Dave Lindorff's editorial advancing the notion of a lack of "fairness" in Mumia's case is emblematic of the kind of infinite regression that grips the movement to free the convicted and unrepentant cop-killer [News, "Verdict Nullification?" May 24, 2007].
Some years ago, when I was myself an avid proponent of Jamal, there was no doubt in the minds of supporters that Mumia was innocent. After all, HBO had produced a documentary that shot Mumia into the mainstream and a well-funded and media-savvy legal team had spun a web of deception that had convinced thousands around the world that Jamal was a totally innocent victim of a racist, borderline police state, dedicated to snuffing out the so-called "voice of the voiceless."
But as years went by, and the whole ugly facade began to fall apart as the true facts of the case became more clear, the movement started to suffer the inevitable diminishing returns of a faux cause. And as the movement went into a state of retreat, so to did the arguments employed by it, now to the point where Jamal apologists such as Lindorff have to resort to questionable statistics and the race card in place of any kind of rational explanation as to how Officer Faulkner ended up dead on the street with a bullet from Jamal's gun in his skull.
By diverting the focus of attention upon allegations of procedural missteps and the almost meaningless concept of a "fair trial," people like Lindorff can keep from having to answer the pertinent question, the one that haunts this case and leaves most people with knowledge of the case to conclude that justice was done when Jamal was convicted back in 1982. The question, of course, is: If Jamal did not shoot Officer Faulkner, how did he end up feet away from Faulkner, his gun laying beside him with all rounds fired, a bullet from Faulkner's gun lodged in him, with numerous eyewitnesses fingering him as shooter?