Guest Editorial By Mary Morello

The Microphone: The Mass Mic Newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 1
November 1999

This time I want to talk about the concert Rage Against the machine, Beastie Boys, etc. sponsored to raise funds for the defense of Mumia Abu Jamal.

In Illinois in the last few years 11 men on death row have been released when evidence was discovered that someone else was guilty of the crime for which they had been sentenced. Eleven men who would have died if further evidence had not been discovered exonerating them: sloppy police work, prosecuting attorneys only cariut getting guilty verdicts to add numbers totheir convictions and not caring about justice.

A professor at Northwester Univeristy and three of his students have been responsible for at least five people being freed from death row. They looked into cases and discovered that there was no way the people on death row could have been foudn guilty and they proved their innocence.

Therefore why is it so strange in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal who is on death row, that there might be evidence which could prove that he is not gilty. 1. Mumia was shot at the time the officer was killed. Two policemen accompanied him to the hospital and not until between two and three months later did the cops announce that Mumia had confessed to the crime while he was being attended by a Doctor in the hospital. The Doctor who treated Mumia said that Mumia had not confessed. 2. No test was made, ever, to see if Mumia's gun had been recently fired after the incident, nor were his hands ever tested for having recently fired a gun. 3. The bullet taken from the officer's brain was a .44 caliber (Mumia'as gun, a .38 caliber could not have possibly fired the bullet.). 4. Various witnesses said that hey saw someone run from the scene. 5. Mumia's counsel was completely incompetent; he had not nor did he ever interview any of the witnesses. 6. A witness, Veronica Jones saw two men run from the scene, but after questioning by the police and being threatened (she was in jail at the time of the questioning) the police threatened her with a ten year prison sentence if she helped Mumia's defense. In 1996, she admitted that she had seen two men run from the scene and lied previously because of the threat from the police. After hearing the '96 testimony Judge Sabo ordered her jailed on an old bad check warrant and she was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.

So What do you think????

When a cop is shot someone must be found guilty. As my son Tom says, "...all rational thinking goes out the window." A cop being killed is no different that any other person being killed. They choose their profession.

I do not understand the governor of New Jersey, who should be intelligent, Howard Stern, who may not be, and others who were implicated in condemning the concert! Is it too hard for them to believe that charges are sometimes trumped up, to at least have some kind of an open mind when it comes to a person being guilty or not guilty especially when there is evidence to the contrary.

Amnesty International, a co-sponsor of the concert, is absolutely correct in demanding a new, fair trial for Mumia Abu Jamal. The death penalty in the United States is arbitrary, racist, is cruel and unusual punishment, and should not exist.

- Mary Morello