German Book Reveals New Evidence in Death-Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal

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"The history of the criminal case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, which is by now almost 25 years old, has been characterized by bias right from the start: against a black man whom the court denied a jury of his peers, against a member of the economic underclass who did not have a real claim to a qualified defense, and against a radical, whose allegedly dangerous militancy obliged the state to eliminate him from the ranks of society."

So writes German author Michael Schiffmann in his new book Race Against Death. Mumia Abu-Jamal: a Black Revolutionary in White America (an expansion of Schiffmann's PhD dissertation at the University of Heidelberg), just released in Germany this past month.

In 1982, Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has declared a "violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty."

Schiffmann writes that a third person (not Abu-Jamal or his brother Billy Cook) most likely shot and killed police officer Daniel Faulkner on the morning of December 9, 1981. This third person was Kenneth Freeman (Billy Cook's friend and business partner), who -- according to the available evidence -- was a passenger in Cook's car. Freeman likely shot him in response to Faulkner shooting Abu-Jamal in the chest, and was therefore the black male that six eyewitnesses reported to see fleeing the scene moments before other police arrived.

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