Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Times Are A Changin...

(Picture of MOVE's handywork May 13th 1985)

As you can see there are some changes to what was formerly known as the Anti-MOVE blog.
I have changed the name to more adequately reflect the posts on the site and also to further cement the fact that Mumia and MOVE are inexorably linked. This is a point that I have made on this site on numerous occasions.

For the most part though, things will be the same as they were before. Comments will be allowed no matter how absurd, provided they are not of a physically threatening nature.

I also want to invite people to take a more active role with this site. Many of you make insightful comments to the blog posts. Feel free to submit articles for publication on the site. As you can tell by my horrible grammar and general disdain for the English language, lack of talent will not prevent you from being published here. I do, however, ask that you make distinctions between provable facts and opinions.

Also, we will hope to begin working on drastically upgrading the main MOVE site. I cannot get into specific details at this point, but this will be a very ambitious project that I think will go much further into debunking MOVE’s revisionist history.

Thanks for your continued support,
Tony Allen

Monday, November 27, 2006

Where Has "Mumia's" Money Gone?

(Editors note: A good deal of the background info on this article came from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Their reporters deserve at least half the credit for the info contained on the post)

Over the past two decades thousands of dollars have been raised on behalf of Mumia and turned over to Pam Africa and MOVE. Where has all of this money gone?

A quick recounting of the facts lays out the scenario

-Pam Africa raises money herself. She prefers cash donations. Also, French activists bring a steady supply of monetary donations that very likely go un-reported. In addition to this, Mumia groups regularly do fund-raisers with at least some of the money going very likely into the pocket of Mrs. Africa.

-In 2001, The Pam Africa run, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (ICFFMAJ) had been ordered to stop soliciting contributions in Pennsylvania, after failing to give a full accounting of its finances.

-As of 2001 Pam Africa, leader of the fund-raising group, has suggested in interviews that it may have raised as much as $1 million, but refused to provide concrete figures.

- It was established by the Bureau of Charitable Organizations, meaning that any of the money raised was by ICFFMAJ was done so illegally.

-According to publicly disclosed forms (meaning those not having to do with ICFFMAJ) over the last decade, a variety of properly registered organizations have raised at least $950,000 on Abu-Jamal's behalf.

-In 1999, the rock group Rage Against the Machine held a benefit concert at the Meadowlands in North Jersey for Abu-Jamal. Band members said the concert raised $80,000 for Africa's group. Some of which I believe did not end up in ICFFMAJ’s pocket, but that somewhere in the ballpark of $15,000 did.

-In October, three San Francisco-area rallies raised $50,000 for the cause. These monies were apparently split three ways. A third of it going to ICFFMAJ.

-For much of the 1990s, the Black United Fund of Pennsylvania Inc., a registered charity, collected and forwarded money to ICFFMAJ. Africa raised at least $280,000 from that relationship, but she and the fund refuse to divulge the total raised.

-In 1999, the Black United Fund split it’s ties with ICFFMAJ due to political pressure exerted by the city. Essentially the city was taking issue with the fact that the BUF was handling funds for a group that advocated on behalf of a man convicted of murdering a city worker, while handling funds of other city workers.

-In 2000, Pam Africa finally incorporated her group, applied for, and received tax-exempt status from the IRS, and sought state recognition as well. According to media reports, Africa's group has provided some financial figures for 1999 and 2000 as part of its effort to get tax-exempt status. The group reported raising $203,000 in 1999 and $73,000 in 2000.

Since 2000, finding anything out about the finances of the "Free Mumia" movement has been very difficult, although the plea for people to "bring their checkbooks" to Pam Africa’s recent birthday party might be telling.

Still, it seems that Pam is still very much in control of the "Free Mumia" finances. According to the NYC Free Mumia coalition one should:

"Send checks and money orders to: National Black United Fund (make payable to them as well) 40 Clinton Street, Newark, NJ 07102 In the memo line you must specify Mumia legal or Mumia organizing. This money is under the non-sectarian and very trustworthy control of Pam Africa of International Concerned Family and Friends, whom Mumia personally chose to coordinate his defense"

Now that is irony for you.

I interviewed Bill Merrit from the National Black United Fund and he told me that after the ties with the Philadelphia Black United Fund and ICFFMAJ in 2001 that the National Black United Fund took up the banner as far as providing a financial umbrella for ICFFMAJ to operate under.
According to another NBUF employee, not only does the group handle the money for ICFFMAJ, but they also do it at no cost. And as anyone who has had to navigate the treacherous shoals of not for profit legalities can tell you, this is not a small contribution. I called to find out just how much money had been funneled through the NBUF for ICFFMAJ. The person at the other end of the phone seemed confused and promised to get back to me. Not surprisingly she did not, so I did some checking on my own.

The NBUF, like any not for profit has to make public it’s tax filings. Yet International Concerned Family and Friends does not appear on any of the group’s filings. Is it possible that this money, in addition to being handled without cost to ICFFMAJ is also being handled under the table?

MOVE, the cult to which Pam Africa belongs, also solicits donations on it’s website via the purchase of MOVE "merchandise. Pretty audacious of them considering the fact that it wasn’t too many years ago that members of the group won $2.5 million in a lawsuit settlements that members received from the cities botched raid on MOVE headquarters in 1985 that left 11 dead and a neighborhood ruined.

MOVE, the millionaire cult begging for your money.

One issue that cannot be overlooked in all of this is the allegation made by Pam Africa during the financial predicament of ICFFMAJ is the allegation that the office of ICFFMAJ was broken into, evoking in many an activist mind the imagery of a modern day COINTELPRO operation. But do these alleged break-ins makes sense? And what do the facts really say about what allegedly occurred?
According to an ICFFMAJ statement:

"ICFFMAJ in Philadelphia has been the target of many suspicious break ins and thefts during its existence in this city, most recently in June of 2000, when the office was broken into and robbed of a file box containing the names of financial donors who had contributed to Mumia's legal and organizing defense funds, just a few months before ICFFMAJ was accused by the IRS and regional media of failing to properly file taxes related to donations. Needless to say, the timing was suspicious."

Now, keep in mind that the computer files and email lists, things that are integral to the propagation of the free Mumia cause were left untouched. As were the expensive hardware themselves.

What discredits this concocted COINTELPRO nonsense is the fact that, without fanfare or the usual Mumia publicity hype, the documents needed, the documents allegedly stolen by the ghosts of COINTELPRO, magically re-appeared. This occurred a month after the state demanded ICFFMAJ to stop raising money in Pennsylvania unless the proper paperwork be provided. The paperwork that Pam Africa subsequently provided, the "stolen" paperwork.

Now, what is more plausible, that the government burglars had a "Free Mumia" conversion and out of their kind hearts just gave back the documents? Or that Pam Africa and her comrades concocted a two-pronged plan to kill two birds with one stone. The first of which would be to stall for time why they got their notoriously unkept and likely corruption riddled paperwork together. The second aspect of the plan would be to mobilize the than fracturing "Free Mumia" base under the fraudulent allegation that ICFFMAJ was being laid siege to by cops and other vicious agents of the system?

One has to ask themselves what makes sense before just taking someone from MOVE’s word for it.

And finally, after one sees all of the thousands of dollars that have been raised under the guise of "Freeing Mumia" the question begs to be asked, where has it all gone? And moreover, why is Pam Africa still groveling for money? What has really been accomplished?

If people want to give money to stopping the death penalty or for advancing the cause of human rights, than I am all for it. But I would argue, and I think the facts display quite glaringly, that giving money to MOVE or ICFFMAJ is just the same as throwing money down a filthy well and making a wish.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Just What The Hell Is Wrong With Michael Schiffman?

(One of the photos that supposedly exonerates Mumia)

In a recent interview with Hans Bennet, the author of the latest book to proclaim Mumia’s innocence Michael Schiffmann, flat out lies about me. In his book he claims there are pictures that help to exonerate Jamal. Having seen some of the pictures in question I think Mr. Schiffman may be off his meds, but that is another blog posting for another day. In the interview he states the following:

"Guess where I found the pictures – it was on the website of former 100% MOVE adherent turned 100% MOVE hater Anthony Allen who posted them in the context of one of his endless rants against the "unrepentant cop killer" Mumia Abu-Jamal. Since I had corresponded with Tony before (finding out in the process that the man is organically incapable to coherently answer to any argument), I asked him twice where he got these pictures from? Up to that point, our correspondence had been very wordy, but when I asked him that simple question, I didn’t even hear from him. And haven’t ever since"

Neither Schiffman, nor anyone else, has contacted me about the pictures in question and if he has proof otherwise I would love to see it.

Our correspondence, such that there was any ended in March of last year, and that was the last I heard from him.

Furthermore, I would urge readers to re-read my posts and Schiffman’s shady "responses" to them before buying into the notion that I am "organically incapable" of answering any

Perhaps he is sore at me for embarrassing him and his silly notions on my blog or he is simply delusional. Maybe he is attempting to pre-emptively discredit me through cheap deceptions because he has more than a hunch that I will take a crack at his book and the "new evidence" he is claiming to bring to the table. I really don’t know.

Either way, the request for info about the pictures never occurred and if they had, I would have gladly shared what little information about the pictures I had with him. Had I believed the pictures something to be suppressed I would have never published them in the first place. Nor is it my position on the Jamal issue to "suppress" any evidence on either side of the issue.

My point in all of this is to get to the truth of the matter and I have been as forthright as possible with anyone who has emailed me concerning MOVE or Mumia.

That Schiffman would lie about a relatively inconsequential matter such as this, leads me to the belief that there is plenty more he is willing to lie about in order to pursue his hopeless cause of "Freeing Mumia".

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hans Bennet Back To Offering Distortions of Mumia's Case

(Picture of "Journalist" Hans Bennet by either Hans himself or his imaginary friend Herb Avaram)
In my previous legal update I believe I gave an accurate account as to what is going on in the legal battleground to "Free Mumia". "Journalist", Hans Bennett has offered his own view on Jamal’s legal predicament, or rather he has dutifully repeated what he has been told without any semblance of journalistic integrity.

What is the distinction between a "hack" and a "journalist"? Bennet is a hack. He is a propagandist, seemingly incapable of investigations or daring to contest any bit of information that his friends in MOVE offer him.

But what is true and what is false in his article? Not much of the former, and plenty of the latter. Discard the political rhetoric of his nearly hysterical tirade and one finds a platitude laden propaganda piece not quite worthy of holocaust denier David Irving.

Let me get right to the point

The assertions by Mr. Bennet appear in italics. My responses appear in regular font

In 1982, Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in a trial that Amnesty International has declared a "violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty,"

Amnesty International was politically pressured for a number of years to offer a pro-Jamal piece of propaganda and in 2000 they finally relented. Despite it’s pretense of "impartiality" the deeply flawed and one-sided pro-Jamal screed is riddled with errors. There were not attempts by AI to contact the Philly DA’s office or the Philadelphia Police Department. As Hans likes to point out, AI declared that Jamal’s original trial constituted a "violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty". That is their opinion and they are entitled to it. However, it should be known by the agenda ridden AI, that Jamal’s case was reviewed on direct appeal by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1989, by the United States Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari in 1990, was the subject of extensive "post conviction review" hearings in 1995, 1996, and 1997, was reviewed again by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1998, and was rejected for certiorari by the United States Supreme Court in 1999. And if all of that were not enough, Jamal’s appeals are still under review by the "oppressive" American judiciary.

If the penalty ruling is overturned, a new execution date will be set for Mumia. If his ruling is upheld, the DA can still impanel a new jury to rehear the penalty phase, which could then sentence Mumia to death—regardless of the 3rd Circuit ruling.

Hans neglects to mention that in the very unlikely event that Jamal would again receive the death penalty that he would be entitled to a new set of appeals.

Because the DA appealed Yohn's death penalty decision, Mumia has never left death row, and is still unable to have such "privileges" as full-contact visits with his family. #1. Whether the penalty phase of Mumia's trial violated the legal precedent set by the US Supreme Court's 1988 Mills v. Maryland ruling. This issue was Yohn's grounds for overturning the death sentence and is now being appealed by the DA. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has filed a "friend of the court" brief in support of this claim. At Mumia's trial, Prosecutor McGill used 11 of his 15 peremptory challenges to remove black jurors that were otherwise acceptable. While Philadelphia is 44% black, Abu-Jamal's jury was composed of ten whites and only two blacks. From 1977-1986 when current Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell was Philadelphia's District Attorney, the evidence of racism is striking: from 1977-86, the Philadelphia DA struck 58% of black jurors, but only 22% of white jurors.

The above paragraph is itself filled with overt lies. McGill used ten out of twenty challenges to remove black jurors. But were they "acceptable" as Bennet contends? The following is a list of the "acceptable" jurors and the reason as to why they were struck. Keep in mind that in capital cases where the death penalty is an option of punishment that those who oppose the death penalty are automatically struck from the jury pool.

-Janet Coates. (Black) Indicated that she would be biased against police and that she had listened to Jamal on the radio. (N.T. 6/7/82, 129-30)

-Alma Austin (Stipulated to being black at 1995 PCRA hearing.) Expressed strong feelings against the death penalty. (N.T. 6/8/82, 2.51-54)

-Verna Brown (Black) Stated that she had listened to Jamal on the radio. (N.T. 6/8/82, 3.242-245)

-Beverly Green (Race unknown. At the 1995 PCRA hearing Mr. Weinglass stated that he would verify that Ms Green was black, but later removed her from the witness list and withdrew the claim) Hesitant in answering the prosecutor's questions. (N.T. 6/8/82, 3.242-245)

-Genevieve Gibson (Black) Listened to Jamal on the radio. (N.T. 6/10/82, 4.78)

-Webster Riddick (Black) Expressed "strong reservations" about the death penalty. (N.T.6/10/82, 4.222-224)

-Carl Lash (Black) Stated that he had formerly been a "prison counselor". (N.T. 6/11/82, 5.105, 110-111, 113-114)

-Gwendolyn Spady (Black) Stated that she had listened to Jamal on the radio. (N.T. 6/15/82, 111-13)

-Wayne Williams (Black) Stated that he had listened to Jamal on the radio. (N.T. 6/15/82, 171-173)

-Henry McCoy (Black) Stated that his daughter worked at a radio station with Jamal. (N.T. 6/15/82, 223-225)

-Darlene Sampson (Stipulated that she was black at 1995 PCRA hearing.) Stated that she had listened to Mr. Jamal on the radio, that she had strong feelings against the Death Penalty and that she "could not be fair if the trial was a long one". (N.T. 6/16/82, 276, 281-291, 293-297)

Jamal’s jury started with three blacks not two. One was removed after she violated the strict sequestration order. According to the disobedient juror "I don’t care what Judge Sabo or anybody says. I do what I have to do. Nobody is going to stop me.

The Judge had no choice but to remove her. And it should be noted that Jamal himself struck an "acceptable" African-American from the jury pool. Furthermore, no advocate for Jamal has ever proven that Prosecutor McGill struck jurors due to their race. Bennett’s opinion of "striking racism"is simply his opinion that no court has substantiated.

The legality of McGill's statement to the jury minimizing the seriousness of a verdict of guilt: "if you find the Defendant guilty of course there would be appeal after appeal and perhaps there could be a reversal of the case, or whatever, so that may not be final."

Prosecutor McGill’s statement at the penalty phase of "appeal after appeal" although demonstrably true given the fact that we are even having this debate a quarter a century later, came close to crossing the line. In 1989, Jamal’s appellate lawyer asked the court to give Jamal a new penalty trial based upon this unfortunate remark by McGill. The state court and a subsequent federal court rejected this appeal, but it could have easily gone the other way.

And of course one should be reminded that this statement was being made to a jury that had already unanimously convicted Jamal of first-degree murder.

No doubt the DA got off lucky on that one. Nevertheless, it is likely that the overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to Jamal’s actual guilt played a role in two courts denying Jamal’s petition.

The fairness of Mumia's 1995-97 PCRA hearings when the retired, 74-year-old Judge Sabo was called back specifically for the hearing. Besides the obvious unfairness of recalling the exact same judge to rule on his fairness in the original 1982 trial, his actual PCRA bias has been extensively documented.

The Judge was not being asked to rule on the "unfairness" of the original trial but rather or not Jamal’s defense could bring forth new information that would call for a reversal of the jurors choice of guilt and the jurors sentence of death. While the Judge’s ill-tempered nature has been dually recorded, so to has it been that Jamal’s legal team failed to prove their case to anyone outside of the sectarian left.

During the 1995 hearings, even the mainstream Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that the "behavior of the judge in the case was disturbing the first time around—and in hearings last week he did not give the impression to those in the courtroom of fair mindedness. Instead, he gave the impression, damaging in the extreme, of undue haste and hostility toward the defense's case."

Mr. Bennet may not do so well to be quoting the Philadelphia Inquirer. Although the newspaper and it’s sister paper the Philadelphia Daily News poured criticism on Judge Sabo, both papers contend that Jamal is guilty of murdering Officer Faulkner. Also, it should be noted that no legal body has seen fit to spew reproach upon the tough-as-nails judge who was clearly in no mood to see a re-creation of Jamal’s stalling tactics, albeit this time enabled by a team of idealogically driven attorneys.

Gary Wakshul and the False Confession Arguably the strongest evidence against Mumia was suspiciously introduced two months after his arrest. When interviewed (in February, 1982) by the police Internal Affairs Bureau investigating Mumia's police brutality complaint, Officers Wakshul, Bell, and hospital security guard Priscilla Durham then reported Mumia's supposed "hospital confession" for the first time.

This is the long standing argument of the Mumia supporters that there exists a long-standing police conspiracy to frame Jamal. The issue was essentially put to rest in 1982, but almost as a means of self-flagellation or desperation, Jamal’s supporters continue to claim the confession was false to this day.

So what was said in court by the security guard and African-American Priscilla Durham about the confession?

Defense counsel: Now you heard a voice say-correct me if I am wrong-"Yeah I shot the motherfucker and I hope he dies?"

Durham: Yes

The confession, as damning as it was to Jamal, was by no means the linchpin to the prosecutors case. Witnesses can lie, evidence does not and it was the evidence that convicted Jamal.

Mumia allegedly declared (in the presence of 15-20 other cops that have never confirmed it): "I shot the motherfucker and I hope the motherfucker dies!"

How many ways does Bennet want to have it? Either there is an overarching conspiracy to kill Mumia which reaches to at least the top level of the Philly PD or there isn’t. Certainly, if this were the case the alleged, or rather imagined "15-20" other cops could be more readily inducted into the conspiracy than could a civilian, African-American, security guard.Testifying in 1982, Bell (Faulkner's partner and "best friend") claimed the two month mental lapse resulted from being so upset about Faulkner’s death.

To be fair, Officer Bell is a weak witness. He conceded that from December 9, 1981-February 25, 1982 he had told no one about the confession. Bell may have been truthful when he explained that he "wasn’t thinking clearly at the time" and the emotional tumult of seeing his dead friend and co-worker had blocked his professional instincts. Or maybe he was lying. It is hard to say. But what is true is that his story is corroborated by Durham and that is something that the defense cannot get around.

At trial, Durham contradicted her statement to police and testified that she reported the confession to her supervisor the next day. While neither her supervisor or the alleged hand-written statement were presented in court, the DA sent an officer to the hospital--returning with a suspicious typed version of the alleged report. Sabo accepted the paper (not signed or dated) despite both Durham’s disavowal of it (because it was typed and not hand-written) and the defense’s protest that there was no establishment of authorship or authenticity.

If one reads the trial transcript one can see that Mrs. Durham does not contradict herself. She is as clear as to the nature of the written statement as she is to hearing the confession. What you do see if you read the transcripts is Jamal’s attorney desperate to trip up a very damaging witness who sticks to the core of her story. She heard a confession and she made a report of it. Bottom line. Just read her testimony for yourself as she is being cross-examined by Jamal’s attorney

Q. Show it to the witness, please. Read it, Miss Durham. You've had an opportunity to review D-14 [the statement]; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Earlier when I questioned you with regard to the statement that you perhaps gave to your supervisor at Jefferson Hospital you indicated that you dictated a statement orally; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Is that the statement?

A. Yes.

Jackson then gets Durham to admit that her report was originally taken down in handwriting, and that she didn't recall reading it or signing it. So, Jackson concluded, you don't really know if this is your report, right? Durham responded, "I'd know if I said it." Jackson tried again

Q. So any statement that would be presented to you that purports to be your statement would be a guess on your part. Is that right?

A. No.

Q. It wouldn't be a guess?

A. I'd know if I said it or not.

Q. You would know word for word what you said?

A. No.

Q. So how would you know if it was your statement, ma'am?

A. Because I know what I said.

Q. Now, would you read the next statement, the next line?

A. "Miss Durham stated that Jamal shouted 'Yeah, I shot the mother fucker and I hope he dies.'"

Q. You said that on December 10, 1981?

A. Yes, I did.

So, it turns out that the statement was not a fake at after all. It was merely a typewritten copy of Durham's own report, as she herself unequivocally testified.

Unfortunately, the jury never heard the most explosive evidence discrediting the confession. While the DA called Bell and Durham to testify, Wakshul was suspiciously absent. On the final day of testimony in 1982, Mumia's lawyer discovered Wakshul's statement from Dec.9—the morning of the shooting. After riding with Mumia to the hospital and guarding him until his treatment, Wakshul reported: "the negro male made no comment."

It is true that Wakshul did sign a report indicating that "the negro male made no comment" back in 1981. He did not testify during the 1982 hearing, but if he had as he did in the PCRA hearing, his testimony would not have helped Jamal.

During the PCRA hearings he attempted to rebound from this by stating the following:

" I was mentally alert when I assisted in getting Mr. Jamal into the hospital and placing him on the floor. At that point Mr. Jamal, there was some discussions, some talk going all around, but I heard Mr. Jamal say I shot him and I hope the mother-fucker dies. I was stunned at that point. I stumbled back into a little alcove and started to cry. Covered myself by going outside, closing up the wagon and getting myself together.
I then went back into the hospital at some period after that. And I have... very little recollection of anything that happened after that point except for some snapshots in my mind of seeing Danny Faulkner's dead feet lying on a gurney, of, of standing next to someplace where I saw Mr. Jamal, and then leaving."

This sounds reasonable, but again there is the issue of the fact that he, like Bell, still did not report the confession till months later.

So let us say, for argument’s sake, that these friends and co-workers of Officer Faulkner lied about the confession, this still leaves the rather unimpeachable Durham. And than even if you want to remove the confession from the equation all together, the evidence against Jamal is still damning.

The Ballistics At the PCRA hearings, defense ballistics expert George Fassnacht testified that he declined a request to assist Mumia’s defense in 1982 because the court-allocated $150 was insufficient. Subsequently the defense never presented their own specialist. While testifying that the fatal bullet was probably the same caliber as Mumia's gun (legally purchased after his Taxi was repeatedly robbed), Fassnacht challenged the prosecution's 1982 evidence in two key ways.

Wait a minute. For years at protests, and on countless flyers, and still on websites ,we are told that the gun that killed Officer Faulkner was a .44 caliber handgun. Now we have Bennet by way of Jamal’s own ballistics expert admitting that the fatal bullet came from a gun that was of the same type as Jamal’s. This is a rather large coup that gives credence to the prosecution’s contention that Jamal was the killer. Even Jamal’s prior attorney, Dan Williams had to admit as much in his book on the case. And while it is true that Jamal legally purchased the gun he shot Officer Faulkner with, he was not liscensed to wear it concealed.

Jamal purchased the weapon in June of 1979 when he was still a "journalist" and was working at radio station WUHY. He was no cabdriver at the time, but he was becoming more involved with MOVE and it’s violent ideology and leader John Africa.. It was due to his poor performance and no doubt growing dedication to MOVE that caused Jamal to lose his job at WUHY in either the beginning or middle of 1981. It was at this time that an increasingly despondent Jamal saw his relationship with his wife and his career fall apart. Due to his personal and professional failings, he was forced to work freelance for radio station WDAS. Not able to make ends meet he than began to work as a cabdriver. He carried the gun illegally and I have yet to see any proof that he was ever robbed while working as a cabdriver.

Fassnacht defined "particular" and "general" rifling characteristics. "Particular" traits are "the small stria or scratches which identify a particular bullet" as coming from one specific gun. In contrast, "general" traits can only link a bullet to a particular type of gun.

Fassnacht failed in nearly every respect to discredit the prosecution’s case. In fact, he probably helped it. He was not able to discredit the fact that the gun found next to Jamal at the crime scene was in fact the one that Jamal had purchased in 1979. He was not able to counter the charge that all of the rounds from Jamal’s weapon had been fired. He could not discredit the prosecutors claim that the bullet that killed Officer Faulkner was consistent with one of the two types of bullets manufactured by Federal Brand ammunition. Interestingly enough, the type of bullet that killed Officer Faulkner was, at the time, disallowed from police usage because of the spectacular amount of damage it caused.

Police experts have always said that the fatal bullet was too damaged to link the "particular" traits to Mumia's 38 caliber Charter Arms revolver.

True. But again Bennet wants to have it both ways. One could reason that if there were some overarching conspiracy that a bullet more consistent with Jamal’s guilt could be found and introduced.

Fassnacht noted an unexplainable contradiction in police ballistic expert Anthony Paul's original report. Paul first describes the bullet's "general" traits as "indeterminable." Contradicting himself in the same report, Paul later identified a general trait: a "right-hand direction of twist." Paul's 1982 testimony went further by identifying another general trait never mentioned in his written report "8 lands and 8 grooves."

What else Fassnacht said at trial was that "he would not have been unable to opine that (Jamal) did not shoot Officer Faulker".

This defense "expert" didn’t even bother looking at any of the physical evidence in the case, perform any ballistic experimentation, look at photographs, or even so much as read the original trial transcript (something many a Jamal supporter have yet to do either). He was, however generous enough to shoot down the .44 caliber hoax that the Jamal devotees had been fronting on for years. Finally, the Judge ruled that "the witness could not demonstrate that any of the ballistics evidence submitted at trial was false or incorrect".

Police did not officially perform two basic forensics tests—the "smell" and "wipe" tests. It is standard to "smell" the gun's barrel for gunpowder (which can be smelled up to 4 or 5 hours after discharge). The "wipe test" checks for gunshot residue on suspects' hands and clothing.

Here again, Bennet wants it every which way. Police conspirators could have very easily said "yep I smelled it and it smelled of gunpowder" and than could have just as easily wiped up some residue and claimed it as proof positive. However, under the circumstances with two guns at the scene, one lying near the dead officer, and one lying near a wounded man grasping for it, one can easily summerize that the police either did not feel the tests necessary. Or more likely, in the heat of emotion neglected to do the tests.Quoting Amnesty International:

"the failure of the police to test Abu-Jamal’s gun, hands, and clothing is deeply troubling." Most likely, police did perform the tests, but hid this when the results did not implicate Mumia. This obvious ballistics manipulation seriously challenges the credibility of other evidence, such as the police allegation that Mumia’s gun was at his side with five spent cartridges when police arrived.

Again Hans reaches into the AI bag of bovine excrement in order to pursue a non-issue that has been rendered a non issue by the jury and dozens of judicial entities etc..But back to Fassnacht for a moment. In a rather telling moment during the PCRA he had this exchange with the District Attorney

Q. Let me give you something that is more to the point. Whenever you have testified it's been, for all intents and purposes, to criticize the work that was done or the work that was not done by all the law enforcement agencies, police departments, what have you, in all these states; correct or incorrect?

A. Umm. I would have to say, adopting your phraseology, correct.

Q. Okay. So would it be fair to say that in virtually 100 percent of the times that you have been qualified as an expert in the field of forensic firearms expertise, you've always attacked or attempted to destroy the prosecution or the police department or the state's case?

A. I don't know that I would use the words attack and destroy. The object of any court proceeding is not to attack or destroy, it's to find the truth. And my efforts have been in that direction, I believe.

Q. Okay. And in your efforts to determine the truth, 100 percent of the time it has been for the person accused, if it's a murder, of the murder, right?

A. If it were a murder.

There is nothing else to say about Fassnacht that he does not make clear in his above statements.

In 1982, prosecutor McGill argued that Mumia had been shot in the chest from below by a falling Faulkner. Recognizing the bullet's downward trajectory McGill claimed that the bullet ricocheted off bone within Mumia’s torso and then tumbled in a downward direction. Challenging this far-fetched theory, medical examiner John Hayes testified in 1995 that X rays proved the bullet traveled without any deflection. Easily disproving the official scenario, Mumia was probably shot while running across the street towards Faulkner and his brother.

First of all there are no eyewitnesses to buttress this deceitful account. What McGill said at trial was that when two individuals are standing close together, and one points a weapon at another, if "you move" the barrel either up or down, just a little bit, that the trajectory of the bullet is subject to change.

The testimony of John Hayes is persuasive if you know nothing of the trial, the eyewitnesses, or the trial transcripts. If you are familiar with any of the above the argument as presented by Hayes is destined for the scrapheap of failed notions.

It is an established fact that Jamal was apprehended with a chest wound while sitting some feet away from Officer Faulkner’s corpse just seconds after the shooting stopped. Dr. Hayes contends that the bullet that entered Mumia’s chest and traveled downward could not have been fired by the murder victim from the ground or while he was falling.

As neat as all of this is, and as compelling it might be to a third year medical student, the fact remains that none of the eyewitnesses to the killing were able to testify as to what Officer Faulkner’s exact position was when he returned Jamal’s fire. The only people to say that Jamal was shot while running to the scene were Jamal and his brother via their affidavits. None of the eyewitnesses to the crime corroborate this claim.

Veronica Jones Exposes Coerced Testimony Veronica Jones' 1996 PCRA testimony exposed police coercion of witnesses and further discredited the the 1982 testimony of the DA's star witness: prostitute Cynthia White (the only one to actually testify to seeing Abu-Jamal pull the trigger).

Here again, Bennet is playing lose with words and looser with facts. Chobert may not have seen Jamal actually "pull the trigger" but his twice affirmed testimony stated unequivocally that "I know who shot the cop and I ain’t going to forget it." Chobert certainly wasn’t talking about Arnold Beverly. And it was Cynthia White who said "I looked across the street in the parking lot and I noticed he (Jamal) was running out of the parking lot and he was practically on the curb when he shot two times at the police officer. It was the back. The police officer turned around and staggered and seemed like he was grabbing for something. Then he fell. Then he came over and he came on top of the officer ans shot him some more times. After that he went over and he slouched down and sat on the curb."

This testimony by White corroborated the ballistics evidence as well as that of the other eyewitnesses.

The story begins on Dec.15, 1981 when Jones (a prostitute who was working nearby on Dec.9) first told police that she had seen two men "jogging" away from the crime scene before police arrived. Testifying in 1982, Jones recanted and denied ever making the statement. However, when asked if she had talked to the police since her first statement, Jones testified that police had visited her in jail the next month:

By her own admission Jones was smoking weed all day (something Mr. Bennett knows quite a lot about). Jones did not claim to see the shooting. She had merely "heard shots". Moreover, she recanted her pre-trial testimony of seeing two men jogging away from the scene of the crime, not that it mattered as we will see later. Her testimony was riddled with apparent contradictions and was rendered inconsequential. Either she saw a cop fall (pre-trial account) or saw a cop lying on the sidewalk (trial account). Obviously, the jury found her to be an incredible witness. But what of her story of coercion?"

They were getting on me telling me I was in the area and I seen Mumia, you know, do it...They were trying to get me to say something that the other girl [Cynthia White] said. I couldn't do that." Jones reported that police offered to let her and White "work the area if we tell them."

According to the gospel of Mumia, Jones was offered a "deal" in which she was to "name Mr.Jamal as the shooter". She could not identify the officers who allegedly offered her the deal nor could she remember whether or not she told the police that she would go along with the corrupt plan. Despite the alleged police coercion and intimidation Jones claims that her 1982 trial testimony was truthful except when she swore that "she didn’t see two men leave, umm, run away, leave the scene." And if there was a deal it didn’t work out well for Cynthia White who allegedly took it. She was arrested numerous times after testifying for the prosecution and is now deceased.

For her part, Veronica Jones, during the PCRA hearings in 1996 was caught in several lies and even reported seeing the long dead Cynthia White getting into a truck with a police officer. She attempted to explain away her "memory" problems on heavy drug use. Not surprisingly, a unanimous court ruled that:

"Thus in spite of the fact that Ms. Jones gave a statement shortly after the incident describing two men jogging across Locust Street to within two or three steps of the fallen officer, her claim that the two men were actually running away from the scene is of no moment."

This ruling is especially pertinent because Jones cannot get it straight whether or not she looked towards the scene of the crime seconds or several minutes after the shooting. A fact that was compounded by her extreme distance from the crime and visual impediments that would have obstructed her view.

The testimony of Jones, contradictory, confusing, changing and disturbingly incredible, was rightly rejected by the court. Even if everything she claimed were true, she would not be an exculpatory witness for the defense.

The same coercion of witnesses by police, DA, and judge exposed by Jones' story was rampant in Mumia's case. Documented by Amnesty International, witnesses Cynthia White (a prostitute facing multiple charges) and Robert Chobert (an arsonist on probation, driving his cab intoxicated and without a license) also "altered their descriptions of what they saw, in ways that supported the prosecution's version of events."

Is the AI the final word on Jamal’s case? I am guessing not considering their shoddy report has been effectively eviscerated as a one-sided and factually deficient embarrassment to an otherwise well-respected human rights group. Chobert has never reported being coerced by police and neither did the now deceased White. Chobert was unrelenting and unwavering in his testimony in both the PCRA hearing and Jamal’s original trial. He was not without a license, his license was suspended and the DA did nothing to aid in Chobert getting his license re-instated.

And while Chobert’s testimony varied in some minor respects to that of other witnesses, the essential element of the central event resonated throughout Chobert’s testimony as it did the other eyewitnesses.

When asked by DA McGill whether there was "any doubt" in his mind as to who the shooter of Officer Faulkner was, Chobert was unambiguous in his statement "no there ain’t."

It is true that Chobert was on probation for an arson he had committed when he was 18 years old. Again, there is no proof that his testimony provided him any relief in his legal predicament and his consistent testimony at the PCRA trial only reaffirmed his credibility.

Bennet’s phrasing of his claims insinuates that Chobert was driving his cab while "intoxicated". After looking through both the PCRA transcripts and the original trial transcripts I cannot find any evidence of this being the case. Chobert, did have two prior convictions for DUI, but nobody aside from Bennet has made the assertion that Chobert was intoxicated the night he saw Jamal shoot Officer Faulkner.

I'm Going To Help Them Fry The Nigger" In 2001 another witness—Terri Mauer-Carter—challenged Sabo's integrity, but the State Supreme Court ruled against the defense's right to include her affidavit in their current federal appeal. Mauer-Carter was working as a stenographer in the Philadelphia Court system on the eve of Mumia's 1982 trail when she states that she overheard judge Sabo say in reference to Mumia's case that he was going to help the prosecution "fry the nigger." Journalist Dave Lindorff recently interviewed Mauer-Carter's former boss, Richard Klein, who was with Mauer-Carter when she states she overheard Sabo. A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge at the time, who now sits on PA's Superior Court, Klein told Lindorff: "I won't say it did happen, and I won't say it didn't. That was a long time ago." Lindorff considers Klein's refusal to firmly reject Mauer-Carter's claim to be an affirmation of her statement. The State Supreme Court ruling was an affirmation of lower-level Judge Patricia Dembe's argument that even if Maurer-Carter is correct about Sabo's stated intent to use his position as Judge to throw the trial and help the prosecution "fry the nigger," it doesn't matter. According to Dembe, since it "was a jury trial, as long as the presiding Judge's rulings were legally correct, claims as to what might have motivated or animated those rulings are not relevant."

Although I have gone over Mauer-Carter’s affidavit and issues pertaining to her motivations I think it worth doing so again.

Jamal’s defense is contending that Judge Sabo confessed in the company of at least three people that he was going to help "fry the nigger," . A rather injudicious comment to be made in public and one not likely to be made by an experienced judge who had presided over dozens of capital trials.The Third Circuit courts have allowed this brief and both the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and The National Lawyers Guild have filed (amicus) briefs of their own which sit in support of that of Jamal’s.

The racist comment was reportedly heard by a court stenographer in a robing room prior to jury selection. The stenographer, a Ms. Terri Maruer-Carter has some serious credibility issues pertaining to her claim. Most strikingly, she did not come forward with her information until August of 2001. As an acclaimed and accredited officer of the court, Ms. Carter had to know full well the implications of what she claimed to have heard and should have been professionally, if not morally obligated to tell someone, anyone, about what she allegedly heard. She provides no evidence that she did that until 2001.

Also, her affidavit is noticeably vague and rather short on details.

Perhaps a reason for this is the fact that Ms. Carter is no stranger to radical politics in the Philadelphia area, was opposed to the death penalty, and therefore had at least some motivation to falsify a statement in order to keep someone from being executed. To date their has been no corroboration of Carter’s assertion.

Although, to be fair, not-so-independent journalist, Dave Lindorff has reportedly interviewed one of the people alleged to be with Carter at the time, her former boss.
According to Lindorff, Judge Richard Klein had this to say about the incident "I won’t say it did happen and I wont say it didn’t. That was a long time ago." Judge Klein now sits on the PA Superior Court.

So, in 2001, Jamal’s attorneys filed Carter’s affidavit and the judge came back with a striking verdict to the defense’s motion. It was dismissed on the ground that a higher court - the Pa. Supreme Court - had already ruled that there was no racist judicial bias visible in the trial record.

Now, with Judge Sabo deceased, it appears that three people know what happened in the robing room that day. One of whom waited two decades to come forward with the information, the other allegedly is offering only vague statements on the issue, and we do not know the identity or view of the other. That being the case, any Judge would be hard pressed to grant Jamal relief under such circumstances.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mumia Case Update December 2006

(Picture of Officer Daniel Faulkner)
On numerous message boards and through correspondence I have been brought aware that there are many of you out there who are questioning what is going on with Mumia’s case.
The question that comes up most frequently and is most obvious is the one about "what is taking so long". Indeed a simple if not totally appropriate question. One that people seem hard pressed to answer.

Now, without hesitation, I do allow myself the indulgence of considering myself an expert if you will on MOVE, I am, however somewhat less confident in terms of expounding upon the complexities of the ongoing case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Still, I believe I have a reasonable enough grasp of the facts of the case and of the legal system to be able to offer a glimpse into where the case is at and where it might be going into the coming months. I have tried my best to make sure that those things in this "update" that are "facts" are indeed clearly marked as such and that my "opinions", such that I express them are also clear.

The deficiency in this posting will be the neglect of Jamal’s current legal team’s campaign that is ongoing outside of the courtroom. To get into that here would be to the detriment of the concision of what I am trying to do and may cloud factual issues with the muck are mire that passes for the "movement" to "Free Mumia". I will say this however, Jamal’s current attorney is spending a lot of time in public disparaging Officer Faulkner as a brutal racist while distancing himself from the discredited "Beverly confession". I may be reaching here, but I believe the emphasis attacking Officer Faulkner as a brutal racist is a less than oblique way of paving the ground for Jamal to assert a "self-defense" type of stratagem in the unlikely event of a re-trial.

Now, onto the update.

As I have said before, the likelihood of Jamal ever being on the receiving end of executioner’s needle is not very high. The state of Pennsylvania is not like Texas where executions seem to be carried out on at least a monthly basis. Pennsylvania hardly ever executes and has only done so three times during the last three decades that the option to do so has been on the table. Reasons for this are many, but there is a general shift by states away from capital punishment towards things like life in prison without the possibility of parole. So, pretty much wherever you stand on Mumia, when the books are closed on the matter you are unlikely to get the result to which you desire.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (Phila.) early in the New Year should be making a judgement upon Jamal’s latest appeal.

This appeal from the perspective of Philly prosecutors is whether the Philadelphia District Court erred in nullifying the 1982 death sentence by holding that the trial judge’s written verdict form and oral instruction to the jury created a reasonable likelihood that the jurors thought that they must unanimously find a "mitigating circumstance" existed before they could determine whether the sole aggravating circumstance was outweighed by mitigating circumstances.
Remember that it was Judge Yohn, who in 2001 overturned Jamal’s death sentence citing the above issue as the reason. Judge Yohn ruled on a legal technicality saying the jury may have misunderstood how to consider "mitigating circumstances" issues raised by the defense at the 1982 trial.

Judge Yohn argued that, based on the trial judge's instruction and the verdict form, the jury may mistakenly have believed it was required to agree unanimously on any mitigating circumstance. He said that by law, all 12 jurors did not have to agree on such issues in penalty deliberations.

In his opinion, Yohn went over federal case law that governs death-penalty deliberations.
According to Yohn, in death-penalty deliberations, juries are required to weigh aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Jurors are not required to agree unanimously on factors that might mitigate in the defendant's favor.

Yohn quoted Common Pleas Judge Albert Sabo, who presided at Abu-Jamal's trial, as instructing the jury: "Remember again that your verdict must be unanimous. It cannot be reached by a majority vote or by any percentage. It must be the verdict of each and every one of you."

Yohn said that comment and other aspects of Sabo's charge created a "reasonable likelihood" that the jury believed it had to agree unanimously on mitigating circumstances.

It was not said whether or not any of the jurors had been asked to testify whether or not they had been "confused" by Sabo’s instructions. Only that the possibility existed and that was enough of a reason to vacate the death sentence.

This is what the District Attorney is appealing, the ruling by Yohn that vacated Jamal’s death sentence and it is this appeal that has left Jamal still technically on "death row". Being that the issue is under review, no death warrant can be signed or date of death can be set.

Jamal’s defender’s led by the capable appellate lawyer, Robert Bryan is arguing the racial discrimination issue. Their claim hinges on whether they can prove that the prosecution excluded jurors on the sole basis of their race, thereby violating Jamal’s due process, civil rights, right to a jury of his peers, etc...

Attorney Byan has a particularly uphill battle on this as Judge Yohn was unambiguous in his argument that no such racial bias was demonstrated on behalf of the prosecution. The facts of the case seem to clearly bear this one out.

In his decision, Yohn points to the fact that during voire dire that there were no improper questions or comments made to any of the African-American jurors.
The previous District Court Judge upheld two unanimous PA Supreme Court rulings which stated in part that they could find "not a trace of support" for an inference that the use of
peremptory challenges was racially motivated. (Commonwealth
v. Mumia Abu Jamal, a/k/a Wesley Cook (1989) 555 A.2d 846, at 850)

That ruling was supported by the facts that:
A) The very 1st qualified venireperson selected by the prosecutor (and then approved by the defense) was, like the defendant, an African American; and
B) The 2nd qualified venireperson selected by the prosecutor was, like the accused, African American; and
C) That genuinely qualified Black (i.e., an unbiased citizen with no sentiments against the death penalty if guilt were proven beyond a reasonable doubt), was peremptorily eliminated from the jury by the African American defendant; and
D) At the end of jury selection the prosecution had selected (and the defense had also approved) three genuinely qualified Blacks;
E) At the end of jury selection the prosecution still had five (5) peremptory challenges left (out of 20 granted by statute). Thus, the 1982 prosecutor, ADA Joseph McGill, if he had been disposed to racially discriminate against the minority defendant, could have easily done so by eliminating the four (4) qualified Blacks he'd already approved with those available peremptory challenges.

The other primary issue in the "hail Mary" defense of Jamal’s legal apparatus is the filing of a brief which would "prove" that Mumia was denied due protection under the law due to the fact that the presiding Judge Sabo had publicly stated that he was "going to help them fry the nigger".

The Third Circuit courts have allowed this brief and both the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and The National Lawyers Guild have filed briefs of their own which sit in support of that of Jamal’s.

The racist comment was reportedly heard by a court stenographer in a robing room prior to jury selection. The stenographer, a Ms. Terri Maruer-Carter has some serious credibility issues pertaining to her claim. Most strikingly, she did not come forward with her information until August of 2001. As an acclaimed and accredited officer of the court, Ms. Carter had to know full well the implications of what she claimed to have heard and should have been professionally, if not morally obligated to tell someone, anyone, about what she allegedly heard. She provides no evidence that she did that until 2001.

Also, her affidavit is noticeably vague and rather short on details.

Perhaps a reason for this is the fact that Ms. Carter is no stranger to radical politics in the Philadelphia area, was opposed to the death penalty, and therefore had at least some motivation to falsify a statement in order to keep someone from being executed. To date their has been no corroboration of Carter’s assertion.

Although, to be fair, not-so-independent journalist, Dave Lindorff has reportedly interviewed one of the people alleged to be with Carter at the time, her former boss. According to Lindorff, Judge Richard Klein had this to say about the incident "I won’t say it did happen and I wont say it didn’t. That was a long time ago." Judge Klein now sits on the PA Superior Court.
So, in 2001, Jamal’s attorneys filed Carter’s affidavit and the judge came back with a striking verdict to the defense’s motion. It was dismissed on the ground that a higher court - the Pa. Supreme Court - had already ruled that there was no racist judicial bias visible in the trial record.

Now, with Judge Sabo deceased it appears that three people know what happened in the robing room that day. One of whom waited two decades to come forward with the information, the other allegedly is offering only vague statements on the issue, and we do not no the identity or view of the other. That being the case, any Judge would be hard pressed to grant Jamal relief under such circumstances.

On the other hand, three people heard Jamal’s confess to shooting Officer Faulkner, one of whom was an African-American security guard.

As far as the judicial system goes, Jamal shot and killed Officer Faulkner. What lies before the court now is just how "fair" the proceedings were that led to him being given the death penalty and whether or not racism played a part in Jamal’s prosecution and what the allegedly "racist" trial Judge’s role may have been in guilty verdict.

Now, if history is any indicator of how things will work out for Mumia, he is in a good deal of trouble. Jamal’s revolving team of attorneys have always done well at presenting their case on paper and to their radical devotees. However under scrutiny, cross examination, or a rigorous application of common sense, that which seems so clear cut and definitive falls to pieces.

In order to secure a new trial for Jamal, not to speak of freedom, the defense must come up with a plausible explanation as to why Mumia was sitting on a curb in front of a dead cop, with an empty shoulder holster under his armpit, with a bullet from the dead cop’s gun in his chest and his own registered .38 caliber pistol laying next to his feet, with all bullets apparently fired.
These circumstances alone would probably be enough to implicate Jamal in the killing of Officer Faulkner. Even putting aside the eyewitness testimony, Jamal’s confession, ballistic evidence, and Jamal’s long held animus towards police and deification of those who murder them, Jamal would be screwed.

If I were him I would do whatever I could to make my 6X9 foot cell that much more comfortable, because barring a miracle, it is very likely that he will spend the rest of his life there.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Truth About "The MOVE 9" And Parole

(Picture of Police Officer Ramp and another officer after being hit by gunfire from MOVE)

It is difficult to say exactly why people disseminate false information. One of the more obvious reasons is that they themselves are mis-informed. Or perhaps, in an authoritarian culture such as that of MOVE, where "questioning" things is not exactly encouraged, mistakes are destined to be made. Either that, or people are purposely putting out misinformation for whatever reasons they feel the need to do so.

In this instance I am not in a place to make such a determination, but what I can say is that much of what MOVE has been saying about the upcoming parole hearings for the surviving eight members of the so-called MOVE 9 is simply not true.

Although these hearings are not to be had till 2008, a good deal of time and words have been spent discussing the subject. For those of you unfamiliar with the "MOVE 9" I would direct you to search this blog or my other MOVE website for more details. I will not go too far into it here, but I can say that the currently incarcerated MOVE members are imprisoned for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer James Ramp and the attempted murder of several other police officers and firefighters.

What I will try to do is separate fact from MOVE’s fiction in order to provide people a more clear understanding as to what the factors are that will be under consideration when it comes to MOVE member’s parole. I will take the MOVE statement and than offer the truth about the situation based upon my research and sources. According to a statement on the "Free Mumia" website:

"Also, Del Africa recently informed us that Pennsylvania, along with several other states has a parole stipulation that dictates an inmate is not eligible for parole until he/she *confesses to the crime they were convicted for*. That's double jeopardy! It's completely illegal! So all innocent inmates are automatically ineligible for parole because they can't confess to a crime they didn't commit. And the guilty can walk. And all those exonerated mean nothing to the parole board. The theory is that by parole time all appeals are exhausted and you have to be guilty. So, by this very fact the MOVE 9, as it stands now, will be denied parole. "

The above statement, aside from it’s general silliness is that it is not true. The fact is that when an offender is released on parole, he/she does sign a standard form. However, nothing on that form relates at all to admission of guilt or anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt. The form is simply called "Conditions Governing Parole/Reparole" and, among other things, lists the office the parolee will report to within 48 hours of release, the approved home plan address, reporting instructions in the event of any arrest/summons/citation or change of employment, agreement to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and weapons, agreement to pay fines and restitution, and special conditions that specifically relate to the offender's situation.

Furthermore, other MOVE missives are encouraging supporters of the group to send letters to the Parole Board and other "officials" pertaining to the parole situation. Now, if MOVE supporters want to kill more trees in sending these pointless letters, than so be it. However, it is my understanding that such material will be relegated to the garbage bin to which they belong.
It is true that the MOVE members will be allowed to have witnesses testify on their behalf, though the testimony would be limited in it’s affect, as it will be relegated only to issues of character and not to the facts of the offenders conviction.

To be more clear, parole interviews are not forums to re-try cases or appeal them. And in case anyone is wondering, MOVE members have abandoned legal appeals and intend to rely upon the magic of John Africa to release them from jail.

I wish them good luck with the whole John Africa magic thing as it hasn’t worked out so well as of yet. Unless of course you count Merle Africa who did in fact leave prison in 1998, although she did so at room temperature, so I don’t really know if John Africa’s voodoo counts for that one.

But before anyone writes me off as some kind of monster for my recounting the fate of Merle I would only add that I think she was a person who John Africa took and squandered the potential of. I liked her. I wept at her death and recoiled in disgust when I heard Alberta Africa blame Merle’s death upon Merle’s lack of dedication to John Africa. A disgusting and cynical sentiment from a disgusting and cynical person. Had Merle not been caught up in John Africa’s madness I think there much she could have contributed to society. Yet she was, and therefore she spent the most productive and the last years of her life in jail as a murderer.

But I am getting off the subject.

At a parole hearing it is the nature and circumstances of the crime for which the offender was convicted, as well as the entirety of their criminal history (in MOVE’s case such a review could take days) that is taken into account. As is information regarding the general character and background of the offender. Notes of the testimony of the sentencing hearing which I am sure will include the comment of Judge Malmed who concluded that rehabilitation of MOVE members to be "absurd". Other recommendation are made by the prosecuting attorney, warden of the prison, and input from victims or their family members.

For those of you who are of the view that MOVE members have been spending their time in prison knitting sweaters and paining cute little pictures, allow me a moment to dispel this myth.

-Back in 1981 a MOVE inspired riot led to 27 injuries at Holmesburg prison

-MOVE members either initiated or participated in numerous other violent confrontations with prison authorities on numerous occasions that also led to various injuries to guards and prisoners.

-MOVE members engaged in disruptive "hunger strikes" as a means of protests.

-MOVE members have repeatedly been sent to "administrative segregation" for numerous infractions of prison policies and have taken a general counter-productive approach towards their incarceration.

-In typical MOVE fashion, MOVE members have taken no responsibility for the actions that they took on August 8, 1978 and instead insist on a revisionist and laughable scenario of that day that leaves them as the victims.

This should surprise nobody as it is apparent that no MOVE member has ever willingly admitted to doing anything wrong. I did, however, catch Ramona Africa cleverly dodging the issue by copping to plenty of pre-MOVE errors, but you will not catch this band of narcissists ever take the position that their view is anything other than perfect.

To release the "MOVE 9" from jail would be to embrace madness. It is a shame that John Africa has rotted out the brains of the "MOVE 9" and turned them into maniacal killers, but to release them upon society would only serve to make our world that much more of a dangerous place.

Let those of us who know the truth work to ensure that these criminals remain behind bars where they belong.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Protest the Dec 9, 2006 Mumia Terror Rally

Rage and violence turn irrational when they are directed against substitutes"

-Hannah Arendt

The following message was posted this past weekend on the website of the NYC Free Mumia Coalition:

Saturday, December 9th, will mark the 25th year of Mumia's incarceration, and the 25th year of his RESISTANCE, right in the bowels of the Beast.

(The scene of Officer Faulkner's Murder)
What an example of resistance Mumia has provided-- refusing to be silenced, learning, teaching, encouraging, engaged in struggle and strategy for resistance every minute of his life. We, too, are part of that resistance!

Let's join together on Saturday December 9th with WARD CHURCHILL and others, in Philadelphia to mark this extremely important anniversary, when the enemy decided to make its ultimate move on a heroic revolutionary brother and leader.We will be gathering at 12 NOON, at PHILADELPHIA'S CITY HALL to march to the AFSC building on 15th Street and Cherry.

The New York City contingent will leave by 3 PM to get back to NYC(Judson Memorial Church) and celebrate Lynne Stewart's victory against these same fascistic forces that want to kill Mumia. We celebrate the fact that the government could not get the consensus it wanted on putting Lynne away for the rest of her life.


It is nothing new for supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal to celebrate on the cop-killer's behalf on the anniversary of the day that he gunned down Officer Faulkner. We all know and can expect that potty mouth, child rape endorser, and cop-killer groupie, Pam Africa will be there with her band of stinking miscreants. That much is a given.

What stands out and is particularly egregious about this year's festivities is who else the Jamal supporters are throwing their party for. In the past it has been the "usual suspects" who show up at the Mumia-fests, members of the Hollywood left, professional activists, racial opportunists etc...But this year's guests are far more insidious than the normal band of mis-informed out-of-towners whose knowledge of Jamal's case is marginal and generally limited to cheap slogans.

For 2006, the Jamal supporters have decided to bring Ward Churchill to Philadelphia to celebrate Officer Faulkner's death. In case you are not familiar with Churchill think Sept 11th and Eichmann. It was Professor Churchill who, in a post 9/11 essay, blamed America for the catastrophic events of that day, and than called the innocent victims of the terrorists "little Eichmans", comparing innocent terror victims with a concentration camp administrator.

Churchill has never apologized for his statement and in fact has gone on to work the professional martyr circuit after his comments brought him national indignation.

But, it is not just Churchill's blatant anti-Americanism that is cause for him to be loathed. It also appears that he is an academic fraud who has been masquerading as a native American in order to sell books and create a faux identity.

At Colorado University, where Churchill is a tenured Professor, a damning report has recently been issued concerning his academic performance. The report alleged that Churchill had engaged in "serious research misconduct," including four counts of falsifying information, two counts of fabricating information, two counts of plagiarizing the works of others, improperly reporting the results of studies, and failing to "comply" with established standards regarding author names on publications. In addition to all of this, the committee found him "disrespectful of Indian oral traditions."

The school intends to dismiss the $100,000 a year tenured Professor, but Churchill has appealed the conclusions and instead of facing up to his misdeeds is pretending that he is some kind of victim of a modern day witch hunt.

It seems that Mr. Churchill is quite adept at pretending.

For years, he has cultivated an image and in fact has stated on numerous occasions that he is a native American. However, an extensive examination of genealogical records that traced branches of Churchill's family tree turned up no solid evidence of a single Indian ancestor. In addition, DNA tests further demonstrate that Churchill is not the Native American he claims to be.

So this is who the Jamal crowd is bringing to their cop-killer party this year.

A man who spits not only upon the memory of not only Officer Faulkner, but also upon the graves of the thousands of people murdered by terrorists on September 11th. He is a man who sits perched amidst his ivory tower, casting down hatred upon his nation, it's police officers, and innocent civilians who he regards as Nazis.

This is something that should not stand un-challenged. This man is contemptible, traitorous, and as seditious as one can get.

If the Mumia crowd wants to bring this man and place him on some kind of platform for him to spew his hatred, than I say that the people of Philadelphia should be there as well, to let this man know just how welcome he is in the city of brotherly love. And as if the Churchill debacle was not insidious enough, Jamal's supporters are set to board buses after their cop-killer party and go to New York where they will continue their celebration with terror supporter Lynne Stewart.

In case you don't know Stewart, a long-time Jamal supporter, she was found guilty of conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists, and defrauding the U.S. government. Despite the serious charges, Stewart managed to connive her way to only a two year sentence.

This despite the fact that she could have just as well been sentenced to three decades in jail for her crimes.

In a wicked sense of irony, it was Stewart's long history of defending the worst of the worst as her capacity as an attorney, that provided a mitigating factor in terms of her sentencing. The Judge who sentenced her took the position that by providing a defense for mobsters, terrorists, etc...that she was performing a duty beneficial to her country.

He apparently looked the fact that Stewart had a common cause with many of her "radical" defendants.

Stewart's conviction came about as a result of her conduct while acting as defense counsel for Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the so-called "blind Sheikh" who masterminded the first attack on the World Trade Center and who was planning attacks on other major targets in New York City when he was caught.

For her part, Stewart was passing information from her client to his followers allowing him to continue to wage his campaign of terror and death. Just like Jamal and Churchill, Stewart considers herself not the perpetrator, but the victim.

So this is where we are at. On December 9, 2006 an academically discredited, wannabee Indian, terrorist apologist, and cop-killer enthusiast, will be showing up in Philadelphia to tell the people of the city that his murderer friend Mumia should be set free.

From my point of view, this guy deserves more than just the usual one-fingered-salute that is the standard response to the "Free Mumia" rallies. This deserves something more. Ward Churchill and his ilk are spitting upon the graves of every police officer, every soldier, and every innocent victim of 9/11, and I for one, don't think he should be able to just come in and get away with that.

When this man leaves Philadelphia he should know exactly what the people of this city think of him. And for those of you in NYC, I think Mrs. Stewart should get the same kind of reception. It is her right as an attorney to defend any client she pleases (actually she has been disbarred) but still...We also have the right to let her know what we think about her acting on behalf of her terrorist client's vile terroristic enterprises.

Jamal's supporters claim that he is the "voice of the voiceless".

From this writer's vantage point it appears that he has become the voice of terror.

So now we know that the cop-killer groupies, MOVE child-rapists, and terror supporters are going to be doing to celebrate the murder of a Philadelphia Police Officer. Now, I guess the question is what are we going to be doing about it?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Sorry State of the "Free Mumia" Movement

The following is from the website of the Partisan Defense Committee:

"At a January 1999 "Emergency Leadership Summit Meeting," representatives of SA, Solidarity, WWP, the RCP’s Refuse & Resist, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and others adopted a strategy and slogans for the April 24 "Millions for Mumia" demonstrations and beyond. Following a debate, the "free Mumia" slogan and opposition to the death penalty were rejected in favor of calling for a new trial. Solidarity’s Steve Bloom approvingly wrote in Against the Current (March/April 1999): "Everyone who spoke from the podium sounded a similar theme: We must build a broader and more inclusive movement, one which reaches out to the American mainstream.
For the reformists, the "mainstream" included those who were agnostic on Mumia’s innocence. At bottom, the "new trial" slogan was an appeal to bourgeois liberal forces who see Mumia’s case not as the frame-up of an innocent man but as an isolated "miscarriage of justice," an aberration that threatens to stain the reputation of American "democracy.
The reformists’ approach dissipated the forces of millions who rallied to Mumia’s defense. As Wolkenstein points out, "It meant rejecting the very reasons that millions around the globe had taken up Mumia’s cause: revulsion with the injustices inherent in capitalism—poverty, racial and ethnic bias, war. There was broad identification with Mumia’s fight against the ‘system’ and for justice for all of humanity."

There is much in the above missive that reach out to me and strike me as bizarre, strange, disturbing. It is a quite candid statement and almost seems to have been mistakenly let out for public consumption. But here it is.

For many reasons, some I have gone over on this blog, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia and some of the other major forces behind the "Free Mumia" movement have lost some of their appeal and influence.

In order to fill the void, groups like the New York Coalition to Free Mumia and the cultish Partisan Defense Committee have arisen to advance the Jamal cause. The latter of the two groups is by no means a stranger to Jamal’s case. It was the PDC that pretty much put Jamal’s name on the political map.

However, after PDC cadre member, Rachel Wolkenstein departed from Jamal’s legal team in the mid-90’s during the conflict that arose out of the falsified confession of Arnold Beverly, the PDC took a step back.

Now, with the Jamal cause in what is arguably it’s weakest position ever, we see the emergence of the PDC and their Marxist rhetoric. We also see why the group believes the Jamal movement fell apart.

For the PDC, the Mumia movement failed because, it wasn’t Marxist enough. it wasn’t sufficiently dogmatic, it wasn’t sufficiently sectarian, in essence it wasn’t exactly what the PDC thought it should be.


The Mumia movement failed and will continue to fail because it was rooted in lies. To the extent that it continues to exist, it does so because there are ideologues whose identities are wrapped up in the Mumia shell-game and who seek either personal or collective political gain through their participation in it.

Now it is said that all politics are personal and I think this axiom can apply just as well to political movements. It is no secret that Rachel Wolkenstein carries around in her a special kind of contempt for those within the "Free Mumia" cause who did not back the "Beverly" concoction. Whether she ever believed the transparently false rants of Beverly is up for debate. What is not, is that she certainly wanted Weinglass and company to run with Beverly, no matter the fact that his testimony would have torpedoed the crux of their case and would have no doubt shattered whatever credibility they did have. Much as it crushed the already fragile credibility of Eliot Grossman and Marlene Kamish, who did go with the " Beverly " confession some five years later.

So here we are, Jamal is still on death row, millions of dollars have been spent on his behalf, organizations have come and gone, Jamal’s Hollywood friends have left him high and dry, we have seen the high water mark. There are no more millions for Mumia and there never will be again. It seems as though things have just about come full circle

The PDC, with all of their Marxist delusions have returned to their cop-killer hero. And they don’t just want a new trial, they want Jamal free and they want him free now.

Clearly, they know this won’t happen as I am sure does Jamal. He teeters rather precariously between a death sentence and life in prison. The facts of the case demand either one or the other. And despite the hyper-optimism of Jamal’s esteemed attorney’s, the much over-hyped death-row celebrity will never walk a free step.

Now I realize that many reading this will disagree with my stance on the death penalty. I do not believe that Jamal should die at the hands of the state. Death has enough advocates and I will not join my voice with theirs. From my view, Jamal suffers far more by having to live through the death of his "movement" than the death of his body. For a moment I could imagine him conceiving of getting away with all of this. I could picture him making a triumphant march down the courthouse steps much in the way that his hero Huey Newton did after beating his cop-killer rap back in the time of the Panthers.

And than he wakes up to his tiny cell, his tiny world, his soul rotted with lies.
Mumia is destined to watch the movement to free him die a thousand deaths only to be periodically resurrected by those cynical and shrewd enough to temporarily give it life, just long enough for people to put some money in their pockets and just long enough for people to figure out that it is a hoax.

He knows what he is. He knows that his life is a lie and he knows what he did to Officer Faulkner and deep down in that warped mind of his, he must know that the rest of us know too.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What Does This Man Have To Do With The Death Of John Gilbride?

(Pic of Gary Wonderlin)

Chances are, unless you have been around MOVE a good bit, you haven't a clue. And MOVE's leaders like it that way. Wonderlin, a middle aged, white haired, white man, with the dashing looks of an Auschwitz prison guard, is not the image that is brought forth when you think of MOVE. And that is one of the reasons that Wonderlin is so valuable to the group.

And this is why people did not immediately view Wonderlin as a suspect in the murder of John Gilbride.

Wonderlin, is also "married" to Alberta Africa, MOVE's unacknowledged leader and serves as father figure to her young son. The boy's real fathers name was John Gilbride. The same John Gilbride that was gunned down while in a custody dispute with Alberta and MOVE in back in 2002. Just a couple of months after Gilbride's death, Gary Wonderlin got a big promotion within the tiny world of MOVE. He married the queen of MOVE herself, Alberta Africa. And he became the de-facto father of her child. The product of the best reproductive science can buy, this child of Alberta Africa was genetically engineered to be white and is to be the leader of MOVE once his mother has passed onto the insane, cult-asylum, in the sky.

What is beyond argument is that this marriage was quite a step up for Wonderlin to say the least. He had been a MOVE supporter for over twenty years, yet his mannerisms were strange and eccentric and there were even muted whisperings about his sexuality (not a good thing at all in the notoriously homophobic MOVE). Gary was a freak amidst a collection of freaks, but his loyalty to MOVE and especially to MOVE leader, Alberta Africa was never something that was in question. It was known around the Organization that if some sly, dirty work needed to be done, that Gary would be the one to do it. Whether handing out libelous fliers about MOVE's opponents, or calling reporters with cryptic threats, no task was to underhanded for Wonderlin to take on. Especially if it was at the behest of Alberta or her shrill and Nazi-esque, clone Sue Africa.

What was clear to me while I was in MOVE was that Gary was fiercely protective of Alberta and her son. To say that he loved her and the child would not be an overstatement at all. Obsession would be also be a word I could use without sounding hyperbolic to describe Wonderlin’s rather unhealthy affinity for all things Alberta.It is a known fact that most violent crimes are committed out of "passion".

It is often only a deep up swelling of emotion that drives one towards extreme and cruel and seemingly pointless barbarity. It is also a fact that it is these kinds of crimes are committed by those that we least "expect" it from. It is not likely that the killers of John Gilbride wore dread locks and smelled of garlic.

Hypothetically speaking, of course, what would it take to drive a mild-mannered, middle class, man of good legal standing, to commit a terrible and violent act? Perhaps nothing more than the most basic of human emotions, love. A misdirected and warped love of course. A love of a manipulative and evil woman who would be cynical enough to exploit such a base human emotion. A love of a group, a group that had long ago replaced a man’s biological family with that of a generic one, a faux family, that oozed and dripped plagiarized emotion. Love for a child, a child that was supposedly in grave danger. A child that an evil government was bent on destroying through the means of an evil agent. A child who would grow up to lead the revolt against all that was wrong and to set things right. A child who had to be protected at any and all cost.

Sounds silly?

It may be. But people commit cruel and silly crimes on a daily basis. And in MOVE, things that sound silly are taken with the utmost seriousness. Madness with the facade of rationality.But this is this is a partial description of the mythological world that MOVE inhabits and when such dangerous perceptions exists, even more dangerous realities await anyone within MOVE's orbit. MOVE's world is one where it would be perfectly acceptable to lay and wait and stalk a human being and than shoot them apart just as long as it is being done to "protect" MOVE.

So long as the leaders of the cult have deemed it necessary. So long as the person or persons doing the deed have been sufficiently indoctrinated into ways of group think and of course if there is a payoff of some kind. MOVE members tried desperately to kill police officers in 1978 and unfortunately they completed their, John Africa, appointed, task. In 1981 Mumia sought to do the same and again met with success. In 1985, police officers lives were spared through a mix of body armor, new training, and luck. MOVE members are killers and no one should expect them to be anything else.

We should, however, expect them to change their tactics every once in a while.

It is known now that after John Gilbride was killed, Gary Wonderlin got a big payoff. He married the widow of John Africa. He gets to help raise the child that John Gilbride should have had a chance to love and care for. He moved from his small, rat infested, dump of a home, to Alberta's upper middle class home in Cherry Hill. He got it all, and we all know that in the real world, and even in MOVE's convoluted one, nobody gets anything for free.

The question begs to be asked, and I have to wonder aloud, just what did Gary do to deserve his big promotion? I do know one thing for sure and that is that Gary Wonderlin knows what he did to get his big bump up in the MOVE world. Maybe he can come out and share his big "secret" with the rest of us.

During MOVE’s campaign of disinformation and hatred against John Gilbride, Gary Wonderlin was on the front line leading the charge. He called John’s place of business in order to attempt to paint John as a member of a terrorist group (MOVE), despite the fact that John had long left the group. Here was an instance of MOVE exploiting it’s shitty reputation for it’s own personal ambitions. An interesting tactic for a group that allegedly prides itself upon it’s dedication to the "truth".

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Toxic Seed of Mumia Abu-Jamal

ALERT! MUMIA'S SON TRANSFERRED AGAIN! by: Monique Code According to the state, his only crime is that he is a Panther Cub. This is the life of our comrade Brother Jamal Hart. He is currently serving a 15-year sentence for a crime he did not commit.

The above message showed up at the "Free Mumia" website a week or so ago. Having seen an increasing amount of activism on behalf of Mumia’s incarcerated son I thought I might look further into the matter. What I found was not exactly surprising.

It seems that Mr. Hart is in jail for much more than just being a "Panther Cub" as his proponents would like one to believe.

Hart was convicted and jailed for 15 years and eight months in 1998 for being a felon in possession of a gun. The than 26 year old, was by no means a stranger to the law.

(Picture Of Mumia's son Jamal from prison)
What Hart supporters neglect to tell anyone in all of their rhetoric about their "Panther Cub" was that by the time he was arrested with a loaded .357 handgun, he already had four robbery convictions and one for possession of drugs. According to sentencing guidelines this supposed "political prisoner" could have easily been sent to jail for 19 years instead of the nearly 16 that he received.

The judge in the case characterized Hart as a "armed career criminal." An observation that the facts seem to adequately bear out.

Jamal Hart, who went by two aliases was arrested by two Philadelphia police officers on Oct. 11, 1996, after they observed him driving through a stop sign.

The officers testified that Hart had a loaded .357 concealed in his waistband.

After reading through trial transcripts I think Hart should be counting his blessings that the only thing he received from his conduct that day was a jail sentence. More trigger happy cops could have ended the situation in a much more violent fashion and may have had cause to do so.

According to court records:

" Here, the defendant failed to stop his vehicle...even after the officer used his horn, flashed blinking lights, and physically signaled the defendant to pull over. It was not until (the officer) cut his police vehicle on an angle...cutting the defendant off a little bit...that the defendant stopped.
When (the officer) walked towards the defendants car, he saw the defendant, "moving his hands, like when someone is nervous towards the waistband...Although the officer screamed at him...not to move his hands...the defendant continued to do this...(the officer instructed the defendant and the passenger to put their hands on the dashboard, and though the defendant complied for a moment, the defendant "moved back" again to his waistband or towards his lap area...The defendant failed to place his hands on the dashboard despite several demands from (the officer), and the officer saw a bulge in the defendant’s jacket...(the officer) reached inside the car and placed his hand on the bulge. At that moment the officer "noted that it was a gun." Another officer responded...and grabbed the defendants gun from his waistband."

For his part, Jamal Hart claims that the police planted the gun on him. Like father like son I guess.

Through my research I have discovered numerous references inferring that Hart was " targeted for his prominent activism in the campaign to free his father". That quote was from the website of the Partisan Defense Committee, but this assertion is prevalent in nearly all of the "Free Jamal Hart" articles that I was able to find.

There are, however, a few problems with this bit of propaganda. I scoured the internet looking for references of Jamal speaking out on behalf of his father and could find not one that were before his arrest and subsequent conviction.

Also, I was a full-fledged activist on behalf of Mumia at the time when his son was also supposedly working so diligently on his father’s behalf and I cannot remember ever meeting him or hearing him speak, or even recall hearing his name in any context.

That does not mean that Jamal did not participate in the movement to "Free Mumia", but if he was involved, it was not to the extent that his proponents would have one to believe. And even if he was somehow involved, this does not mean that he was "framed", or that police even had clue one who he was when he was arrested.

What seems to be most likely is that Jamal Hart was involved in the criminal lifestyle, got caught, was nailed with a heavy sentence, and now wants to capitalize on his father’s name in order to garner support and notoriety.

What one should not forget in all of this is that the same people who brought us the lies about Jamal Hart are the same who brought the lies about his father and the lies about MOVE etc..

What else are they lying about?

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