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PRESS RELEASE: New Mumia Abu-Jamal crime scene photos unveiled for the first time in the United States, during the week of Abu-Jamal’s May 17 oral arguments at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
View the photos at: Abu-Jamal-News.com
Speaking in Philadelphia on Friday, May 18, German author, Dr. Michael Schiffmann presented findings from his new book (not yet published in the US) “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. Professor Michael Schiffmann traveled from Germany to Philadelphia to observe Abu-Jamal’s May 17 oral arguments before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Along with original ballistics analysis, Schiffmann unveiled explosive new crime scene photos from the morning of December 9, 1981, taken by press photographer Pedro P. Polakoff, III.
In 1982, Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing 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.”
Below are quotes about the crime scene photos from Robert R. Bryan, Linn Washington, Jr., and Dave Lindorff.
ROBERT R. BRYAN
The newly discovered photographs reveal the fact that the police were actively manipulating evidence at the homicide scene. For example, their moving the police officer's hat from the roof of Billy Cook's vehicle to the sidewalk to make the scene more emotionally dramatic was fraudulent and criminal. It was as if they were setting up a scene, putting in props for a movie to be shot. That is incredible.
Further, the incompetent manner in which the police at the scene dealt with the evidence is mind-boggling. You would expect better from cops in some little town in Alabama or Mississippi, than what we see in this case in Philadelphia. The most stunning example was the photograph in which one sees Police Officer James Forbes holding both pistols found at the scene in one hand, bare-handed! This is unthinkable. A nitwit could do better. Why were there no fingerprint tests? Why no ballistic examinations? It reminds me of a scene from "The Keystone Cops," the way the evidence was being handled and manipulated, except this was not funny. The fraud and incompetence of the police had very tragic consequences for my client. Today Mumia Abu-Jamal continues to sit on Pennsylvania's death row.
Mumia was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. The police and prosecution trampled upon his constitutional rights. It is disgusting and shameful, as I pointed out on May 17 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
My goal is to win a new trial and walk Mumia Abu-Jamal out of that courtroom a free person. I want an acquittal, so that my client can go home to his wife and family.
--Robert R. Bryan is the lead attorney for Mumia Abu-Jamal. He can be contacted via email: RobertRBryan@aol.com
LINN WASHINGTON, JR.
This series of photographs damage the prosecution's case significantly because they graphically show police tampering with and manipulating the crime scene...which
is totally improper. Of particular significance is the fact that these photographs provide graphic evidence contradicting the core of the case against Abu-Jamal. The account of Abu-Jamal firing at the fallen officer is shown to be false because there are no bullet holes and/or embedded bullets consistent with the physics of this account. Further, claims that the eyewitness cab driver, Robert Chobert, was parked behind the officer's car are also shown false because there is no cab in any of the photos.