It was 37 years ago that Mumia Abu-Jamal, a one-time taxi driver and radio reporter, was convicted of killing a young policeman, Daniel Faulkner. Over the years, Abu-Jamal has become a big celebrity on the left and a symbol of racial injustice in America.
Now, an appeals court judge has ruled that because of the apparent bias of a judge who heard his 2012 appeal, Abu-Jamal may get another trial.
“Thirty-eight years!” Maureen Faulkner cried out in court this fall during the latest post-trial arguments, leading city Judge Leon Tucker to have her escorted out. “This is wrong!”
“I’m absolutely outraged with Leon Tucker. Tucker has no merit on this judgment. [Castille] had nothing to say about Mumia Abu-Jamal, he had no prejudice,” said Maureen Faulker in an exclusive interview on “Fox and Friends” Sunday. “This is going to open the door for so many murderers to be able to do this and appeal this.”
The evidence against Abu-Jamal at his 1982 trial was overwhelming.
During a routine traffic stop on a vehicle belonging to Abu-Jamal’s younger brother, William Cook, Officer Faulkner got into a physical confrontation with Cook. Abu-Jamal was in the vicinity and observed the fight, ran over and shot Faulkner in the back and, later, in the face.
Faulker, who noted that she has traveled back and forth from her home state of California numerous times in this case, also said she hopes that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner will appeal this decision.
“Mumia Abu-Jamal shot my husband between the eyes, he executed my husband,” Faulker said. “I’m never going to let this go. All over the country, they’re reducing sentences on murderers, they’re allowing them out of prison, and it’s wrong. It’s so wrong.”
The Philadelphia district attorney told the Associated Press that the latest decision is being reviewed.
Three witnesses saw Abu-Jamal shoot Faulkner in the back and then execute him with a shot to the head. The gun used in the killing belonged to him and bullet fragments found in Faulkner were consistent with bullets found in Abu-Jamal’s gun.
I don’t think even Johnnie Cochrane could have gotten Abu-Jamal off.
But the facts of the case don’t matter. Mumia Abu-Jamal became a celebrity on the left because he went to the press with his accusations of racism. He became a symbol of a racist justice system and is referred to around the world as a “political prisoner.”
Meanwhile, the widow continues her lonely fight to see justice done.
If Mumia Abu-Jamal gets another trial, he may very well be found innocent. That would be a tragedy and a miscarriage of justice.