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The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal [Paperback]

by J. Patrick O'Connor
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 2008 1556527446 978-1556527449 First Edition

Sentenced to death in 1982 for allegedly killing a police officer named Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Abu-Jamal is the most famous death row inmate in the United States, if not the world. This book is the first to convincingly show how the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney’s Office efficiently and methodically framed him. It takes you step-by-step through what actually transpired on the night Faulkner was shot, including positioning each of the witnesses at the scene and revealing the identity of the killer. It also details the entire trial and fully covers the tortuous appeals process. The author, a seasoned crime reporter, writes in the language of hard facts, without hyperbole or exaggeration, unfounded accusation or finger-pointing, to reveal the truth about one of the most hotly debated cases of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this account of the trial of controversial death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, O'Connor, editor and publisher of, clearly lays out his case that Abu-Jamal should receive at least a new trial, if not complete exoneration. O'Connor asserts that Abu-Jamal was framed for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner because of a vendetta by Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo and the police due to Abu-Jamal's defense, as a journalist, of the cultish countercultural group MOVE. Relying heavily on court transcripts and prior books on the case, O'Connor shows what he sees as the judge's bias, troubled relations between Abu-Jamal and his defense lawyer and dubious statements by various witnesses. Abu-Jamal was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death; later overturned, the sentence could still be reinstated pending a decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In the wake of Faulkner's widow's recent book alleging Abu-Jamal's guilt, it's difficult to be swayed entirely by O'Connor's arguments, but he makes a strong case that the investigation into Faulkner's murder deserves another look. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Journalist O’Connor reopens the story of internationally known death-row-inmate Abu-Jamal, a crime reporter convicted in Philadelphia in 1982 for killing police officer Daniel Faulkner. Fans of true crime and police-procedural mysteries will enjoy the sequential logic of O’Connor’s case as he provides background and context for his assertion that the 27-year-old “brilliant” and gentle Abu-Jamal was framed. As a teenager Abu-Jamal was arrested and beaten by police for protesting a George Wallace rally; a year later he joined the Black Panther Party, seen by the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States.” Closer to home were Philly’s then-mayor Frank Rizzo, the city’s concerted effort to neutralize a small radical movement called MOVE, and district attorney Lynne Abraham, “known as ‘The Queen of Death’ because of her zeal for seeking the death penalty.” Her prosecutors sent more than 100 Philly blacks to death row during her 16 years in office. A complex and compelling read that rivals established TV hits while tackling real-life injustice. --Whitney Scott

Product Details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556527446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556527449
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. Patrick O'Connor was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1944. He graduated from the Univeristy of Missouri - Columbia in 1967 with a degree in English Literature. He was a reporter for United Press Internation in Portland, Oregon and Kansas City and he was UPI bureau manager in Topeka, Kansas.
He was the editor of Cincinnati Magazine, an associate editor of TV Guide, and the editor and publisher on the Kansas City New Times, an alternative weekly. In 1998, he and J.J. Maloney founded the Internet site Crime Magazine (
In 2008, Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press, published his book, The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal. In 2012, Strategic Media Books published his second book, Scapegoat: The Chino Hills Murders and the Framing of Kevin Cooper. In 2013, Scapegoat won silver in the Independent Publisher's book awards in the true crime category, and the bronze in the ForeWord Reviews' Book of the Year competition in the true crime category.
Since 1997, he has been working to establish the innocence of five innocent people convicted and sentenced to life without parole in the 1988 deaths of six Kansas City firefighters and is currently at work on a book about that case.
He has been a guest speaker on the subject of our broken justice system at
Santa Clara University School of Law, Southwestern School of Law - Los Angeles,
Golden State University School of Law - San Francisco, Merritt College - Oakland, California, University of Pacifica McGeorge School of Law - Sacramento, Baruch College - City University of New York, City University of New York Graduate School, Trinity College - Hartford Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University - New Britain, Connecticut, and Wesleyan University - Middletown, Connecticut.
He has lived in Naples, Florida since 2001.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected July 4, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read all of "Executing Justice" and now 30 pages away from finishing "Killing Time," it is clear that "The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal" takes the most confident stance of the three. I give the author a lot of credit for the flow of the book: It is well-organized, and it does not get bogged up in minutiae or repetition. Instead of the left-wing rant I expected it to be, it makes a reasoned case for Abu-Jamal's framing. Its prediction at the end--that Abu-Jamal would almost certainly get a new trial-- ended up being untrue. On a perhaps related note, the author, O'Connor, gives less of an authoritative impression than did the authors of the other two books I mentioned. Williams of "Executing Justice" was one of Abu-Jamal's attorneys, and Lindorff of "Killing Time" clearly spent years heavily researching the case.

O'Connor's aim is less to present an academic and thorough account-- it's more to make a persuasive case for the idea that Abu-Jamal was framed. After reading the book I agree that Abu-Jamal did not receive a fair trial and that there was plenty of police misconduct, judicial bias, and inordinate prosecutorial aggressiveness. I hesitate, however, to call it "framing" or even a conspiracy. It was too disorganized to have been a deliberate framing; it was more a matter of sloppiness, rush to judgment, and other mishaps that often occur when a black defendant must operate within the U.S. legal system.

Of the three books, I found "Executing Justice" to be the most masterful. "Killing Time" is pedantic and long-winded, with chapters that are poorly organized and lack sub-headings. "The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal" is the easiest and quickest read of the three, but it is also the least detailed. All three are solid books.
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22 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This book is highly recommended. The anti-Mumia crowd always says "READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!". Well, J. Patrick O'Connor has thoroughly read all the transcripts and has concluded that the trial was blatantly unfair, Mumia was framed by police, and that he is factually innocent!

Strong words, huh? O'Connor backs it up. He confidently argues that the actual shooter was one Kenneth Freeman, as he details in his recent interview with me at my "Journalists for Mumia" website: Check out this interview for a good preview of the book, as O'Connor lays out just how Mumia was "framed" and why he believes Kenneth Freeman was the actual shooter.

Many readers no doubt already believe that Mumia's guilty and had a fair trial. I truly hope these folks will have the courage to read this book and hear "the other side" for themselves. What can it hurt? Fortunately O'Connor is an excellent writer and the book is a smooth and easy read, tying together a controversial case that is rather complex.

This is a must read for anyone who wants to really know the facts of the case.
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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read May 27, 2008
I've been interested in the Mumia Abu-Jamal case for some time, and Mr. O'Connor's book has filled what gaps there have been for me about this case. It is not often that I read a book and feel that the author's treatment of the subject is so thorough that there would not have to be another on it for very many years. This is how I feel about Mr. O'Connor's book. He answers every question anyone would ever want to ask about this case. Obviously, he is not only an excellent writer, but also researcher. Although I do certainly understand the grief of Officer Danny Faulkner's widow, Maureen, I do now think that American justice should give Mumia Abu-Jamal another trial.

Whether you believe Mumia Abu-Jamal killed Officer Faulkner or you believe he is innocent, do read this book.
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14 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent summary of evidence May 6, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I knew little about the Mumia case and found this book an excellent, well organized summary of the evidence. O'Connor presented both the evidence against Mumia on which the jury verdict likely rested and the evidence that was overlooked or likely perjured. He also gave a candid account of the ways in which Mumia was his own worst enemy during the trial. All in all, I found that the book made a persuasive case that Mumia was innocent of the charge against him.
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Topic From this Discussion
How have they been able to frame Mumia?
Check into it, he has had appeal after appeal after appeal ... each time, same conclusion, guilty!
Aug 2, 2011 by Saxy Kat |  See all 2 posts
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