The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal

The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal

3.8 8
by J. Patrick O'Connor
     
 

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Mumia Abu-Jamal—the most famous death-row inmate in the United States—was sentenced to death in 1982 for allegedly killing police officer Daniel Faulkner. Using the preponderance of evidence to establish that Faulkner shot Abu-Jamal as he approached him and that a passenger in Abu-Jamal’s brother’s car, Kenneth Freeman, then killed Faulkner,

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Overview

Mumia Abu-Jamal—the most famous death-row inmate in the United States—was sentenced to death in 1982 for allegedly killing police officer Daniel Faulkner. Using the preponderance of evidence to establish that Faulkner shot Abu-Jamal as he approached him and that a passenger in Abu-Jamal’s brother’s car, Kenneth Freeman, then killed Faulkner, this study convincingly shows how the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney’s Office framed Abu-Jamal for Faulkner’s killing. In addition, unlike any other book or article on this subject, it describes the overarching role in the case that then-mayor Frank Rizzo and a small, radical, back-to-nature cult called MOVE played.

Editorial Reviews

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)

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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.
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569763940
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
699,295
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Edward Asner
O'Connor's . . .efforts and results are most impressive.

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