The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

New development in the cases of Mumia Abu-Jamal

Oct 22, 2001

At the end of August, a Philadelphia court reporter, Terri Maurer-Carter, filed a sworn affidavit that during the trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal she heard Judge Albert Sabo make statements indicating he intended to railroad him. Jamal is the former Black Panther who has been in prison facing the death penalty since 1982, for a crime he didn’t commit: the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Maurer-Carter described what happened in the following way: “I went through the anteroom on my way to that courtroom where Judge Sabo and another person were engaged in conversation. Judge Sabo was discussing the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. During the course of that conversation, I heard Judge Sabo say, ‘Yeah, and I’m going to help them fry the n––-.’ There were three people present when Judge Sabo made that remark, including myself.

During Mumia’s trial, Judge Sabo suppressed evidence which showed that Mumia had not fired at Faulkner and he prevented Mumia from defending himself. Even under the pressure of the campaign in defense of Mumia in this country and abroad, Judge Sabo has remained in charge of the matter at the local level and has blocked Mumia’s defense, despite the new evidence brought to light that another man has confessed to killing the police officer.

Federal Court Judge William Yohn has ruled up to now that he does not believe a Federal court has the responsibility to assess the question of the innocence of a prisoner appealing from a state court, but will consider only whether Mumia’s rights under the U.S. constitution were violated. The disgusting racist statement made by Judge Sabo that Maurer-Carter has sworn she heard raises yet again that Mumia didn’t receive equal justice under the law. Once again, it shows that there will be no justice unless there is enough of an outcry to force the issue.