He should be freed
I find it “deeply frustrating” that PG columnist Tony Norman would blame Mumia Abu-Jamal for his conviction rather than police and prosecutorial misconduct and judicial bias, which infected his trial (“Abu-Jamal Deserves Prison, But Not Death,” Dec. 9). Unlike the three main prosecution “eyewitnesses,” Mr. Abu-Jamal was not a convicted felon at the time of his trial and, unlike the cab driver who testified against him, had no history of violence in his past.
Mr. Norman states that the bullet from Mr. Abu-Jamal’s registered gun was found in the officer’s brain. Not true! The prosecution never proved a connection. We have only the police version that his gun even made it out of his cab. Perhaps we should ask the police why they neglected to perform routine tests on Mr. Abu-Jamal’s hands and clothing. The police reportedly tested others, but “forgot” to test the defendant.
Ask the prosecutor why he neglected to inform the jury about the presence of Kenneth Freeman in the car with Mr. Abu-Jamal’s brother and the fact that Mr. Freeman had been picked out of a police line-up as the shooter by his star witness, Cynthia White — twice. Oh, right — that might have created reasonable doubt. Why let the facts get in the way of a win?
The above represents a fraction of the problems with this case and are perfect examples of the brokenness of the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania.
The burden is on the commonwealth to prove guilt; it is not on the defendant to prove innocence. If the state and federal courts are unwilling to subject this case to the scrutiny of a new guilt phase trial Mr. Abu-Jamal should be freed now. He has had 30 years in solitary confinement. He deserves neither additional prison time nor death. I agree with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu that Mumia Abu-Jamal should be free now.
The writer, a lawyer, is a member of the Pittsburgh Committee to Free Mumia.
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