PHILADELPHIA, USA: POLITICAL PRISONERS

US Corporate Broadcaster Airs New Mumia Abu-Jamal Crime Scene Photos, Breaking Mainstream Media Blackout

 
Following a weeks-long media-activist campaign (including a Dec. 4 press conference covered by Reuters, Black Commentator, and Media Channel) the Dec. 6 broadcast of NBC's Today Show prominently featured the new crime scene photos that were recently discovered by German author Michael Schiffmann, breaking the mainstream media blackout of the photos, which had only been published by The SF Bay View. A large demonstration of Mumia supporters outside the NBC studio in New York City was featured on The Today Show, as well as The NY Post, NY Times, and NBC10. Today Show guests Michael Smerconish and Maureen Faulkner (authors of "Murdered By Mumia"), were reportedly outraged by the show, which entailed several challenging questions from co-host Matt Lauer. Journalists for Mumia responded to Faulkner and Smerconish's statements regarding the new photos.

The Dec.8 Free Mumia rally in Philadelphia featured a presentation of the new photos, where Pam Africa and others urged supporters to thank The Today Show (today at msnbc.com) for their fair and balanced report. Read More>> || View the show's overview and video online.

Related Stories: Dec. 8 demonstration in Bern, Switzerland || Veronica Jones' letter to The Today Show || Ed Herman on The Philadelphia Inquirer || The Mumia case: What is true justice? || Dec. 6 WBAI show featuring Suzanne Ross, Orie Lumumba, Hans Bennett, Linn Washington Jr., and Pam Africa || UPRISING RADIO: Journalists Decry Racism in Media Coverage of Mumia || Opio's Podcast || Dave Lindorff's letter to The Philadelphia Inquirer


Source article: NBC's Today Show Breaks Media Blackout of New Mumia Photos

Past Coverage: Big Media Must Not Ignore New Mumia Abu-Jamal Crime Scene Photos

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Roundup of Recent News about Mumia

Hans Bennett 11.Dec.2007 18:41



Journalists for Mumia presentation of new photos at December 8, 2007 Mumia rally in Philadelphia. (View a Larger Version of Photo)

Roundup of Recent News about Mumia

MAINSTREAM MEDIA:

Slain officer's widow plugs book, by Lucas K. Murray,, Gloucester County Times, December 09, 2007

Widow Of Slain Officer Signs New 'Mumia' Book, CBS 3, Dec. 8, 2007

Policeman's widow seeks execution of Abu Jamal, by John Hurdle, Reuters, Dec. 8, 2007

Rally Backs Prisoner On Death Row, NY Times, Dec. 7, 2007

Book Launch Brings Convicted Killer's Supporters To Protest, NBC 10, Dec. 6, 2007

Lauer Presses Widow of Slain Officer About Mumia Abu-Jamal's Guilt, by Geoffrey Dickens, News Busters, December 6, 2007

A Silver Lining in the Faulkner Case, by Michael Smerconish, Philadelphia Daily News, Dec. 6, 2007

Mumia Memory Lane by Edward Morrissey, Captain's Quarters Blog, Dec. 5, 2007

Celebrities rush to embrace Abu-Jamal, by Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 5, 2007

A mother's nightmare turned all too real, by Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 4, 2007

Officer's widow counters Mumia campaign, by Kathy Matheson, Associated Press, Dec. 4, 2007

Abu Jamal backers say new evidence merits retrial, by John Hurdle, Reuters, Dec. 4, 2007

Challenging the cult of Mumia Abu-Jamal, by Michelle Malkin, Dec. 4, 2007

Cop Killer's Pals Plan Protest, NY Post, Dec.3, 2007

A Widow Speaks, by Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 2, 2007

Widow links Street to Abu-Jamal case, by Emilie Lounsberry, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 2, 2007

Faulkner rally: Big, upbeat, by Andrew Maykuth, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 10, 2007

Those ridiculous Mumia 'theories', by Rus Slawter and Mike Lawler, Letters, Philadelphia Daily News, Dec. 1, 2007

An untestable Mumia theory, by Bob Harris, Letters, Philadelphia Daily News, Nov.24, 2007

The Case Against Death, by Michael McGonigle, Letters, Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 20, 2007

Maybe It's Time To Bring Back 'Old Sparky', by Michael Bickings, Letters, Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 12, 2007

Le French Mumia-ites, by Michel Brianyon, Letters, Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 1, 2007

ALTERNATIVE MEDIA:

Tell Both Sides of Mumia Story by Dave Lindorff, Letter in Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 10, 2007.

The Mumia case: What Is True Justice?, by Mary Shaw, CounterCurrents.org, Dec.10, 2007

Brick-by-Brick, Wall-by-Wall..., by Andrew Johnston, Phillyist.com, Dec. 10, 2007

Fotos der Mumia Abu Jamal Demo am 08.12.07 in Bern, Indymedia.org, Dec. 9, 2007

Spotlight on Death Row: A Flurry of New Projects on Mumia Abu-Jamal's Case, by Linn Washington, Jr., Counterpunch, Dec.8/9, 2007

Smerconish, Faulkner, and the Inky on Mumia Abu-Jamal Edward S. Herman, Philly IMC, Dec. 7, 2007

WBAI Radio show featuring Suzanne Ross, Orie Lumumba, Hans Bennett, Linn Washington Jr., and Pam Africa, Dec. 6, 2007

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Evidence of Innocence and and Unfair Trial, by David A. Love, The Black Commentator, Dec. 6, 2007

"Murdered By Mumia?" press conference featured by Reuters, Infoshop.org, Dec. 5, 2007

Media Bias In The Case Of Mumia Abu-Jamal, by Betsey Piette, Media Channel / Workers World, Dec. 5, 2007

Hans Bennett speaks with Opio about new pictures, evidence, media involvement and more..., Opio's Podcast, Dec. 5, 2007

Breaking The Chains, by Jamal Hart, SF Bay View, Dec. 5, 2007

Maureen Faulkner and Mumia: Vengeance Isn't Sweet, by Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch, Dec. 3, 2007

Unedited Jack McMahon Philadelphia DA Training Video Now Online, Daily Scare, Nov. 30, 2007

Journalists Decry Racism in Media Coverage of Mumia, Uprising Radio / KPFK Los Angeles, Nov. 29, 2007

A History of Racist Media Bias: ABC's 20/20 Report on Mumia Abu-Jamal, Daily Scare, Nov. 28, 2007

Veronica Jones' letter to The Today Show, Nov. 26, 2007

Guinness Records: Massacre or Suicide?, by Mumia Abu-Jamal, OpEdNews.com, Nov. 25, 2007

Free Mumia Now: An interview with Goldii, daughter of Mumia Abu Jamal, SF Bay View, Nov.21, 2007

New Photos Raise Questions about Evidence in Mumia Abu-Jamal Case, Media Mouse, Nov. 21, 2007

ACTION ALERT: Ensure Fairness For Mumia on NBC’s The Today Show!, Philly IMC, Nov. 20, 2007

Suicide or State-sanctioned Murder? MOVE's Battle with Guinness by Kevin Price, Philly IMC, Nov. 7, 2007

WHYY asks Maureen Faulkner about new Mumia photos

Hans Bennett 12.Dec.2007 05:35

WHYY asks Maureen Faulkner about new Mumia photos

by Hans Bennett (Abu-Jamal-News.com)

Today (Dec. 11) Maureen Faulkner was a one-hour guest on the WHYY show "Radio Times" in Philadelphia, where she talked about her new book, written with Michael Smerconish, titled "Murdered By Mumia." Host Marty Moss-Coane asked Faulkner about the new crime scene photos, quoting directly from the Dec. 4 Reuters article titled "Abu Jamal backers say new evidence merits retrial." The portion of the show where she is asked about the photos (17 minutes into the one hour show), is transcribed below, and then followed by my response to what she says. For more on these photos, they can be viewed at Abu-Jamal-News.com, and are described by Reuters, The Today Show, The SF Bay View, the Journalists for Mumia press-release, and the Educators for Mumia press release. Also see my response to Faulkner's comments on The Today Show.

The Dec. 11 WHYY show is archived here for listening via Real Player.

Also, be sure and listen to Wednesday's show at 10am, described here by the WHYY website: "Did Mumia get a fair trial?....We'll hear from DAVE LINDORFF who believes Mumia Did not get a fair trial. He is author of Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal and from JOHN HAYDEN who says Mumia did get a fair trial. He is author of Mumia Abu-Jamal: The Patron Saint of American Cop Killers." This is a call in show: 1-888-477-9499.

DEC. 11 TRANSCRIPT:

WHYY: Now, as you probably know, some photographs have surfaced and this from a photographer, Pedro Polakoff, and I believe he's German, but it shows several things, and I'll just read them to our audience. I'm quoting here from Reuters, "One photo shows a police officer holding two guns in his bare hand, contradicting that officer's trial testimony that he had preserved ballistics evidence." This is a quote from Hans Bennett, co-founder of Journalists for Mumia, a support group. So, he's saying, looking at this photograph, you see a police officer with his hands on two guns, thereby raising questions about contaminating evidence.

Maureen Faulkner: Yes, from what I understand that was Officer James Forbes, if I'm not mistaken. From what this photograph is showing, I don't know if his hands are actually on the grip of the gun, it seems like he has his finger holding the gun through the actual trigger part, but not on the handle of the gun. At that time, I'm sure the evidence was somewhat contaminated."

WHYY: So you don't raise questions about the contamination?

Faulkner: No. I'm wondering where this man has been for 26 years, that now all of a sudden he is coming up with these photographs? Why hasn't he come forth before this? He claims he has come forth and talked to the District Attorney's office, but I'm being told that they never knew who he was, or he has not come forth to them.

WHYY: Another picture shows Faulkner's hat on top of a parked car, contrasting with the official police photo of the crime scene, in which the hat was on the sidewalk grating.

Faulkner: That's absolutely right. I saw that also. But where is the timing of the photographs? Is there a time on the photograph of when this was actually taken? Was the hat put from the ground to the top of the car, or from the top of the car to the ground? We have no idea.

WHYY: So do you think these photographs are doctored, or do you think they don’t really explain what...?

Faulkner: I don't really think they make much difference, to be honest with you. The bottom line is that there were eyewitnesses that saw what happened that night, and the evidence, the ballistics show that Mumia Abu-Jamal murdered my husband. He confessed in the emergency room, and several people heard him confess, saying "I shot the MFer and I hope he dies"... Priscilla Durham, she testified in the court in 1982 that she heard him, the security guard. This man confessed to murdering my husband........ (END OF TRANSCRIPT)

JOURNALISTS FOR MUMIA RESPONSE:

I immediately contacted German author Dr. Michael Schiffmann (who discovered the photos in 2006) to respond to the WHYY show, and he has written an extensive reply, AVAILABLE HERE. In this reply, Dr. Schiffmann responds to several points made by Faulkner.

---First, is the issue of Forbes' handling of the guns. Having viewed all 26 remaining photos (there were originally 31, but 5 were lost) taken by Polakoff, Schiffmann writes that "there is not just one, but there are several photos showing Officer Forbes holding the guns in his bare hands. They show him touching the guns all over the place, particularly in the most sensitive places where any fingerprints would have been. If this is good and responsible police work, all existing guidelines can be put on the trash heap. On one of the photos, the guns have even changed position in his hands, with Officer Faulkner's gun (first in Mr. Forbes' palm) switching position with Abu-Jamal's gun, indicating even more fiddling with any possible fingerprint evidence."

---Second, similar to her statement on the Dec. 6 Today Show, Faulkner asks why it took so long for the photos to come out. She then goes further than her Today Show statement, and recognizes our point that Polakoff says he went to the Philadelphia DA with them in 1982 and 1995, but was ignored. She said: "He claims he has come forth and talked to the District Attorney's office, but I'm being told that they never knew who he was, or he has not come forth to them." If Polakoff's story is correct, it is expected that the DA would deny that Polakoff approached them with the photos, after all it would have been illegal for the DA to have known about them and not shared it with Abu-Jamal's defense team. As Schiffmann notes, "their lack of interest - and the fact that they didn't inform the defense - alone might be reason for a new trial."

Schiffmann goes further: "Faulkner claims she is 'being told' that the DA's office never knew who Polakoff was and haven't heard from him. Where's the official corroboration? Just exactly WHO told her this? And even if someone told her this, how would this invalidate what can be seen on the photos? Why didn't the DA's office look for these photos and the testimony of the photographer all by themselves in December 1981, given that fact that he was at the scene WAY BEFORE the MCD unit?"

---Third, regarding the "moving hat," Faulkner acknowledges that it was moved, but she asks about "the timing of the photographs." Press photographer Pedro Polakoff told Schiffmann that he arrived on the scene within 12 minutes of hearing about the shooting on the police radio and about ten minutes before the Mobile Crime Unit (responsible for forensics and photographs) arrived. According to Polakoff, this unit had still not taken any photos when Polakoff left after 30-45 minutes at the scene.

How do we know the exact order in which the photos were taken? Because Polakoff has preserved the original negatives, from which the images viewed on the internet were directly scanned, with a negative scanner. As the negatives show, Daniel Faulkner's hat started on the top of the VW, and later showed up on the sidewalk, where it would then remain for the official police photo. Schiffmann writes: "There isn't a scintilla of a doubt about its authenticity (are the photos that appeared in the Philadelphia papers in December 1981 also "doctored," retrospectively, so to speak?), and there isn't the slightest doubt about the time sequence of the photographs, a question that I've gone through with photographer Pedro Polakoff again and again and again."

---Fourth, Faulkner says she doesn't "really think they make much difference," because of what she describes as other strong evidence against Abu-Jamal, including an alleged confession, ballistics, and eyewitness testimony.

I would argue the opposite. This evidence cited by Faulkner includes the obviously fabricated "hospital confession." contradictory and questionable ballistics evidence, and eyewitness testimony that was likely the result of police coercion. Taken in the context of this other sketchy "evidence," these newly discovered photos only cast more doubt upon the legitimacy of the DA's case against Mumia Abu-Jamal. I will now address these points, taking excerpts from the recent Journalists for Mumia flyer debunking the evidence presented on the "Murdered By Mumia" website, which says 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.”

A Racially Mixed Jury?

---On May 17, before The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Christina Swarns of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund argued that that there is strong evidence of racist jury selection at the 1982 trial. The LDF Amicus Brief concludes, “it becomes abundantly clear that he has set forth a prima facie case of discrimination,” based on the standards established by the US Supreme Court’s 1986 Batson v. Kentucky ruling, establishing a defendant’s right to a new trial if proven that jurors were excluded on the basis of race.

---The LDF argues that DA prosecutor McGill's conduct “strongly suggested discriminatory intent,” and other evidence “strongly suggests” that this discrimination “was common practice,” in the DA's office. At Abu-Jamal’s trial, McGill used 10-11 of his 15 peremptory challenges to remove otherwise acceptable black jurors.

---Philadelphia was over 40% black, but the jury had 10 whites and only 2 blacks. A survey of homicide cases tried by McGill from Sept., 1981 to Oct., 1983, reveals, “the odds that Mr. McGill would peremptorily challenge an African-American potential juror were 8.47 times greater than for non-black jurors.”

---From 1977-1986 (when current Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was the District Attorney), Philadelphia prosecutors struck 58% of black jurors, but only 22% of the white jurors.

Abu-Jamal’s Own Confession?

The alleged “hospital confession,” where Abu-Jamal 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), P.O. Gary Wakshul (Feb.11), P.O. Gary Bell (Feb.25), and P.O. Thomas M. Bray (March 1). Only 2 of these five witnesses were called by the DA: Gary Bell (Faulkner's partner and “best friend”) and Priscilla Durham.

---Gary Bell testified that the 2 month lapse resulted from him being so upset over the death of Faulkner.

---Priscilla Durham testified, and added for the first time, that she had reported the confession to her supervisor the next day. Neither her supervisor, nor the alleged handwritten statement were presented in court. The DA sent an officer to the hospital, returning with a suspicious typed version. Sabo accepted the paper (not signed or dated) despite both Durham’s disavowal, and the defense’s protest that authorship and authenticity were unproven.

---Gary Wakshul was not a prosecution witness, and on the final day of testimony in 1982, Abu-Jamal's lawyer discovered Wakshul's statement from Dec. 9 (Abu-Jamal’s supporters cite this late discovery as one of many examples 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 written report. When an outraged Abu-Jamal protested, Sabo cruelly declared: “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 2 month delay were simply bad mistakes. He repeated his earlier February 11, 1982 statement given to the police IAB investigator: “I 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. After studying the alleged confession, Amnesty International concluded that: “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.”

Ownership of the Murder Weapon and Matching Ballistics?

---Police never officially performed the standard “wipe test” checking for gunshot residue on Abu-Jamal’s hands and clothing, or the “smell test” on his gun, which Amnesty International has criticized as “deeply troubling.”

---44 or 38 Caliber? The original medical examiner's report (never seen by the 1982 jury) stated that the deadly bullet was a .44 caliber. Abu-Jamal's gun was a .38 caliber, Charter Arms revolver, which uses a significantly smaller bullet than a .44. Later, the official police ballistician, Anthony Paul, would conclude that the bullet was a .38. This initial contradiction is arguably suspicious, but even if the medical examiner made a legitimate mistake, the evidence presented by the DA about the alleged .38 bullet is also contradictory and inconclusive.

---Particular rifling traits identify a particular bullet as coming from one specific gun. Official police experts have always said that the fatal bullet was too damaged to link the particular traits to Abu-Jamal’s gun.

---General rifling traits can only link a bullet to a particular type of gun. In his report, Paul first identified the bullet’s general traits as “indeterminable.” Contradicting himself in the same report, Paul later noted a general trait: a “right-hand direction of twist.” Paul’s 1982 trial testimony then went further by identifying another general trait never mentioned in his written report “8 lands and 8 grooves.” Therefore, after deeming the general traits “indeterminable,” Paul then alleged two general traits that served to further implicate Abu-Jamal’s gun type.

---Multiples of Millions? Even if these general traits cited by Paul did exist on the bullet, it was not a reliable link to Abu-Jamal’s gun. The defense asked Paul in 1982, “approximately, how many millions of guns have eight lands and grooves and how many would provide this bullet?” He acknowledged that it could have come from “multiples of millions,” including many millions of guns not manufactured by Charter Arms.

---Crime scene photos discovered in 2006, by German author Michael Schiffmann, add even more evidence of police misconduct. As Abu-Jamal's lead attorney Robert R. Bryan notes, "The newly discovered photographs reveal the fact that the police were actively manipulating evidence at the homicide scene."

---The Abu-Jamal-News.com website displays 4 of the photos to demonstrate these 4 points:

---1. Mishandling the Guns - Officer James Forbes holds both Abu-Jamal's and Faulkner's guns in his bare hands and touches the metal parts, which suggests he perjured himself in court when he testified that he had properly preserved the guns’ ballistics evidence.

---2. The Moving Hat - Faulkner's hat is moved from the top 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 that he was parked directly behind Faulkner's car, but the space is empty in the photo.

---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.” This "missing divots" observation is supported by the official police crime scene photo, which reveals no large bullet divots, or destroyed chunks of cement.

Eyewitness Testimony?

Schiffmann contends that since 3 prosecution witnesses testified to this scenario (discredited by the missing divots observation), most likely Cynthia White (a prostitute), Robert Chobert (an arsonist on probation, driving his cab without a license), and Michael Scanlan (a motorist driving under the influence) were vulnerable to police pressure and subsequently coerced into giving false testimony.

---Amnesty International documented how both White and Chobert “altered their descriptions of what they saw, in ways that supported the prosecution's version of events,” providing more evidence of coercion.

---3 independent witnesses have said the police terrorized Cynthia White. Veronica Jones (1996) and Pamela Jenkins (1997) testified that White was blackmailed into her testimony by the police, who had the power to pursue or drop prostitution charges against her. In 2002, Yvette Williams testified that White feared for her life because of threats by the police.

---Robert Chobert’s probation was never revoked while he continued to illegally drive his cab at least until the 1995 PCRA hearing, with an occasional fine being his heaviest punishment.

---More on Veronica Jones:

The story of Veronica Jones merits closer attention because her 1996 PCRA testimony exposed police coercion of witnesses and further discredited the 1982 testimony of the DA's star witness: prostitute Cynthia White (the only one to actually testify to seeing Abu-Jamal pull the trigger).

The story begins on Dec.15, 1981 when Jones (a prostitute who was working nearby on Dec.9) first told police that she had seen two men “jogging” away from the crime scene before police arrived. Testifying in 1982, Jones recanted and denied ever making the statement. However, when asked if she had talked to the police since her first statement, Jones testified that police had visited her in jail the next month:

“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 reported that police offered to let her and White “work the area if we tell them.”

Calling her testimony “absolutely irrelevant,” the DA moved to block the line of questioning and strike the previous statements. Because Sabo happily complied, the jury was ordered to disregard Jones' statement regarding White and a police offer of freedom to “work the area” in return for testimony that Abu-Jamal shot Faulkner.

The DA and Sabo's efforts to silence Jones continued through to the PCRA hearings.

Unable to locate her earlier, the Defense found Jones in 1996, and (over the DA's protests) obtained permission from the State Supreme Court to extend the PCRA hearings for Jones' testimony. Sabo vehemently resisted—arguing that there was not sufficient proof of her unavailability in 1995. However, in 1995 Sabo had refused to order disclosure of Jones' home address to the defense team.

Over Sabo’s objections, the defense returned to the State Supreme Court—which then ordered Sabo to conduct a full evidentiary hearing. Sabo's attempts to silence Jones continued as she took the stand. He immediately threatened her with 5-10 years imprisonment if she testified to having perjured herself in 1982. In defiance, Jones testified to perjury in 1982 when she recanted seeing two men “run away” and “leave the scene.”

She testified to changing her version of events after being visited by two detectives in prison, where she was being held on charges of robbery and assault. Urging her to finger Mumia, the detectives stressed that she faced up to 10 years in prison and the loss of her children if convicted. Afraid of losing her children, Jones testified to having met the police halfway: she didn't actually finger Mumia, but she did lie about not seeing two men running from the scene. Accordingly, Jones only received probation and was never imprisoned for these 1982 charges.

During cross-examination, the DA announced that there was an outstanding arrest warrant for Jones on charges of writing a bad check, and that she would be arrested after concluding her testimony. With tears pouring down her face, Jones declared: “This is not going to change my testimony!”

Despite objections from the defense, Sabo allowed New Jersey police to handcuff and arrest Jones.

While the DA attempted to use this arrest to discredit Jones, her determination in the face of intimidation only made her more credible. Outraged by Jones' treatment, even the mainstream Philadelphia Daily News reported: “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.”

--Hans Bennett is co-founder (with Michael Schiffmann) of Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal (Abu-Jamal-News.com).

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