Mumia Abu-Jamal Faces US Supreme Court

Mumia Supporters Mobilize Globally

VIDEO: Dec. 6 Intl. Week of Solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal–a report from Philadelphia

VIDEO: Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal presentation at 13th and Locust crime scene

On Friday, December 19, 2008, death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal filed his appeal to the US Supreme Court, asking it to consider his case for a new guilt-phase trial. One month before, the Philadelphia District Attorney filed its separate appeal to the US Supreme Court asking to have Abu-Jamal executed without a new sentencing-phase trial.

At this critical stage in Abu-Jamal’s case, supporters organized a week of global solidarity actions that began on December 6, the day of the large protest in Philadelphia, almost 27 years after Abu-Jamal was arrested for the December 9, 1981 shooting death of white police officer Daniel Faulkner, and later convicted in a 1982 trial that Amnesty International has declared a "violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty".

There were solidarity actions inside the US and around the world, including Mexico, Venezuela, Germany, France, England, Switzerland. Several US events screened the new DVD video titled Fighting for Mumia’s Freedom: a report from Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, over 200 protesters gathered outside the District Attorney’s office across the street from City Hall. Journalists for Mumia’s new video report from the demonstration features an interview with persecuted Civil Rights Lawyer Lynne Stewart, and footage of Pam Africa speaking outside the DA’s office about the newly discovered crime scene photos taken by press photographer Pedro Polakoff, and the DA’s role in hiding them from the defense. The coordinator of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pam Africa cited Polakoff’s statements today that he approached the DA’s office with the photos in 1981/82 and 1995, but was completely ignored by them. Subsequently, Polakoff’s photos were never seen by the 1982 jury, or by the defense. Africa presented the evidence to Philadelphia PD Civil Affairs Captain William Fisher to deliver to DA Lynne Abraham.

Protesters marched from the DA’s office to the Federal Court Building where Abu-Jamal had oral arguments on May 17, 2007. The march stopped at the 13th and Locust crime scene where Journalists for Mumia gave a presentation focusing on the photo by Polakoff that shows a blank space where key prosecution witness Robert Chobert testified to being parked in his taxi as he allegedly observed Abu-Jamal shoot Faulkner.  An online video of the presentation is available alongside the special presentation flyer.

That week, Journalists for Mumia was featured by Philadelphia’s independent news website I argued in the interview that “those advocating Mumia’s execution show a disturbing lack of concern about the undeniable problems of racism (and all documented police/DA/judicial misconduct) throughout. At the most fundamental level, the ‘Fry Mumia’ campaign’s lack of concern is racist… The FOP is appealing to a racist lynch mob mentality that has long infected the US, so calling this a ‘legal lynching’ is no exaggeration.”

In Mexico City, Mexico, supporters organized a week of actions, including a protest rally outside the US Embassy. Linking Mumia’s case to repression and political prisoners in Mexico, speakers at the US Embassy included ex-Atenco prisoners Edith Rosales and César del Valle, as well as a guitar performance by Atenco survivor Jorge Salinas, whose arms were temporarily paralyzed and hands fractured when he was almost killed by police at Atenco. Survivors Mariana, Edith y Norma who courageously told their story of being raped at Atenco. Solidarity statements were read from Mexican political prisoners Gloria Arenas Agis and her husband Jacobo Silva Nogales, and from the Atenco political prisoners in the Molino de Flores prison at Texcoco, México.

Braulio Alvarez, a member of the Venezuelan parliament and leader of the farmers struggle in Venezuela said in his message written for the week, that Venezuelan supporters had decided “to go the American embassy in Caracas to hand to the ambassador a letter to the governor of Pennsylvania, demanding that he immediately liberate Mumia Abu-Jamal.”

Berlin, Germany’s, week of solidarity culminated in a demonstration where hundreds  marched to the US Embassy with slogans like "Freiheit für Mumia Abu-JamalWeg mit der Todesstrafe überall" ("Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal – Abolish the death penalty everywhere").

Also demonstrating the international interest in this case, the new British documentary film about Abu-Jamal, titled In Prison My Whole Life, premiered December 8 on the Sundance Channel. Previous interviews with William Francome, and Livia Giuggioli Firth, revealed that In Prison features an interview with Abu-Jamal’s brother Billy Cook, and the newly discovered crime scene photos. Officially endorsed by Amnesty International, Amnesty UK Director Kate Allen said: "We hope that the film’s viewers will back our call for a fair retrial for Mumia Abu-Jamal–and also support our work opposing the death penalty in the US and around the world."

Appealing to the US Supreme Court

(Illustration by Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland, Germany)

Both the DA and Abu-Jamal are asking the US Supreme Court to consider their appeals of the March 27, 2008 rulings by the US Third Circuit Court, when the court denied Abu-Jamal a new guilt-phase trial but ruled that there must be a new sentencing- phase trial if the DA still wants the death penalty. Therefore, Abu-Jamal is appealing for a new guilt-phase trial, while the DA is appealing to execute him without a new sentencing-phase trial. On October 6, 2008, the US Supreme Court rejected an unrelated appeal from Abu-Jamal.

On March 27, 2008 the US Third Circuit Court’s three-judge panel of Thomas Ambro, Anthony Scirica, and Robert Cowen ruled against three different appeal issues, refusing to grant either a new guilt-phase trial or a preliminary hearing that could have led to a new guilt-phase trial for Abu-Jamal. However, on the issue of racist jury selection, also known as the Batson claim, the three judge panel of split 2-1, with Ambro dissenting.

Abu-Jamal filed his appeal of this ruling with the US Supreme Court today, Dec. 19. Arguably the key issue will be the 1986 Batson v. Kentucky ruling established the right to a new trial if jurors were excluded on the basis of race. At the 1982 trial Prosecutor McGill used 10-11 of his 15 peremptory strikes to remove otherwise acceptable black jurors, yet the court ruled that there was not even the appearance of discrimination. In his dissenting opinion, Judge Ambro wrote that the denial of a preliminary Batson hearing "goes against the grain of our prior actions…I see no reason why we should not afford Abu-Jamal the courtesy of our precedents."

Separately, the DA is appealing to execute without a new sentencing-phase trial, having filed their brief on November 14, 2008.  Abu-Jamal’s deadline to respond to this is January 21, 2009.

On March 27, the three-judge panel unanimously affirmed Federal District Court Judge William Yohn’s 2001 decision "overturning" the death sentence. Citing the 1988 Mills v. Maryland precedent, Yohn had ruled that sentencing forms used by jurors and Judge Sabo’s instructions to the jury were potentially confusing, and jurors could have mistakenly believed that they had to unanimously agree on any mitigating circumstances in order to consider them as weighing against a death sentence.

According to this ruling, if the DA wants to re-instate the death sentence, the DA must call for a new penalty-phase jury trial where new evidence of Mumia’s innocence can be presented. However, the jury can only choose between a sentence of life in prison without parole or a death sentence.

The DA is appealing this 2001/2008 ruling to the US Supreme Court, so if the court agrees to consider the DA’s appeal and rules in their favor, Mumia can then be executed without benefit of the new sentencing trial. However, if the court upholds the 2001 and 2008 rulings, then the DA will either request a new sentencing trial or accept life in prison without the chance of parole.

Notably, at the DA’s request, during the post-2001 appeals, Mumia has never left his death row cell or been given general population "privileges" such as contact visits with family.

Reacting to the DA’s Appeal

Following news that the DA was appealing to execute without a new sentencing trial, I spoke with Dave Lindorff,  J. Patrick O’Connor,  and William Francome.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: An investigation into the death row case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. He says that “the obsession of a string of Philadelphia district attorneys, beginning with current Governor Ed Rendell and ending with current DA Lynn Abraham with killing Mumia Abu-Jamal, despite his now having spent 26 years in the living hell of Pennsylvania’s death row, is truly repulsive and inhuman. It has ruined the live of Daniel Faulkner’s widow whose life has become a pathetic campaign of vengeance. It has cost the taxpayers of Philadelphia and of the state of Pennsylvania untold millions of dollars. And meanwhile, there is every reason to believe that Abu-Jamal was wrongly convicted of first degree murder and should never have been sentenced to death in the first place. The obsession to kill him, which began from the moment police first arrived on the scene in December, 1981, has led to a decades long travesty of and insult to the principles of justice, which is continuing to this day.”

William Francome, from the British film In Prison My Whole Life says that this “shows again the political nature of this case. It is my opinion that their office would not like to have to go through with another sentencing phase of the trial, with the attention that it would receive. They wish that this case would just disappear and that Mumia would be quiet, yet they do not want to face the Fraternal Order of Police who would be outraged if the DA wasn’t pushing for a death sentence…The sad thing is that amongst the political battles, a man’s life is at stake and I find the attempt at reinstating the death sentence (which is a completely irreversible and inhumane practice), to be abhorrent.”

J. Patrick O’Connor is the author of The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal.  Despite several book tours and an important NY Times article when Framing was released in May 2008, it has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. O’Connor argues that the DA’s appeal is “without merit and represents pure gamesmanship by outgoing D.A. Lynne Abraham…The last thing the Philadelphia DA’s Office wants to conduct is a new sentencing hearing, an event it continues to put off by filing this latest appeal. That’s really what this latest appeal is all about.”

The Power of the People

At the December 6 protest, Pam Africa stressed that the DA is trying to execute Abu-Jamal despite the strong evidence of both an unfair trial and innocence. Not having any faith in the court system, she argued that justice will only come from popular pressure, and made an urgent plea for supporters to do all they can at this critical hour. In his message recorded for the international week of solidarity, Abu-Jamal thanked his supporters and decried the recent denial of a new guilt-phase trial: “As you’ve seen, the law is but politics by other means, and the judges but politicians in judges’ robes. It doesn’t matter what the cases say. It doesn’t matter what the so-called rules say. They’ve never followed them from day one. What matters is what you say. What matters is what you do. So I thank you all for being there, for fighting for what’s right, for fighting for life, for fighting for liberty. I thank you all and I love you all.”

Hans Bennett is a Philadelphia-based photo-journalist who has been documenting the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners for over five years. Read other articles by Hans, or visit Hans's website.

37 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Hans Bennett said on December 20th, 2008 at 11:26am #

    I just finished compiling photos from the day, if folks are interested in checking them out here:

  2. Jason Oberg said on December 20th, 2008 at 11:16pm #

    Yet another case of American terrorism perpetrated by the government at home. I have watched interviews with Mumia Abu-Jamal; have listened to the man’s political philosophies. If he weren’t a political prisoner, he might very well be Ralph Nader’s running mate. This is the gravest of American injustices: the stealing of a man’s life. Jamal’s plight should be dismissed by nobody who would visit a website such as this. Abu-Jamal is much more than a wrongly convicted death-row inmate; he is a political prisoner, and his struggle is a clear sign that for many in this country, the sixties didn’t end entirely. We may prop an Obama up on the mantle of the presidency and pat ourselves on the back for it, thinking how far we’ve come (even though, as I’m sure I needn’t remind anyone, Obama is the product of what thirty years of black absorption into a still-corrupt system has produced), but we must look at the story of this good, intelligent, and progressive-minded man as a grim reminder of a time not too long ago when the U.S. government was outwardly and militantly racist. And Abu-Jamal, who could be doing so much good for the progressive cause, remains imprisoned by this horrid system, if for no other reason than for the officials who corrupted his guilt-phase trial some 27 years ago to now save face. This man needs—and greatly deserves—our voices to be heard by Washington. We speak of Guantanamo Bay as an atrocity, which it is; Why do we not exhibit the same rage regarding Abu-Jamal’s plight? I intend to write to this man, to let him know he has one more supporter Jason Paul Oberg. If there is a petition to Congress, I will sign it.

  3. Jason Oberg said on December 20th, 2008 at 11:19pm #

    Oh, yes, and thank you, Hans, for bringing this to this website.

  4. Hue Longer said on December 20th, 2008 at 11:30pm #

    OK Jason, I’ll try to add something…

    These justice games where the police can’t be killed when they are beating the shit out of someone gets us here where we pretend that there is such a thing as justice. I do hope Jamal gets off, but the dead cop should be put on trial before they go after anyone else

  5. Jason Oberg said on December 21st, 2008 at 12:00am #

    I agree, Hue. And you know what else? I’m just justice-minded enough to say the cop probably got what he deserved. Maybe this drops me into a very biased category, but decades and decades of police corruption, brutality and the murdering of so many people who merely wanted to defend their rights leads me to a mind-frame that, you know, we reap what we sow. Police are, on the whole, soulless people. They seek the same things that politicians do: power. They can’t buy it, because they come from ordinary means, so they recruit into it. They get to carry a gun, and spend their careers harrassing, tormenting, and abusing the people who pay their salaries through unrepresented taxation . Two different kinds of people become cops: Those who were bullied in school and those who were doing the bullying. The corrupt, evil establishment forces its will on the people through the police and the courts. Hence the case of Abu-Jamal.

  6. greg kurtz said on December 21st, 2008 at 11:35am #

    How do you sleep at night knowing that you consciously support a cop killer (Mumia)? Since the victim isn’t someone close to you it’s easy. Just continue to follow your ultra liberal agenda at the cost of the officer’s family. It’s bad enough that you are anti-death penalty but you have the unmitigated gall to support a client who truly deserves it. I can’t imagine how much support you would have if Mumia killed someone from your family. But that’s a typical liberal behavior-unless it directly affects you, carry on with the witless agenda. Mumia and all of his supporters should be tortured the way Faulkner’s family has been for 27 years.

  7. Jason Oberg said on December 21st, 2008 at 12:52pm #

    Mr. Kurtz,
    This is a progressive website. You seem to have gotten lost. Rush Limbaugh’s site is on the other end of town.

  8. Mark E. Smith said on December 21st, 2008 at 12:53pm #

    It is really annoying when people like Greg Kurtz, who aren’t familiar with the case, or are working for the government to subvert the Constitution, post their ignorant, racist diatribes to disrupt important stories. The evidence shows clearly that Mumia didn’t and couldn’t have killed Faulkner.

    Even worse, although the Supreme Court ruled in 1935 that it was no longer illegal to systematically exclude blacks from juries, it is still being done and was done in Mumia’s case.

    But then what can we expect from a country that never abolished slavery, where prosecutors routinely lie to keep innocent people in prison and cause their executions?

    Greg Kurtz, it won’t be long before the economy crashes and you find out that it was the “ultra liberals” who were opp0sing corruption all along. Conservatives like Bush, Cheney, Paulsen, Madoff, and Obama still have you fooled with their Ponzi schemes. This country got rich through genocide, and is still dependent upon the military-industrial complex and the prison-industrial complex to sustain the theft it calls an economy. We never had anything worthy of the names democracy or freedom, just predatory capitalism and materialism. You’re either still still deluded, or you’re on the wrong side of history.

    Free Mumia!

  9. Jason Oberg said on December 21st, 2008 at 1:00pm #

    Well said, Mark. Well said.

  10. greg kurtz said on December 21st, 2008 at 1:39pm #

    Rush Limbaugh, Bush? Who says I support them you Mumidiots. Who says I know nothing about the case? To the esteemed Mark Smith who says ” Evidence clearly shows he didn’t kill Officer Faulkner”…? Must be nice living in a fairytale world. Continue to support cop killers-you’ll get your comeuppance.

    Regardless of any alleged racist trial blah blah blah, Mumia killed him. That’s all you need to understand. Got it? HE KILLED A COP-HE DESERVES TO DIE AND HE WILL.


  11. Hans Bennett said on December 21st, 2008 at 1:50pm #

    Folks like Greg illustrate well the close-minded and hateful mentality of the “Fry Mumia” crowd. I mean, in my article, I spend days/weeks/months meticulously compiling info about the case, and folks like Greg will pop on and cite a few lines of the FRY MUMIA mantra that he got a fair trial and the evidence against him is overwhelming. Yet, he will not try and challenge ONE fact that I’ve written, and then assert that Mumia supporters are brainwashed “Mumidiots”.

    In many ways, Greg’s posts prove my point about the “legal lynching” better than anything I could write.

    The truth will prevail and Mumia will be free!

  12. Jason Oberg said on December 21st, 2008 at 2:08pm #

    I believe we’re paying too much attention to this Greg guy. As W.C. Fields would say, “Go away, son, you bother me.”
    I would like to retort to this “cop-killer” mantra of his. I believe Mumia is innocent. Irrespective of his case, though, I’ve stated before that I can’t wep heavily for some dead cop. These bullies come of age and can do whatever they want when they go out into the world. They could be librarians, writers, retail clerks, wrestlers, chefs, or anything. Instead, they choose to join the ranks of those enforcing the corporate rulers’ will on us all. “Protect and Serve” my ass. “Harrass and Abuse” is more like it. They want to wear a gun and wave it in people’s faces, once in a while one of them is going to get killed. It doesn’t break my heart in the least. How many black folks do you suppose this Faulkner guy falsely arrested, beat up, intimidated, etc. before someone killed him?

  13. Jason Oberg said on December 21st, 2008 at 2:12pm #


  14. Hue Longer said on December 21st, 2008 at 3:20pm #

    Jason, at least one.

    I get that the management class (the middle class) respect cops because they protect their sold out asses. The upper class respects their canine guards more than the goon squads paid to intimidate the rest of the crowd (70 percent). The amazing thing is that so many of the 70 percent think that they are the middle class and that the cops are there for them.

  15. Hue Longer said on December 21st, 2008 at 3:24pm #

    greg kurtz said on December 21st, 2008 at 1:39pm #

    “Rush Limbaugh, Bush? Who says I support them you Mumidiots. Who says I know nothing about the case? To the esteemed Mark Smith who says ” Evidence clearly shows he didn’t kill Officer Faulkner”…? Must be nice living in a fairytale world. Continue to support cop killers-you’ll get your comeuppance.

    Regardless of any alleged racist trial blah blah blah, Mumia killed him. That’s all you need to understand. Got it buffoons? HE KILLED A COP-HE DESERVES TO DIE AND HE WILL.


    Michael Moore, is that you??

  16. greg kurtz said on December 21st, 2008 at 3:26pm #

    Merry Xmas guys!

  17. Hue Longer said on December 21st, 2008 at 3:37pm #

    happy boxing day, greg

  18. Jason Oberg said on December 21st, 2008 at 3:50pm #

    God bless us, everyone.

  19. Danny Ray said on December 21st, 2008 at 4:19pm #

    Merry Christmas, Hue, Greg and Jason

  20. Danny Ray said on December 21st, 2008 at 4:21pm #

    And, Hans, nicely written, good work.

  21. Hans Bennett said on December 21st, 2008 at 11:04pm #

    Re Michael Moore (I thought the reference to him was funny), he was a real jerk for putting that paragraph in his book where he says that he thinks Mumia shot Faulkner. Since that, he was confronted by many, including Amy Goodman, he retracted it and said he regretted saying it, and did remove it from the later printing of his book.

    Dave Lindorff wrote a good article about that (written before the retraction):

    Thanks for all the comments folks. I’m glad the article caught your eye.
    If interested, these new reports just came in from


    England (at the House of Commons!):

  22. Stewart said on December 22nd, 2008 at 3:58am #

    Greg, unlike some others, I welcome people with different views in debates.

    Many police officers are also in the military reserves and have been sent to Iraq and had their stays of duty extended repeatedly. They were also denied proper armor while billions of dollars were given to Cheney’s company Halliburton in no-bid contracts for crappy quality services for our troops. Many of these cops have died in Iraq.

    Many of us believe that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (even Bush has admitted this) and that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. (The hijackers were reported to be Saudis, as was Osama bin Laden.) We therefore believe that Bush sent numerous police officers to die in Iraq on false pretenses and that this is tantamount to murder.

    Should we call for the death penalty for Bush and any of his co-conspirators in sending these cops to war on false pretenses?

  23. Brian said on December 22nd, 2008 at 9:14am #

    Thanks for posting this. Wow, over at dailykos there was such a negative reaction to the seeking of justice. And a stunning display of ignorance about the basic facts of this case.

  24. Hans Bennett said on December 22nd, 2008 at 10:25am #

    Brian, you’ve seen some of my Mumia-related posts at Daily Kos, huh? Damn!

    Yes, in the tradition of Marc Cooper (from The Nation and Mother Jones) several of the liberals at DK, just start frothing at the mouth in hatred, and shout their typical mantra “good cause wrong person.” Lately, too, these folks are indistinguishable from their right wing equivalent, because while they’ll usually say “I don’t support the death penalty, but Mumia’s a piece of sh#t, so I hope he rots in his cell”, they are now bringing out the all too familiar “Fry Mumia” slogans.

    Mumia’s case and the support movement are basically just as blacklisted by the liberals (and even some radicals/revolutionaries) in the so-called “alternative media” as they are by the mainstream media and the right-wing. Of course, this makes me only want to fight harder, but it is despicable, and certainly one of the reasons he is still locked in a cage today.

  25. Stewart said on December 22nd, 2008 at 1:21pm #

    I looked at those posts at Daily Kos (including multiple posts from a couple of people – including one whose pen name looked suspiciously familiar) by those making fun of saving the life of a man that many of us are believe, that for political reasons, was convicted in what should have been declared a mistrial, then sentenced to death in what was also apparently a mistrial. It seemed highly improbable that they looked much into the case for his acquittal and if they somehow did, they likely did so through a very jaded lens and took the corporate establishment media and government narrative as the truth. I had to wonder if any of the posters were paid actors working for the neo-cons and how many were just among the army of hateful, mis-informed and under-informed people that were conditioned by the right wing strategists through their Fox et al propaganda machine.

    On a side note, I noticed that when I was going to call refer to Mumia Abu Jamal (Wesley Cook) by his chosen name, that I realized that this unusual and self-given name could make it harder for many Americans to relate to him as a regular person and “one of us” and easier to objectify this fellow human as a joke.

    It is this army of haters that right wing strategists have cultivated for decades with their wedge issues, successfully getting ordinary Americans, that are all exploited by the few, to fight each other rather than fight the crooked bankers, the military industrial complex and corporate monopolists that screw us all over. We also have haters on the left that have taken the bait to fight middle class anti-abortionists and anti-gays etc. rather than working to unite with them on common issues to fight the more powerful exploiters that oppress us both.

  26. Hans Bennett said on December 22nd, 2008 at 1:25pm #

    Great feedback. They’re at it again with my recent post about the new British film showing in London at The House of Commons:

  27. Lars Feinstein said on December 22nd, 2008 at 6:46pm #

    How is it that Mumia never gave an explanation as to what happened that night?
    Just something to ponder while you sit on your ivory tower.
    I am sure you would have found a way to acquit Adolf Hitler if he had a similar trial.

  28. Hue Longer said on December 22nd, 2008 at 8:48pm #


  29. The Angry Peasant said on December 23rd, 2008 at 8:47am #

    Free Mumia! I believe the man absolutely innocent, but even if he did kill some racist cop while defending himself, I can forgive that. Especially after 27 years. Listen to interviews with Abu-Jamal. If this is a cold-blooded killer, then so is my grandma.

  30. The Angry Peasant said on December 23rd, 2008 at 9:03am #

    Another thing you have to consider is this: George Bush, LBJ, Reagan, Nixon, Truman, and a whole lot of other elite-class monsters have murdered thousands upon thousands. Where’s Bush’s trial? Why do these people get to ride off into the sunset while we feel absolutely obligated to execute a man who has spent his entire life caring about what’s right? The man is a freedom-fighter, having had the courage to take on this oppressive establishment we’ve all lived under for so long. That’s something none of us seem to have enough courage to do. So what if he DID kill one of the government’s mongrels while trying to defend the rights of the people? Now he’s just a political prisoner; a rabble-rouser they want to keep locked away. He’s done his time. Enough.

  31. Greg Kurtz said on December 23rd, 2008 at 8:18pm #

    I thought this was a debate about cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal. Your references to Bush et al are irrelevant to this story. Go somewhere else to rant about ex presidents. I couldn’t care less about politicians whether they be democrat or conservative.

    As for the rest of you cop haters, so sorry that you were spanked by Johnny Law sometime in the past. I’m sure you deserved it you whiny liberal jackasses. For every corrupt cop, there is a corrupt politician, a corrupt priest and a corrupt journalist. Are you listening HANS BENNETT? Find a new poster boy for your crusade against the death penalty. There is a psychological term that applies to you and your cronies. It’s called cognitive dissonance and basically it means that regardless of how insane your belief may be (The belief that Mumia didn’t kill Officer Faulkner) you will remain true to the cause because you have devoted so much time and energy to it. In your “studies and research” you have tried to acquire new information or beliefs that cause the dissonance to be reduced. In the long run you are only fooling yourself. I thank God you represent the smallest percentage of the population who hold your beliefs.

  32. Stewart said on December 23rd, 2008 at 8:52pm #

    Greg, good to hear from you. From what I’ve read and heard it seems improbable to me that Mumia is guilty. That doesn’t mean I’m certain he is innocent. I’d say I’m 88% confident Mumia is innocent. I don’t know how confident you are that he is guilty and how well you have studied both sides of the case, but how confident are you that he is guilty? Would you bet your life on it?, or your child’s life? My question to you is if one innocent person was executed for every 9 guilty ones would that be acceptable? If not, how many guilty people would we need to execute to justify one innocent person executed? I presume that you would agree that we humans are imperfect and there has to be some error rate in our criminal justice system, no matter how small.

  33. Hue Longer said on December 24th, 2008 at 2:19am #

    Cognitive dissonance is an interesting choice, Greg. To what new information has Hans been introduced which would shatter his “belief” that Jamal is innocent? And is he ignoring it by yelling at those presenting it to him? Is he appealing to numbers and getting very angry that his reality is being threatened?

  34. Danny Ray said on December 24th, 2008 at 8:28am #

    Mr. Kurtz,

    Like you, I sometimes disagree violently with what is posted here. Like you, I have the right to add a post. However, you have no right to use vile epithets to make you opinions. If you have something to say it. If all you have to do is spew insults do it somewhere else. As they say profanity is a sign of a damn small vocabulary.

  35. The Angry Peasant said on December 24th, 2008 at 4:35pm #

    If I wanted to listen to the kind of shit you’re spewing, I’d be watching Bill O’Reilly. And yes, I bring up Bush to illustrate a larger point, which is of course something a conservative like yourself always fails to grasp. You don’t want to trail away from the fact that a cop got shot and you think Mumia did it because a point might actually be made. My larger point, once again, for the double-digit IQ types out there: The ruling class and its nobility get away with murder constantly. So even if Mumia did do it, which he didn’t, give him a medal and send him on his way. Christ, I can see your crew-cut from here.

  36. lichen said on December 24th, 2008 at 5:17pm #

    I wonder how many people, especially how many poor unarmed black people, that stupid pig killed before he was shot down himself.

  37. Stewart said on December 27th, 2008 at 10:51am #


    If you were one of the strategists for the most powerful few would you want the “left” and “right” throwing rocks and insults at each other? Isn’t that a key to how the few are able to rob, dominate and enslave the many?

    While I understand your anger at cops who have abused their power and those who have killed innocent people and those who have unfairly targeted minorities, I don’t think you will win over any converts by calling them “pigs”.

    You may not agree, but I think that those that just pulled off the greatest heist in the history of civilization with their banking fraud and consequent $700 billion to $7 trillion? “bailout” reward are pleased when working people on the “left” and “right” fight while these people on the TOP laugh all the way to their Swiss bank accounts.