Thursday, January 29, 2009

Anti-MOVE/Mumia Blog Up For Awards

Hey All,

I was just notified that this blog is up for two awards from the website "In Cold Blood", which focuses on reporting on issues of crime and justice. The Anti-MOVE blog is up for "Best True Crime Blog" and me for "Best True Crime Blogger". Please check back next week at the "In Cold Blood" website so that you can vote for the "Anti-MOVE Blog".

Obviously, I am always happy for the work of this website to be recognized and am happier still to know that there are people out there who are still interested in the subject matter. That said, I must confess a sadness that there is still a need for this blog to even exist.

The fraud that is the "Free Mumia" movement still exists, the rape and abuse of children in MOVE continues, and those who murdererd John Gilbride are still walking free.

Until those ongoing issues are all properly addressed, I will continue this website and the people who support this work will continue to have my gratitude.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King

(Dr. Martin Luther King speaking just one day before his murder)

As a parent, so many of my experiences and views are colored by my relationship with my child. Her view, unlike mine, is not boring or caught up in cliches, or tainted by political correctness, is always, for better or worse, quite candid.

So when she is off from school for a holiday, I always engage her in conversation and query her to be sure that she is not just thinking she has off from school to watch more Sponge Bob.

Today, I asked her about Martin Luther King Jr. and she responded that he had worked to make "the laws equal to everyone", which I think is as good as any seven year old, or many adults for that matter, could come up with. She further tied in the recent election of Barack Obama as evidence of the fruition of King's impeccable work.

Through her words and from what I already know, I see that Dr. King's Dream is becoming more and more a reality, but I also am not deluded enough to believe that the work for racial and economic equality is finished. Indeed, the same child who raised my hopes also gave me a reminder that when it comes to race, we still have a great deal of work to do. She recounted to me a conversation that she overheard, where another child had made the comment that "Martin Luther King Day was just a day for black people to not have to go to work". The comment was bad enough, but what was worse was the fact that the adult that was with these children did not correct the child, but instead just laughed.

It was a reminder that the fight against bigotry is no longer one that is waged so much against institutions or hopelessly racist politicians, but one that occurs in the homes and schools of America. A fight that will have to continue, so long as the outdated construct of race exists.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Smerconish To Go National

(Some of the charity money raised by "Murdered By Mumia)

(Micheal Smerconish is a dear friend to those of us interested in justice for Daniel Faulkner as well as those who have been victimized by MOVE. He has consistently fought to bring the truth forward regarding Mumia and has had the courage to take on MOVE, and that included bringing them into his radio studio and putting them on the air.

He has had me on his show and was thoughtful enough to allow me join him in appearing on "Hannity's America" to publicize his book "Murdered By Mumia". More importantly to me, he allowed me come onto his show and speak about the killing of John Gilbride, something nobody in the Philadelphia media establishment is willing to really go. I wish him all the best in his new endeavor.)



One of America 's Great Radio Talents To Launch Additional Two Hour Program;

WOR-AM In New York To Carry Program Beginning on Monday, February 2

CBS RADIO, one of the nation's largest major market radio operators, and Dial Global are proud to announce the syndication of "The Michael Smerconish Program." Smerconish, currently heard weekday mornings (6:00-9:00AM, ET) on CBS RADIO's The Big Talker WPHT-AM in Philadelphia and WHFS-AM in Washington, D.C., will launch an additional live program (12:00Noon-2:00PM) beginning on Monday, February 2. WOR News Talk Radio 710 in New York is the first affiliate to sign on to carry the two hour show and will broadcast the program from 8:00-10:00PM each weekday night.

Both shows will be available to stations across the country. Dial Global will facilitate advertising and affiliate sales for the program.

Smerconish, who has been recognized by Radio and Records as "one of the best local talk show hosts in America ," and "one of America 's most important talk show hosts" by Talkers Magazine, is a Philadelphia lawyer turned political commentator, best-selling author, and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. Prior to Smerconish's arrival at WPHT in Fall 2003 the station earned a 2.2 share among listeners 12 in morning drive. In the most recent ratings survey, Smerconish delivered a 5.5 share among the same demographic.

"We are thrilled to partner with Michael Smerconish and CBS RADIO and expand his program nationally," says David Landau, co-president of Dial Global. "Michael takes compelling positions on both sides of the issues and successfully moves the dialogue beyond politics alone. No doubt that is why his ratings track record in Philly is so strong against industry titans."

Chris Oliviero, Vice President of Programming for CBS RADIO, says, "Michael has been preparing many years for this next step in his career. We are excited to not only continue with Michael on our market leading stations for many years to come, but to now share his unique perspective with the rest of the country."

"I have wanted to replicate my success in Philadelphia on the national stage for some time," says Smerconish. "Now, with Dial Global and CBS RADIO, I have a partnership with the organizational depth and reach to roll out the type of entertaining and issues oriented program that I am privileged to host. Guest hosting for 'The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly' and appearing and guest hosting on MSNBC television has prepared me well. I'm ready for launch!"

"Listeners all over America are looking for a fresh and unpredictable talent who sees the issues from all sides - Michael is just that person," says Amy Bolton, Senior Vice President, News and Talk for Dial Global. "He is poised to be the next great radio talk star."

Smerconish, an MSNBC contributor, has served as guest host for Bill O'Reilly on "The O'Reilly Factor," Chris Matthews on "Hardball," and Glenn Beck, on Beck's radio and television programs, and has appeared on a number of national television shows including "The Today Show," "The Colbert Report," "The View," and "Real Time with Bill Maher." A truly independent voice, Smerconish endorsed the candidacy of Barack Obama in 2008, despite having been appointed Regional Administrator in the Department of Housing and Urban Development at age 29 by George H. W. Bush. The married father of four is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Lehigh University , and later received a degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Smerconish is represented by George Hiltzik of NS Bienstock.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

No "Racism" At Jamal Jury Selection

(The misguided march)

by John Hayden

27 years and 10 days after he'd murdered a Philadelphia cop in front of two Black and three non- Black eyewitnesses, Mumia Abu Jamal filed his 5th petition to the U S Supreme Court to review the alleged constitutional errors of the various federal and state courts that have refused to give him a new trial. The remorseless cop killer's San Francisco lawyer, a death penalty specialist, Robert Bryan, claims that: Racism and politics are threads that have run through this case since his 1981 arrest.

In March of 2008, shortly after the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (in a 2 to 1 decision)dismissed Abu Jamal's "racism" in jury selection claim, attorney Bryan appeared on a left coast radio program and declared: We (he Abu Jamal) were rather astounded that the court made that ruling...the big gorilla in the room, the elephant in the room, is racism in jury selection...removing people from sitting on juries because of the color of their skin.

In the U S Supreme Court petition the principal claim of the gun owning radio journalist is that the 1982 prosecutor's use of 10 out his available 20 peremptory challenges to eliminate 10 potential Black jurors was racially motivated, unconstitutionally discriminatory, and deprived the Death-Row prisoner of his rights to equal protection of the law and a fair trial by a jury of his peers.

There was no "racism" displayed by the prosecutor (former ADA Joseph McGill) during the June 1982 jury selection process. Indeed, all of the members of the state's highest court, the Pa. Supreme Court, examined the transcript of the prosecutor's questions and comments directed to the 10 challenged Blacks, and found "not a trace of support for an inference that the use of peremptories was racially motivated." (Commonwealth v. Mumia Abu Jamal, a/k/a Wesley Cook (1998) 720 A.2d 79, at 114)

On December 18, 2001, the federal habeas corpus Judge who decided to nullify the 1982racially mixed jury's unanimous sentence of "death" carefully examined the same jury selection transcript. He ruled that the convicted murderer "points to no improper statement or question by the prosecutor during jury selection." (Judge William Yohn in Mumia Abu Jamal v. Martin Horn, Corrections Commissioner) In March of 2008 two Judges of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Black gun owner had failed to demonstrate a "prima facie case" of racial discrimination in the jury selection process.

Unfortunately for Abu Jamal's shooting victim, Officer Danny Faulkner, his widow, his surviving sibling, and the cause of justice in America, the remorseless murderer now has a reasonable chance of having the High Court accept his case for review despite five previous denials. Why? Because one clueless Judge on the 3rd Circuit declared that Mumia Abu Jamal, the subject of a new book by crime author, J. Patrick O'Connor (The Frame-Up of Mumia Abu Jamal), and the mythological hero of a recent sympathetic Sundance Channel infomercial (My Life In Prison), had demonstrated a "prima facie case" of racial discrimination. Thus, according to Judge Ambro, Abu Jamal is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the basis of even one of the 10 perempts was racially motivated (as opposed to being race-neutral).

That Judge's decision, and Mumia Abu Jamal's "racism" claim, both ignore seven uncontested facts. #1. The very 1st juror selected by the ADA was Black, like the accused murderer, his defense lawyer, two eyewitnesses to the slaying (i.e., his brother, William Cook, and a street hooker), and the principal ear-witness to Abu Jamal's boasful in-hospital confession: "I shot the mother fucker, and I hope the mother fucker dies!"); 2. The 2nd person intentionally selected by the prosecutor was also Black. 3. The gun owner on trial for his life intentionally eliminated that fair and impartial Black by using one of his own 20 peremptory challenges. 4. By the end of the jury selection process the prosecutor had intentionally selected a total of four (4) fair and impartial Blacks. 5. Five out of the 10 peremptorily eliminated potential Black jurors could easily have been eliminated for cause: "bias against police" (#1 Janet Coates); "strong feelings against death penalty" (#2 Alma Austin); "strong reservations about the death penalty" (#7 Webster Reddick); "hearing problem" (# 9 Carl Lash); and "opposed to death penalty, indicated she could not be fair if the trial were lengthy" (#15 Darlene Sampson). 6. The other five were peremptorily eliminated for obviously race-neutral reasons in a capital case where the accused murderer was a local radio journalist: "listened to Petitioner (Abu Jamal) on the radio" (#3 Verna Brown); "listened to Abu Jamal on radio" (# 5 Genevieve Gibson); "listened to Abu Jamal on the radio" (#11 Gwendolyn Spady); "listened to Abu Jamal on the radio" (#13 Wayne Williams); "daughter worked at same radio station as Abu Jamal" (#14- Henry McCoy). * 7. At the end of the jury selection process the prosecutor had five peremptory challenges left. If he were the "racist" the convicted murderer claims he was, he could easily have eliminated all four of the Blacks he'd intentionally selected as fact finders. It's immensely significant that the 1st two jurors selected by ADA McGill were Black because pre-trial publicity in the Philadelphia Inquirer created the reasonable probability of pro defendant sympathy or prejudice, and anti police bias by potential Black jurors in a case where seven of the state's witnesses were cops. The January 5, 1982 Inquirer's headline and article informed potential Black jurors that:


Ms. Wadla Jamal told reporters that police had beaten her husband in a police van outside Jefferson Hospital. It caused a punctured kidney, bruised ribs, and serious head injuries. The same Inquirer article reported that the Black hospital patient's lawyer, Anthony Jackson, had filed a "police brutality complaint" on behalf of his client. The same Inquirer article mentioned that the radio journalist's mother, Mrs. Edith Cook, complained about "threats that had been made against the family by police officers. She read a letter from her son that stated: The ruthless police..beat me...and split my skull.

This pre-trial publicity could not have failed to produce either empathy, sympathy, or anti police bias in the minds of potential Black jurors who were either personally, or indirectly familiar with police brutality against themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors, or strangers. Under these circumstances the prosecutor should be applauded for having selected a total of four fact finders from the same racial or ethnic group as the man he was trying to convict of 1st degree murder of a white cop. In early June of 1982 there may very well have been other prosecutors in America - north and south of the Mason Dixon line - who'd engaged in the insidious practice of discriminating against a Black on trial for the capital murder of a white victim. But not in courtroom # 253 in Philadelphia, Pa.. To pretend in 2008 that "racism" was involved in the jury selection process of Mumia Abu Jamal's capital murder trial is an insult to the racially mixed jury which unanimously decided that the gun owning radio journalist was the person who'd shot the cop in the back 27 years ago.


Author: Mumia Abu Jamal - The "Political Prisoner" (To be published in 2009 after the U S Supreme Court decides Mumia Abu Jamal's Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.)

Brief Biography: Former prosecutor, defense attorney and criminal appeals specialist (murder, manslaughter, arson, drug dealing, assault, rape, robbery, etc.), writer for the East Hampton Independent and the Southampton Independent (now The Independent), The Long Island Jewish World (article on Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ), former co-editor Gilbert's Criminal Law & Procedure (a desk reference book for N.Y. trial Judges)

* Author's note - The material in quotes is taken verbatim from federal Judge Wm Yohn's 12/18/01 decision. It's re-printed verbatim at p. 611 of my 1st book on the remorseless convicted murderer, Mumia Abu Jamal-The Patron Saint of American Cop Killers (2006) - available on ""

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