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The City Committee of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, http://www.gpop.org) applauds Seth Williams’ decision on December 7 to end the District Attorney office’s long fight to impose the death sentence in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. This is a huge victory for justice, the result of many years of hard work by many people committed to the cause of justice.
The Green Party considers the lifting of any death sentence as a step forward. “Mistakes happen,” says Carol McLean, Green Party Membership Secretary. “It is not uncommon to hear of people who were executed under the death penalty but later found to be innocent of the crime they purportedly committed.”
Vivek Ananthan, chair of the Green Party’s City Committee, said, “Internationally, the Green Parties of the world are against the death penalty in principle. There are no civilized countries in the world which have a death penalty.”
Williams’ decision is an admission that the case against Abu-Jamal is too deeply flawed to justify continuing pursuit of the death penalty. He should now take the next logical step and call for a fair trial for Abu-Jamal. Williams’ decision is only a baby step forward in a case that leaves too many unanswered questions.
In his 2008 book, “The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal,” J. Patrick O’Connor addresses many of these questions.
The testimony of three key witnesses contradicted their own earlier statements, and this information was improperly concealed from the defense. All three of these witnesses had something to gain from perjuring themselves, and this information was improperly concealed from the defense.
Testimony that might have exonerated Abu-Jamal was improperly concealed from the defense.
Why was Billy Cook’s passenger, Kenneth Freeman, never investigated as the possible trigger-man? Why was Freeman found dead, naked, gagged and handcuffed on the night in 1985 when the Philadelphia police firebombed the MOVE home? Why was the cause of his death officially reported as a heart attack? Why was there no police investigation into his death?
Investigators never investigated inconsistencies in Cynthia White’s testimony. Was her death arranged to conceal evidence that might have helped Abu-Jamal?
Amnesty International reported in 2000 and reaffirmed this month that Abu-Jamal’s “original trial was manifestly unfair and failed to meet international fair trial standards.” In fact, Abu-Jamal has never had a real opportunity to defend himself in court.
Why did the Pennsylvania Supreme Court fail to apply the Lawrence Baker precedent in Mumia’s case, and then carve out the so-called “Mumia Exception” in later reinstating that precedent?
Improper jury-selection practices were standard procedure at the time of Abu-Jamal’s trial. Why has U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ignored the call for a civil-rights investigation into these improper procedures?
The people of Pennsylvania are entitled to answers to these and many other questions before we can end the long struggle for justice in Mumia’s case.
“I used to take my daughter to demonstrations to save the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal,” said Chris Robinson, member of the GPOP City Committee. “Soon, I will be taking my granddaughters to demonstrations to win an amnesty for Mumia Abu-Jamal.”