Dec 12, 2011
Prosecutors in Pennsylvania announced they will not request a new sentencing trial to impose the death penalty on Mumia Abu-Jamal, falsely convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. This doesn’t mean that Mumia has finally been freed – only that he will spend the rest of his life in jail.
Mumia Abu-Jamal, now 58 years old, has already spent more than half his life behind bars, his conviction based on falsified evidence and on the testimony of witnesses who now admit the police coerced them to lie at the trial.
The Philadelphia police and prosecutors worked for decades to put this man to death, despite all the evidence of his innocence, for the same reason they framed him up in the first place – because as a radio journalist, he had exposed their racist and criminal behavior.
The prosecution did not back down out of any concern for justice – but because of a worldwide movement that has fought for decades to save Mumia’s life and have this gross injustice overturned.
This decision is little more than an attempt by the U.S. government to bury the case. A new sentencing trial would allow Mumia’s attorneys to present everything that has come to light since the original trial – everything the justice system has ignored based on technicalities. And that could only underline the hypocrisy and viciousness of a U.S. government that criticizes the denial of human rights in other countries, but puts innocent men to death knowingly in this country.
Those who have worked to support Mumia know that he did not get justice with this ruling – but they should also know that his life has not been saved.
How many other men have been killed in prison with the complicit agreement of authorities or even on their explicit orders? No one should ever forget George Jackson, assassinated by California prison authorities in 1971 or the many other victims of officially authorized prison violence.
Don’t let the prosecution bury this case – and Mumia along with it. The work must continue to free Mumia!