- Paperback: 274 pages
- Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1556527446
- ISBN-13: 978-1556527449
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,252,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal
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From Publishers Weekly
In this account of the trial of controversial death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, O'Connor, editor and publisher of crimemagazine.com, 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.
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
Top customer reviews
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.
Here's what you have to ignore to swallow O'Connor's premise:
Mumia, who was wearing a shoulder holster, who admitted to carrying a gun for personal safety, when found, had his gun laying beside him with five spent rounds - is that how he carried it? He said he didn't shoot anybody - (not on the court record of course) So one must believe he carried an "empty" gun. Not much for defense.
Mumia then was shot by Faulker, who arguably was shooting at who was shooting him. Or did Off. Faulkner think "any black guy will do" and shoot Mumia (who had the bad luck to be in that spot with the empty holster and gun)
The Philly PD, not caring who actually shot and killed a policeman, also said "What luck! This thorn in our side happens to be here, let's arrest him!"
According to the book, one subject, not a real "headline" player in this drama, passed a polygraph that he was the shooter! Then the book just moves on. What?
Well, he was a "poet" with a wonderful voice, so I suppose "The Conspiracy Group" needs to get this guy off the streets...... What drivel.