The Issue Is Mumia Abu-Jamal: Innocent and Framed!
by Rachel Wolkenstein
March 15, 2014
The controversy surrounding president Barack Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) successful campaign against him was not, in fact, an abstract constitutional dispute over the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. For the FOP any defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal is grounds for a rabid attack.
In response, Adegbile and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and most supporters of the nomination, from the Obama administration down though the liberal left distanced Adegbile from Abu-Jamal’s legal defense and discount the idea that either he or the LDF had or could have challenged Abu-Jamal’s conviction for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner.
The Executive Director of the LDF describes the FOP-led campaign as a “smear campaign” against Debo Adegbile, accepting the premise that legal representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal is a “smear” instead of insisting that as a lawyer this is a point of pride, responsibility, and a cornerstone of American jurisprudence.
But the smear—the lies—propagated by the FOP are against Mumia Abu-Jamal, that he is an unrepentant, vicious cop-killer who should have been executed.
There is an unambiguous and unequivocal answer to this attack: Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent and framed for the December 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
The Debo Adegbile nomination controversy was and is squarely about the meaning and import of the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Examining his case is akin to opening Pandora’s box—it explodes the myth of American “justice.”
The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal is the extraordinary political persecution of an innocent man, a former Black Panther Party spokesman, defender of the MOVE organization and radical journalist, know as the “voice of the voiceless,” who was sentenced to death because of his political beliefs and affiliations. It is about racist legal lynching in the United States, the legacy of slavery. It is also an exposé of the every day workings of an inherently class-biased, racist and politically driven criminal injustice system.
Every element of the constitutional right to a “fair trial,” to due process, was violated in convicting and sentencing Mumia Abu-Jamal to death. But the most fundamental violation of due process is being framed for a crime you did not commit.
From moments after the shootings, the Philadelphia police and prosecution, with the complicity of the U.S. Attorney General’s office, manufactured Abu-Jamal’s guilt and actively suppressed his innocence—evidence that someone else shot and killed officer Faulkner. Every part of the police and prosecution’s case—witness testimony, Abu-Jamal’s supposed confession and ballistics—is a lie.
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s only “crime” on December 9, 1981 was that he survived being shot and then brutally beaten by police officers.
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