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          size="-2"><a class="domain reader-domain"
href="https://whyy.org/articles/philly-prosecutors-discover-mysterious-six-boxes-connected-to-mumia-abu-jamal-in-storage-room/">https://whyy.org/articles/philly-prosecutors-discover-mysterious-six-boxes-connected-to-mumia-abu-jamal-in-storage-room/</a></font>
        <h1 class="reader-title">Philly prosecutors discover mysterious
          ‘six boxes’ connected to Mumia Abu-Jamal in storage room</h1>
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                <span class="byline-label"></span>
                <li><a href="https://whyy.org/person/bobby-allyn/">Bobby
                    Allyn</a><span class="byline-date"> - January 9,
                    2019</span></li>
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                <p>Days after Christmas, Philadelphia District Attorney
                  Larry Krasner and some of his assistants went
                  rummaging around an out-of-the-way storage room in the
                  office looking for some pieces of furniture. What they
                  stumbled upon was a surprising find: six boxes stuffed
                  of files connected to the case of convicted cop killer
                  Mumia Abu-Jamal.</p>
                <p>Five of the six boxes were marked “McCann,” a
                  reference to the former head of the office’s homicide
                  unit, Ed McCann. Some of the boxes were also marked
                  “Mumia,” or the former Black Panther’s full name,
                  “Mumia Abu-Jamal.”</p>
                <p>It is unknown what exactly the files say and whether
                  or not the box’s contents will shed new light on a
                  case that for decades has garnered worldwide
                  attention.</p>
                <p>But in a letter to the judge presiding over
                  Abu-Jamal’s case, Assistant District Attorney Tracey
                  Kavanagh wrote “nothing in the Commonwealth’s database
                  showed the existence of these six boxes,” she said.
                  “We are in the process of reviewing these boxes.”</p>
                <p>The surprise discovery comes just weeks after a
                  Philadelphia judge <a
href="https://whyy.org/articles/judge-mumia-abu-jamal-can-reargue-appeal-in-1981-philly-police-slaying/">reinstated
                    appeals rights</a> to Abu-Jamal, saying the former
                  radio journalist and activist should get another
                  chance to reargue his case in front of the
                  Pennsylvania Supreme Court due to a
                  conflict-of-interest one of the justices had at the
                  time Abu-Jamal’s petition was denied.</p>
                <p>Abu-Jamal’s <a
href="https://whyy.org/articles/mumia-abu-jamal-supporters-urge-philly-da-krasner-to-let-appeal-process-proceed/">supporters</a>
                  are seizing on the mysterious six boxes as proof that
                  his innocence has been systematically suppressed by
                  authorities.</p>
                <p>“There’s no question in my mind that the only reason
                  they could’ve been hidden like this is that this is
                  the evidence of the frame-up of Mumia,” said Rachel
                  Wolkenstein, who has been a legal advocate and
                  activist for Abu-Jamal for more than 30 years.</p>
                <p>“What these missing boxes represent is confirmation
                  of what we’ve known for decades: there’s hidden,
                  exculpatory evidence in Mumia’s case, and that is
                  evidence that Mumia’s guilt was intentionally
                  manufactured by the police and prosecution and the
                  truth of his innocence was suppressed,” Wolkenstein
                  said.</p>
                <p>The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office did not
                  say anything at all about what is in the boxes, or
                  whether there is evidence that the files are
                  exculpatory, or capable of demonstrating that
                  Abu-Jamal did not commit a crime. During his original
                  trial three separate eyewitnesses testified Mumia did
                  commit the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer
                  Daniel Faulkner.</p>
                <p>Wolkenstein’s assessment is wild speculation,
                  according to Ed McCann, the former homicide unit chief
                  whose name was scrawled across the six boxes. McCann
                  left the office in 2015 after 26 years there as a
                  prosecutor. He was never directly involved in
                  Abu-Jamal’s case.</p>
                <p>“I can’t tell you 100% what is in these boxes,”
                  McCann said Wednesday night. “But I doubt there is
                  anything in them that is not already in the public
                  eye.”</p>
                <p>How and why did six boxes tied to one of the most
                  legendary and racially-charged cases the office has
                  ever handled get relegated to a dusty storage room?</p>
                <p>McCann is not sure. But he said when the office moved
                  locations in 2006, hundreds of boxes with his name
                  written them were moved into the current headquarters
                  on South Penn Square, just across the street from
                  Philadelphia City Hall.</p>
                <p>“I don’t remember these six boxes. But nobody over
                  there discussed this with me before filing this
                  letter,” McCann said. “I would think if they were
                  really interested in what happened, they would have
                  reached out to me.”</p>
                <p>In the two-page letter to the court, assistant
                  district attorney Kavanagh wrote that if Judge Leon
                  Tucker would like to review the boxes, prosecutors
                  will turn them over.</p>
                <p>Tucker, who is the same judge who ordered that
                  Abu-Jamal should be given a new appeals argument, has
                  not weighed in on the newly-discovered boxes.</p>
                <p>But in his opinion last month, Tucker said former
                  Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille
                  should have recused himself from hearing Abu-Jamal’s
                  petitions, since Castille himself was Philadelphia’s
                  District Attorney when the case was actively on
                  appeal. “True justice must be completely just without
                  even a hint of partiality, lack of integrity or
                  impropriety,” wrote Tucker, saying a new hearing in
                  front of the state’s high court is warranted.</p>
                <p>Prosecutors have not taken a position yet on Tucker’s
                  opinion. The files unearthed in the six boxes could
                  influence whether Krasner’s office supports or opposes
                  a new hearing for Abu-Jamal.</p>
                <p>Wolkenstein said the thousands of people who have
                  joined the “Free Mumia” movement around the globe
                  should be able to review the documents themselves.</p>
                <p>“These files should be released publicly,”
                  Wolkenstein said. “The remedy for this is nothing less
                  than dismissal of Mumia’s charges and his release from
                  prison.”</p>
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    <h1 class="lede bold detail-content"><font size="-2"><a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.philly.com/news/mumia-abu-jamal-daniel-faulkner-boxes-case-files-20190110.html">http://www.philly.com/news/mumia-abu-jamal-daniel-faulkner-boxes-case-files-20190110.html</a></font><br>
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    <h1 class="lede bold detail-content">Philly D.A.’s Office finds file
      boxes in Abu-Jamal case</h1>
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      pb-f-article-author" id="f013gG8PKldJer">
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          <div class="byline"> <a class="hover-underlined"
              href="http://www.philly.com/archive/robert_moran/"> <span
                class="font-bold color-blue">by Robert Moran</span></a><span
              class="font-light">,</span> <span class="timestamp
              font-light"> <span class="spaced spaced-bottom spaced-sm
                timestamp-recent color-gray-dark"
                data-timestamp="2019-01-10T02:53:11.867Z"
                data-timestamp-loaded="true" data-keep-date-time=""
                data-timestamp-caption="Updated: "> Updated: January 9,
                2019- 9:53 PM </span> </span> </div>
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            <p>The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has informed
              a judge that prosecutors have found six boxes of files in
              the case of convicted cop-killer <i><b>(sic)</b></i>
              Mumia Abu-Jamal that may be significant to his appeals
              effort. Or, they could just be copies of existing
              documents.</p>
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            <p>In a Jan. 3 letter to Common Pleas Court Judge Leon W.
              Tucker, Assistant District Attorney Tracey Kavanagh wrote
              that the boxes were discovered Dec. 28, a day after Tucker
              ruled that Abu-Jamal can reargue an appeal before the
              Pennsylvania Supreme Court.</p>
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            <p>In his 36-page decision filed Dec. 27, Tucker noted that
              prosecutors had failed to produce two documents they were
              obligated to preserve while Abu-Jamal’s appeals were
              active. The unavailability of the documents could be
              prejudicial to Abu-Jamal, but the prosecutors' conduct was
              not egregious, Tucker said.</p>
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            <p>Kavanagh wrote in the Jan. 3 letter that the District
              Attorney’s Office was reviewing the contents of the six
              boxes and the judge was welcome to take a look, too.</p>
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            <p>Ben Waxman, spokesperson for District Attorney Larry
              Krasner, said Wednesday in an email that the boxes were
              being made available for review to Abu-Jamal’s lawyers.
              The letter was released to the media Wednesday.</p>
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          <div class="card-content ">
            <p>Kavanagh explained that on Dec. 28, “the D.A. and members
              of his staff went to a remote and largely inaccessible
              room of the District Attorney’s Office marked ‘Storage,'
              looking for office furniture.”</p>
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            <p>They discovered the boxes, which were labeled with
              variations of Abu-Jamal’s name and were designated as
              “18/29, 21/29, 23/29, 24/29, 29/29. The sixth had no
              numbering."</p>
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            <p>Five of the boxes also were marked with the name
              “McCann.” Edward McCann was a high-level supervisor in the
              District Attorney’s Office who left the office in 2015.</p>
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          <div class="card-content ">
            <p>Kavanagh wrote: “This means the Commonwealth’s prior
              representations that it had produced the complete file for
              this Court’s review in this case were incorrect, although
              those representations were based upon a diligent search
              and were accurate to the best of the Commonwealth’s
              knowledge at the time.”</p>
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            <p>Prosecutors had previously delivered to the court what
              they said was their complete file in the Abu-Jamal case,
              which included 32 boxes with each being marked as “1 of
              31, 2 of 32, 3 of 32, etc.”</p>
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            <p>Lawyers for Abu-Jamal did not immediately respond to a
              request for comment Wednesday night. McCann declined to
              comment on the development.</p>
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            <p>In his ruling, Tucker wrote that Abu-Jamal can reargue
              his appeal because former Supreme Court Chief Justice
              Ronald D. Castille did not recuse himself due to his prior
              role as Philadelphia district attorney when Abu-Jamal was
              appealing his case.</p>
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            <p>Abu-Jamal, 64, a former Black Panther and sometime radio
              reporter, is serving a life sentence for the Dec. 9, 1981,
              shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel
              Faulkner, 25, at 13th and Locust Streets.</p>
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            <p><i>Staff writer Chris Palmer contributed to this article</i></p>
          </div>
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