[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----PENNSYLVANIA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sun May 4 19:00:16 CDT 2008
Book Asserts Black Reporter Didn't Kill White Officer in '81
A book published on Thursday asserts that a black radio journalist
convicted of murdering a white Philadelphia police officer more than 26
years ago is not guilty of the crime and that it was actually committed by
another man who is now deceased.
The book, "The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal," by J. Patrick OConnor, asserts
that Officer Daniel Faulkner died on Dec. 9, 1981, from shots fired by
Kenneth Freeman, a business partner of the brother of the convicted man,
Mr. Abu-Jamal, who has been on death row for 25 years for a crime he says
he did not commit.
The book, published by Chicago Review Press, is the latest to cast doubt
on the conviction, which critics have said was tainted by racism, police
corruption and judicial bias, turning Mr. Abu-Jamal into a cause clbre for
death penalty opponents.
"Abu-Jamal's trial was a monumental miscarriage of justice," Mr. O'Connor
writes, "representing an extreme case of prosecutorial abuse and judicial
The police charged Mr. Abu-Jamal with the murder, the book says, because
he had antagonized them as a Black Panther and as a radio reporter.
Hugh Burns, chief of the appeals division in the Philadelphia District
Attorney's Office, which prosecuted the case in 1982, dismissed the new
accusations, saying, "There is zero credible evidence Freeman was
Mr. Burns also rejected the book's assertion that 2 key prosecution
witnesses had changed their stories after inducements from prosecutors
determined to prove their case.
In March, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Mr. Abu-Jamal's
conviction but said his sentence might be reviewed.
(source: New York Times)
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