Monday, June 02, 2008

The Mumia factor in the killing of cops

(Editors Note: Although I disagree with the main argument presented in this article I thought it worth sharing with readers. The author, obviously for the death penalty, seems to unwittingly make some of the best arguments against it. The Death Penalty issue aside, it does seem as if it is open season on Police Officers in Philadelphia. The difficult question is one of growing violence in general and how to stem it. Statistic after statistic has demonstrated that the Death Penalty is not a deterrent to crime, so I think it well past time to let that empty promise of "closure" to the victims die on the vine)By ROBERT D. BOYDEN

ON DEC. 9, 1981, Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was executed on the streets by a thug named Wesley Cook, now infamously way better known as Mumia Abu-Jamal.

After a long trial and overwhelming physical and testimonial evidence, Cook was justifiably and legally sentenced to death.

But 27 years later, this case is still pending in the judicial system, and, just over a month ago, Cook was granted a new sentencing hearing.

The late criminologist Dr. Marvin Wolfgang of the University of Pennsylvania posited that in order for the criminal justice system to work as a deterrence, punishment must be "swift, certain and sure."

But as so aptly illustrated with the crime and punishment of Mumia Abu-Jamal, there now seems to be no prohibition in the justice system against criminals killing police officers in the commission of a crime - especially in Philadelphia - since punishment is far from swift, certain or sure.

The criminal-justice system in the United States is broken, my fellow potential crime victims, and unless we hold public and elected officials responsible, more heroic police officers are going to be executed while performing their duties.

The murder of Officer Danny Faulkner 27 years ago started a cycle that telegraphed a message to potential cop-killers that murdering a Philadelphia police officer while committing a crime will not warrant the death penalty in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Over the last two years, the litany goes like this:

Philadelphia Police Officer Gary Skersky was shot and killed on May 8, 2006, when he interrupted a robbery, executed with a shot to his head.

On Nov. 1, 2007, Officer Charles Cassidy (a classmate of mine at the Philadelphia Police Academy) was executed with a shot to the head, also interrupting a robbery.

And just this past month, on May 3, Officer Stephen Liczbinsky was shot five times attempting to apprehend three robbery suspects.

Is a pattern becoming evident here?

Three valiant police officers were gunned down by social viruses that morphed into homo sapiens and were permitted to flourish by a liberal and dysfunctional criminal justice system.

This is the "Mumia Factor":

Because there is no fear of the ultimate retribution by the bad guys due to society's misguided tolerance that has allowed Cook to remain on death row for over 27 years, there is open season on cops. Arrogant judges shielding themselves behind full immunity against civil tort have created revolving-door justice that is now the rule - not the exception.

I for one have seen one too many names sandblasted into the National Law Enforcement Memorial wall in Washington, and I for one am sick and tired of turning on the television and seeing breaking news about another brave law-enforcement officer assaulted or killed by some low-life who should have been placed in jail and remained there, not released by a bleeding-heart, political-hack judge.

The circus that Mumia Abu-Jamal has created in our criminal justice system doesn't just circumvent justice and social equity, or prolong the pain and suffering of the Faulkner family - it has facilitated the murder of police officers in the line of duty with impunity.

And that is a crime that should not go unpunished!

Robert D. Boyden is a former police officer, and is now a forensics consultant (


At 9:44 AM , Blogger Nas Dawud said...

Open season on police based on Mumia's case? I beleive this to bit of hyperbole.

No doubt whenever an officer is killed it is tradgic. But to imply there are folks running around the streets shooting police based on Mumia's case is almost laughable.

Most high profile cases get extra attention in the judical system. Plus courts do not like being overturned on appeal and due to so manu issues being brought up in this case the judical systme is simply following their own protocal. Now i agree the system has many issues but it is not due to Mumia's case. Yes it has been dragged out but in a death penalty case I would contend there is no rock that should not be turned over before said penalty is exercised on a fellow human being no matter how dispicable they may be to society.

It not as if Mumia is on the streets, he still sits on death row an all indications is he will never be on the outside again. How has this embolden others to kill police? Those that have murdered police almost always do it in the commison of another crime. I would go even further and be willing to gurantee that 95% of convicted cop killers in the last 20 years have no clue who Mumia is. Mumia is largley known to those who are either leftest and or anti-death penalty and FOP pro-death penalty types. Yes his case is known internationally but most stick-up kids have no idea who Mumia is.

Again all murder is tragic but how many police have been killed in the line of duty juxtaposed to police who have abused their power ? I would wager the latter is much higher.

Not to mention as far as I know situation in which a police officer is killed in the line of duty, in states that allow for it, it usually means an automatic capital murder charge. Further more murder of police officers are normally the most pursed form the officers on the beat right up to the DA's office. This is one of the areas in which the system affords the most resources.

I'm not justfying murder of police but I think it is an overstatment to say that Muimia is a factor in any event in which a police officer is murdered.

Nas Dawud

At 10:51 AM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

I didn't argue that it was open season on police because of Mumia's case. The author of the article seems to imply some kind causality between Mumia and the recent rash of police killings.

The idea of justice being "swift, certain, and quick" as the author argued is troubling to me, for the simple reason that due to human fallibility we ought to be methodical, rational, and most importantly, cautious.

In the end, I think the author raised an important topic and sought to cement their arguement by raising the spectre of the hated Jamal. Something very similar to the defendant who tried to blame MOVE for the murder he committed.

There is a discussion here, but Mr. Boyden could have left the Mumia issue out of it and probably made a more compelling point.

At 11:12 AM , Blogger Nas Dawud said...

I agree, but as stated earlier it was my understanding that you wanted those of us who comment to stay on topic of Mumia and MOVE.

At 12:31 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

ND, I think you misunderstood what I meant in terms of "staying on topic". For me personally, I don't have time as far as this blog goes to get into things other than MOVE and Mumia.

That does not mean I would care if other people do engage in "off topic" discussions. I don't moderate this board aside from ensuring that people aren't threatening each other. Aside from that, people are free to discuss what they want, but with my own time limitations, I will only comment on issues directly pertaining to the blog's purpose.

Also, even though I disagree with the author of this article's premise, I don't think it "off topic" to post the article and discuss it. I have posted other articles I disagree with before and will do so again. I think the article is important because it shows that the Mumia phenomena, rightly or wrongly, has transcended a typical death penalty case.

Whether it be people injecting the issue of Mumia into the Presidential campaign or molding him into a Marxist hero, the use and abuse of Mumia as a representative of something other than what I think he is should not be misconstrued as being "off topic".


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