Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Cop-killer to give commencement speech


Walker above is referring to a movie about Mumia Abu-Jamal, who killed a Philadelphia cop in 1981. "What has happened to him" could "happen to any of us" only if we're convicted of shooting a cop to death. But to folks like Walker, Mumia is black and the cop he killed was white, so he must be innocent, right?

Naturally, our "progressive" Board of Supervisors recognized what a great injustice Mumia's conviction was. They passed a resolution in 2005 calling for a new trial. Michela Alioto-Pier, Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Bevan Dufty, Sophie Maxwell, Jake McGoldrick, Aaron Peskin, Gerardo Sandoval, and Ross Mirkarimi all voted for it. Only Sean Elsbernd and Fiona Ma voted against it.

Turns out that Abu-Jamal will be giving a commencement address from his prison cell:

By Dave Boyer
The Washington Times
September 30, 2014

A convicted cop killer and former Black Panther whose case helped to derail one of President Obama’s top nominees has been chosen to give the commencement address at a Vermont college.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been selected by undergraduate students at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, as their commencement speaker on Sunday.

Abu-Jamal was convicted in the 1981 slaying of Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner. He was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was reduced on appeal to life imprisonment.

The inmate’s notoriety helped to sink the nomination earlier this month of Debo Adegbile, who was Mr. Obama’s choice to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Mr. Adegbile had helped to represent Abu Jamal’s case on appeal while working at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Senators opposed to Mr. Adegbile’s nomination said he went beyond legal representation into political advocacy in the case. Mr. Adegbile withdrew from consideration earlier this month, and Mr. Obama has not announced a new nominee for the post.

The college said Abu-Jamal’s speech has been prerecorded by Prison Radio.

“As a reflection of Goddard’s individualized and transformational educational model, our commencements are intimate affairs where each student serves as her or his own valedictorian, and each class chooses its own speaker,” Goddard College Interim President Bob Kenny said in a statement. “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”

The college said Abu-Jamal received a bachelor of arts degree from the school in 1996, completing his coursework by mail.  

The case against Abu-Jamal:

The prosecution presented four witnesses to the court. Robert Chobert, a cab driver who testified he was parked behind Faulkner, identified Abu-Jamal as the shooter. Cynthia White, a prostitute, testified that Abu-Jamal emerged from a nearby parking lot and shot Faulkner. Michael Scanlan, a motorist, testified that from two car lengths away, he saw a man, matching Abu-Jamal's description, run across the street from a parking lot and shoot Faulkner. Albert Magilton, a pedestrian who did not see the actual murder, testified to witnessing Faulkner pull over Cook's car. At the point of seeing Abu-Jamal start to cross the street toward them from the parking lot, Magilton turned away and lost sight of what happened next.

The prosecution also presented two witnesses who were at the hospital after the shootings. Hospital security guard Priscilla Durham and police officer Garry Bell testified that Abu-Jamal confessed in the hospital by saying, "I shot the motherfucker, and I hope the motherfucker dies."

A .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver, belonging to Abu-Jamal, with five spent cartridges was retrieved beside him at the scene. He was wearing a shoulder holster, and Anthony Paul, the Supervisor of the Philadelphia Police Department's firearms identification unit, testified at trial that the cartridge cases and rifling characteristics of the weapon were consistent with bullet fragments taken from Faulkner's body.

In SF only the Chronicle's Debra Saunders got Mumia right.

Thanks to Pamela Geller for the link to the Washington Times story.

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