25 Years Later, Mumia Abu-Jamal's Best and Last Chance, as French Supporters Face Charges08 Dec 2006 08:10 GMT
World-renowned black death-row prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial that Amnesty International has deemed unfair (see report). Supported internationally by a variety of activists, workers, and educators, his books and radio essays challenging injustice everywhere have earned the former Black Panther the nickname "The Voice of the Voiceless."
His court case has now hit the fast track with oral arguments beginning any month. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is considering four issues in regards to granting Abu-Jamal a new trial. Supported by the NAACP, NLG, UK Lawyers, and The German Parliament, Philly Journalists Linn Washington and Dave Lindorff have optimistically written of Abu-Jamal's chances for a new trial.
In April, longtime French support (2005 photos) continued when the Paris suburb of St. Denis named a major street after Mumia (see video) and was quickly condemned with government resolutions in the US (pdf booklet), while local media continued a long history of bias. In November, Philadelphia Republicans (radio interview) filed criminal charges against St. Denis and Paris for allegedly "glorifying" a "cop-killer". In response, Abu-Jamal and his lawyer wrote to Paris.
Abu-Jamal's support network is organizing a ,mass demonstration at Philadelphia City Hall on December 9--the 25th anniversary of Abu-Jamal's arrest. Also, German author Michael Schiffmann has just released a new book on Abu-Jamal's case, revealing new evidence and original ballistics analysis.