 19 June2007
Sources and further readingPage Template:Refbegin/styles.css has no content.
- Abu-Jamal, Mumia.
- Live from Death Row. HarperTrade, 1996. ISBN 0-380-72766-8
- Ich Schreibe um zu Leben. Zeugnisse eines zum Tode Verurteilten (I Write to live. Testimonies of a Person Sentenced to Death). Atlantik (Bremen), 1997. ISBN 3-926529-20-2
- All Things Censored. Seven Stories Press, 2000. ISBN 1-58322-022-4
- Das Imperium kennt kein Gesetz (The Empire Knows No Law). Atlantik (Bremen), 2002. ISBN 3-926529-59-8
- Death Blossoms: Reflections from a Prisoner of Conscience. South End Press, 2003. ISBN 0-89608-699-2
- Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People. Africa World Press, 2003. ISBN 1-59221-019-8
- We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party. South End Press, 2004. ISBN 0-89608-718-2
- Amnesty International. The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Life in the Balance (Open Media Pamphlet Series). Open Media, 2001. ISBN 1-58322-081-X
- Bisson, Terry On a Move: The Story of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Litmus Books, 2000. ISBN 0-87486-901-3
- Faulkner, Maureen; Smerconish, Michael A. Murdered by Mumia: A Life Sentence of Loss, Pain, and Injustice. The Lyons Press, 2007. ISBN 1-59921-376-1
- Lindorff, David. Killing Time. Common Courage Press, 2002. ISBN 1-56751-228-3
- Schiffmann, Michael. Wettlauf Gegen Den Todd. Mumia Abu-Jamal: Ein Schwarzer Revolutionär im Weiβen Amerika (Race Against Death. Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Black Revolutionary in White America). Promedia, 2006. ISBN 3-85371-258-4
- Weinglass, Leonard. Race for Justice: Mumia Abu-Jamal's Fight Against the Death Penalty. Common Courage Press, 1995. ISBN 1-56751-070-1
- Williams, Daniel R. Executing Justice: An Inside Account of the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. St. Martin's Press, 2002. ISBN 0-375-76124-1
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- 1996 video of death row visitation interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Trailer for In Prison My Whole Life 2007 documentary film about the imprisonment of Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Archived writings and news
- Archived files of Mumia Abu Jamal's essays composed and read from his prison cell
- Collection of Philadelphia Inquirer articles about the Mumia Abu-Jamal case 1981-1998
- Philadelphia Independent Media Centre Mumia Abu-Jamal page
- Supporter groups
- Chicago Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal (EMAJ) Coordinated from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Princeton, New Jersey
- Free Mumia European Network
- Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal Based in Philadelphia
- Labour Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Based in Oakland, California. Inactive since February 2005
- Page of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) and the Philadelphia-based International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Page of the Millions4Mumia activism and support group
- Partisan Defense Committee campaign to free Mumia Abu-Jamal An organization headquartered in New York City acting on behalf of those it terms "class war prisoners" including Mumia Abu-Jamal and his son Jamal, and collaborating to that end through branches and fraternal organizations in the US, Canada, Australia, and four European countries
- Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal A canonical list maintained by the Fraternal Order of Police
- Opponent groups and forums
- Fraternal Order of Police news, press releases, and communications relating to Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Justice For Daniel Faulkner An organization supportive of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's case against Mumia Abu-Jamal. Includes complete trial and post-conviction relief hearing transcripts, summary of case facts, appeal judgments, and some contra-Mumia articles and opinion pieces
- The Anti-MOVE/Mumia Blog Authored by Tony Allen, a former member of MOVE and ex-supporter of the Free Mumia cause