Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Overview

Sentenced to death in 1982 for allegedly killing a police officer named Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Abu-Jamal is the most famous death row inmate in the United States, if not the world. This book is the first to convincingly show how the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney’s Office efficiently and methodically framed him. It takes you step-by-step through what actually transpired on the night Faulkner was shot, including positioning each of the witnesses at the scene and revealing the identity of the ...

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The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Overview

Sentenced to death in 1982 for allegedly killing a police officer named Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Abu-Jamal is the most famous death row inmate in the United States, if not the world. This book is the first to convincingly show how the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney’s Office efficiently and methodically framed him. It takes you step-by-step through what actually transpired on the night Faulkner was shot, including positioning each of the witnesses at the scene and revealing the identity of the killer. It also details the entire trial and fully covers the tortuous appeals process. The author, a seasoned crime reporter, writes in the language of hard facts, without hyperbole or exaggeration, unfounded accusation or finger-pointing, to reveal the truth about one of the most hotly debated cases of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A complex and compelling read that rivals established TV hits while tackling real life injustice"  —Booklist

"O'Connor sets forth a careful, well-constructed argument. Whether it changes minds one way or the other remains to be seen, but, he urges, it is time for a new trial."  —Kirkus Reviews

"Justice is served by the publication of this book."  —John Brady, author, Bad Boy: The Life & Politics of Lee Atwater

"Well-reasoned at every point, O'Connor's convincing book sounds like it could well be the last word on the Mumia case."  —Donald Fulsom, former UPI White House reporter

"O'Connor's . . . efforts and results are most impressive."  —Edward Asner, actor

"Factual, balanced, and fair to all sides . . . O'Connor has studied this case and has drawn conclusions based on reflecting upon the facts."  —Linn Washington, author, Black Judges on Justice

"A well-researched, scrupulously detailed account . . . an indisputable tool."  —Socialist Worker

"The author, a seasoned crime reporter, writes in the language of hard facts, without hyperbole or exaggeration, unfounded accusation, or finger-pointing, to reveal the truth about one of the most hotly-debated cases of the twentieth century."  —peaceandjustice.org

Publishers Weekly

In this account of the trial of controversial death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, O'Connor, editor and publisher of crimemagazine.com, clearly lays out his case that Abu-Jamal should receive at least a new trial, if not complete exoneration. O'Connor asserts that Abu-Jamal was framed for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner because of a vendetta by Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo and the police due to Abu-Jamal's defense, as a journalist, of the cultish countercultural group MOVE. Relying heavily on court transcripts and prior books on the case, O'Connor shows what he sees as the judge's bias, troubled relations between Abu-Jamal and his defense lawyer and dubious statements by various witnesses. Abu-Jamal was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death; later overturned, the sentence could still be reinstated pending a decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In the wake of Faulkner's widow's recent book alleging Abu-Jamal's guilt, it's difficult to be swayed entirely by O'Connor's arguments, but he makes a strong case that the investigation into Faulkner's murder deserves another look. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
New York Amsterdam News
Powerful.
Booklist
A complex and compelling read that rivals established TV hits while tackling real life injustice.
Kirkus Reviews
The title says it all: Longtime investigative reporter and Crime Magazine editor and publisher O'Connor argues that the best-known death-row inmate of our time was set up. An advocacy journalist well regarded in Philadelphia and beyond for his interviewing skills, perhaps destined for fame as a news anchor or writer, Mumia Abu-Jamal "had never been known for violence." Indeed, writes O'Connor, he had been a peace activist while a student at ultraliberal Goddard College and was seemingly on the path to becoming a Rastafarian ascetic when he was charged with the December 9, 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal admittedly carried a gun; a part-time cab driver since being fired from a public radio station for his unscripted political commentary, Mumia had twice been robbed and was concerned for his safety. Connected by several threads to the "back-to-nature group MOVE," which had drawn the ire and bullets of Philadelphia police during the Frank Rizzo years, Abu-Jamal was framed, perhaps to keep him from looking too deeply into police counterintelligence operations. The police investigation was incomplete, confused and much-revised, and the forensics were improbable: Detained, Abu-Jamal was supposed to have been on the ground below Faulkner, but the first bullet to strike hit the officer in the back. Moreover, writes O'Connor, "It would not come out until trial that the police had not bothered to run any tests of Abu-Jamal's hands or clothing to determine if he had fired a gun or even if [his] .38 had been fired." Such tests being commonplace at shooting scenes, O'Connor advances the view that the results did not fit the setup and were discarded. Compounding all this,O'Connor then enumerates, was flawed physical evidence, a biased judge, perjured testimony and a district attorney known as the " ‘Queen of Death' because of her zeal for seeking the death penalty," particularly for black capital offenders. O'Connor sets forth a careful, well-constructed argument. Whether it changes minds one way or the other remains to be seen, but, he urges, it is time for a new trial.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556527449
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,126,146
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Patrick O’Connor is the editor and publisher of Crime Magazine. He has worked as a reporter for UPI, editor of Cincinnati Magazine, associate editor of TV Guide, and editor and publisher of the Kansas City New Times.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Preface     xi
Introduction: A Cause Celebre     1
December 9, 1981     7
The Arrest     15
The Original Police Version of the Shooting     21
Frank Rizzo     25
MOVE     29
The Arrest and Trial of John Africa     47
Mumia     49
Pretrial Hearings     57
The Witnesses     61
The Players     65
Jury Selection     73
The Trial Opens     77
Testimony of Robert Chobert     81
Cynthia White's First Day of Testimony     87
White's Testimony, Part II     95
The Alleged Confession     101
Testimony of Michael Scanlan     113
Testimony of Albert Magilton     117
How Faulkner Died     121
Judge Sabo: "I Don't Care About Mr. Jamal"     131
The Defense     141
Witnesses for the Defense     147
"The Negro Male Made No Comments"     157
Jackson's Closing Statement     165
McGill's Summation     171
Guilty!     179
The Sentencing Hearing     181
The FreeMumia Movement     191
The Post-Conviction Relief Act Hearings     201
Arnold Beverly     223
Mumia's Own Account     227
Was Faulkner an FBI Informant?     235
Justice Delayed     239
Oral Arguments     245
Justice at Last     253
Index     261

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    The continued denial of a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal, just recently conformed by a very high court in Philadelphia, is one of the major scandals of our time. The police investigation into the 1981 killing of a police officer 'a killing Abu-Jamal was convicted for in 1982' and the ensuing trial were a bad joke, as were Abu-Jamal's post-conviction hearings in 1995-97. There is no question that the police, the prosecution, and in this case even the judge deliberately framed Abu-Jamal for murder. The famous transcripts of his trial, often referred to, but rarely actually read, reveal this beyond a resonable doubt. This is so clear that in 1995 even a reviewer of the case who thought that Abu-Jamal was guilty came to the conclusion that he was undeniably framed and deserved a new trial to determine the answer to the question 'guilty of exactly what,' and what the punishment should be. Writing years later, J. Patrick O'Connor starkly corroborates 1995 author Stuart Taylor Jr.'s picture of the 'framing' part in Taylor's article 'Guilty and Framed,' but takes equally strong ecxeption to the assumption that Abu-Jamal is guilty. In the 13 years between 1995 and now, an enormous amount of information has accumulated that bolsters O'Connor's view that Abu-Jamal had nothing to do with the killing of Police Officer Faulkner, and that the actual killer was a third man at the scene who ran away and who was killed three years later by the police themselves, who suspected him to be the killer right from the start but framed Abu-Jamal nevertheless. In the convincing story O'Connor narrates, all the pieces fit together really well: A radical black journalist highly crítical of the police, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is found severely wounded at the scene of the murder of a cop. The process of framing him begins as soon as high-ranking officers who know exactly who he is arrive at the scene. The most important 'eyewitnesses' to the killing, a prostitute with a record of going in and out of jail for practicing her trade and a cab driver who is a felon on probation but drives without a licence, are putty in their hands. Inconvenient witnesses are dumped or silenced, forensic evidence is manipulated. Add to this a racist prosecutor who systematically kicks blacks off the jury and a racist judge later quoted with the words, 'yeah, and I'mm going to help them fry the nigger,' and a picture emerges, where Abu-Jamal never had a chance to be acquitted. O'Connor shows that al the real - as opposed to manufactured - evidence points to Abu-Jamal's innocence and to the third man as the real killer. The fact that that third man was killed under suspicious circumstances three years after the death of the police officer, apparently a police killing, only adds to the credibility of that hypothesis. For those who want to understand the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal and its implications for the American system of criminal justice, J. Patrick O'Connor's 'The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal' is must reading. The conclusion at which it arrives is credible and convincing: Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent and framed. The struggle for a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal must continue. The author of this review is co-founder of Journalists for Mumia and author of the German book 'Wettlauf gegen den Tod. Mumia Abu-Jamal: ein schwarzer Revolutionär im weißen Amerika' ''Race Against Death. Mumia Abu-Jamal: a Black Revolutionary in White America''. The most complete record of Abu-Jamal's trial transcripts is found on my website againstthecrimeofsilence.de. I am lecturer for linguistics and cultural studies at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Don't listen to negative reviews...

    People giving this book negative reviews are blinded by their brainwashed ignorance, and obviously didn't read TFOMAJ.
    I have been following the case of Mumia for a few years and have spent hours researching nearly every aspect of the case. This book is an excellent summary of the case, the background of Mumia, and the timeline of the court hearings. In fact, I wish I knew about this book when I started researching, it would have saved me a lot of time. Haha
    O'Connor makes an undisputable argument towards Mumia's innocence. Anyone that reads this book, looks into some of the facts O'Connor uses, and still thinks Mumia is guilty should get their head looked at.
    On a Move, Free Mumia!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2009

    again & again, same ol song

    When will mumia tell what happen that night. He was there and has only said "I'm not guilty of the crimes for which I am charged." Is he saying his brother is guilty and he is not. SPEAK UP and say something different and stop attacking everyone else. Waste of a book, same ol' sob story

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2008

    Excellent summary of a complicated case

    This book does a good job of presenting the dubious evidence from the trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal and makes a convincing argument for what actually happened the night of the murder of Daniel Faulkner. While Mumia Abu-Jamal is still in prison for this murder, it is obvious from the trial transcripts that he did not receive a fair trial - the main witnesses for the prosecution were both paid police informers and the police did not thoroughly investigate the crime scene. Overall an excellent case for how Abu-Jamal has been framed and should be free.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2008

    Powerful antidote to mainstream media bias against Mumia

    This book is highly recommended. The anti-Mumia crowd always says 'READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!'. Well, J. Patrick O'Connor has thoroughly read all the transcripts and has concluded that the trial was blatantly unfair, Mumia was framed by police, and that he is factually innocent! Strong words, huh? O'Connor backs it up. He confidently argues that the actual shooter was one Kenneth Freeman, as he details in his recent interview with me at my 'Journalists for Mumia' website: Abu-Jamal-News.com. Check out this interview for a good preview of the book, as O'Connor lays out just how Mumia was 'framed' and why he believes Kenneth Freeman was the actual shooter. Many readers no doubt already believe that Mumia's guilty and had a fair trial. I truly hope these folks will have the courage to read this book and hear 'the other side' for themselves. What can it hurt? Fortunately O'Connor is an excellent writer and the book is a smooth and easy read, tying together a controversial case that is rather complex. This is a must read for anyone who wants to really know the facts of the case.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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