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      <div class="header reader-header reader-show-element"> <font
          size="-2"><a class="domain reader-domain"
            href="https://www.workers.org/2019/12/44717/">https://www.workers.org/2019/12/44717/</a></font>
        <h1 class="reader-title">New stage in the struggle to FREE
          MUMIA!</h1>
        <div class="meta-data">
          <div class="reader-estimated-time">By <span class="vcard
              author"><a class="fn"
                href="https://www.workers.org/author/betsey/">Betsey
                Piette</a></span> posted on <span class="updated">December
              3, 2019</span></div>
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                <p><span>Political prisoner and world-renowned
                    journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and his supporters are
                    closer than ever to winning his release, 38 years
                    after he was imprisoned for a crime he did not
                    commit. </span></p>
                <p><span>The Fraternal Order of Police, former district
                    attorneys and other political higher-ups who
                    participated in the frameup are now shaking in their
                    boots because this innocent man may be given a new
                    trial in which judicial, police and prosecutorial
                    misconduct will be exposed.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>In the late 1970s and early 80s,
                    Abu-Jamal was a daily radio reporter for WHYY and
                    NPR who earned acclaim for his award-winning
                    reporting.  As a reporter who supported the MOVE
                    organization against state repression, he drew the
                    ire of the Philadelphia FOP and the notoriously
                    racist Police Commissioner and later Mayor Frank
                    Rizzo.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>On Dec. 9, 1981, while driving a
                    cab to supplement his income, Abu-Jamal happened
                    upon his brother in an altercation with Philadelphia
                    police officer Daniel Faulkner.  Faulkner was
                    killed. Abu-Jamal, who was shot and severely beaten
                    by police, was charged in Faulkner’s death, even
                    though witnesses reported seeing another man, most
                    probably the passenger in Abu-Jamal’s brother’s car,
                    running from the scene.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>Imprisoned for nearly four
                    decades, Abu-Jamal has maintained his innocence. 
                    With global support, he successfully won his release
                    from Pennsylvania’s death row in 2011. In December
                    2018 he won the right to appeal his 1982 conviction
                    because of biased judicial oversight by PA Supreme
                    Court Justice Ronald Castille.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>In early January 2019,
                    Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner
                    reported finding six boxes of previously undisclosed
                    evidence held by prosecutors in the case and allowed
                    Abu-Jamal’s attorneys to review the files.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>In September 2019 Abu-Jamal’s
                    lawyers filed new appellate briefs, including a
                    request that the case be returned for a hearing
                    before the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court based on
                    their finding of concrete evidence of prosecutorial
                    misconduct by the DA’s office in his 1982 trial.</span></p>
                <p><span>A Sept. 9 press release from attorneys Judith
                    Ritter and Sam Spital reads: “This week, Mumia
                    Abu-Jamal filed a brief in PA Superior Court to
                    support his claim that his 1982 trial was
                    fundamentally unfair in violation of the
                    Constitution. For example, he argues that the
                    prosecution failed to disclose evidence as required
                    and discriminated against African Americans when
                    selecting the jury. And, his lawyer did not
                    adequately challenge the State’s witnesses.</span></p>
                <p><span>“Mr. Abu-Jamal also filed a motion containing
                    new evidence of constitutional violations such as
                    promises by the prosecutor to pay or give leniency
                    to two witnesses. There is also new evidence of
                    racial discrimination in jury selection.”</span></p>
                <p><span>The evidence uncovered in the hidden boxes
                    shows that Joseph McGill, the prosecutor in
                    Abu-Jamal’s case, paid off witnesses with favors and
                    cash, while allowing a cab-driver witness with a
                    suspended license to keep driving.  McGill illegally
                    struck down Black jurors and fixed outstanding cases
                    of key witnesses. </span></p>
                <p><span>Attorney Ritter contends that the new evidence
                    shows Abu-Jamal’s trial was “fundamentally unfair
                    and tainted by serious constitutional violations.”</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><b>DA Krasner under attack by FOP</b></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>In April of this year, DA Larry
                    Krasner bowed to massive community pressure and
                    withdrew his initial opposition to Abu-Jamal’s
                    appeal moving forward in Pennsylvania’s higher
                    courts. Following the September filings by
                    Abu-Jamal’s attorneys, Krasner acquiesced to their
                    petition that the newly uncovered evidence is
                    grounds for the case to be sent back to Common Pleas
                    Court.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>This was the final straw as far
                    as the FOP is concerned. They immediately launched
                    an attack on Krasner, using Faulkner’s widow,
                    Maureen Faulkner-Palkovic.  On Sept. 18, claiming
                    “victim’s rights,” she filed a petition to have
                    Krasner replaced by Pennsylvania Attorney General
                    Josh Shapiro “in criminal actions in which there is
                    an appeal.”  </span><span>She alleges that the lack
                    of “finality” in this case has caused trauma for her
                    — completely ignoring the impact on Abu-Jamal’s
                    family.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>Faulkner bases her petition
                    largely on unfounded claims that DA Krasner and
                    attorneys in his office had some connection with
                    Abu-Jamal’s case in the past. </span><span>When her
                    petition was dismissed by higher courts, Faulkner
                    and the FOP tried another ploy.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>Faulkner filed a King’s Bench
                    Petition on Nov. 12 with the state’s higher courts,
                    again requesting Krasner’s removal from the case. 
                    In addition to charging Krasner with conflicts of
                    interest in the Abu-Jamal case, Faulkner claims that
                    Krasner should have colluded with former prosecutor
                    McGill to bury the evidence.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>The use of the “King’s Bench”
                    application shows the growing desperation of the FOP
                    team. Their petition would skip past the popularly
                    elected district attorney and the Common Pleas
                    Court. It would bring the matter directly to the PA
                    Supreme Court where they hope for more sympathy from
                    the conservative and classist institution.</span></p>
                <p><span> </span><b>All out Dec. 7 for Mumia!</b></p>
                <p><b> </b><span>Krasner is expected to submit a
                    response soon to arguments from Abu-Jamal’s lawyers
                    for a new trial — taking a stand for justice against
                    FOP intimidation. </span><span>The current FOP
                    attack on Krasner is part of the 38-year effort to
                    silence Abu-Jamal once and for all. </span></p>
                <p><span>We who believe in justice will not allow that
                    to happen.</span></p>
                <p><span>Abu-Jamal’s 38th year of unjust imprisonment
                    will be marked on Dec. 7 with a program titled
                    “Youth Rise Up Against US Empire” in Philadelphia. 
                    The event, to be held at Mastery Charter
                    School-Shoemaker Campus, 5301 Media St., will
                    include a report on all the new developments in his
                    legal case, while focusing on his trilogy of books
                    on U.S. imperialism. </span></p>
                <p><span> </span><span>Speakers and videos will express
                    solidarity with the inspiring mass protests, many
                    led by youth, taking place all over the globe as
                    they call out white supremacist oppression and
                    exploitation by U.S. capitalism.  </span></p>
                <p><i><span>For more information, visit
                      mobilization4mumia.com. </span></i></p>
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