Friday, March 28, 2008

Contempt of Court

When it comes to the Mumia Abu Jamal case, every victory seems to be bittersweet. Today's announcement that Mumia would get a new sentencing hearing is no different. A three judge panel upheld his conviction for murdering Danny Faulkner over a quarter century ago, but ruled that he should get a new sentencing hearing due to what the judges felt was misleading jury directions given by the judge at the original sentencing hearing.

The one where Mumia Abu Jamal was sentenced to death.

Now, Maureen Faulkner gets to go through the whole process again based on the opinions of judges who weren't even in the courtroom for the original sentencing hearing. One of the judges even gave the Mumia side a sliver of hope by raising the spectre of racism in the jury selection process, a spectre that has been debunked several times over simply by looking at the court records. Whether the judge did it out of ignorance or pity, I cannot say and won't speculate. What I can say is that he's wrong.

In fact, this whole charade created by Mumia and his followers is wrong. In the quarter century that Mumia has been under the legal microscope, he has never once denied shooting Danny Faulkner. Not one time. Instead, he rejects the charges brought against him. And in that quarter century, his appeals have been rejected multiple times because of a lack of evidence to prove he's the victim of racism or that someone else shot Danny Faulkner or that the ballistics tests prove there was a gun other than the one Mumia had on his person used to kill Faulkner. A quarter century of harebrained conspiracy theories that divert the court's attention away from the facts of the case and give his supporters more time to spin the facts to an unsuspecting and uninformed public.

At this point, there are no excuses for the sentencing of a man who deserves to die for murdering a police officer in cold blood to take even a day more. Over twenty five years is too long for a case that was shut and case from the very beginning. Mumia deserves the death penalty, and Maureen Faulkner deserves closure.

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