Mumia and the ultralefts

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Mar 14 07:21:03 MST 2001

[The Mumia defense has been hampered by the beginning by the "intervention"
of ultraleftists from the Maoist RCP and the Trotskyist Spartacist League.
Although it would be fair to say that the connections between these two
groups and how Mao and Trotsky comported themselves when alive is
tangential. I strongly suspect that the ultraleftists got the inside track
because the official black leadership, liberals and social democrats were
put off by the nature of Mumia's alleged crime and his political
proclivities. Needless to say, this case occupies the kind of importance
that the Scottsboro case occupied in the 1930s but lacks the kind of broad
united front encompassing revolutionary and nonrevolutionary representation
that made the Scottsboro defense effective. The RCP and the Spartacists
style their defense as "revolutionary" but in reality it has much more to
do with the kind of bonkers ultraleftism that marked Stalin's third period
and which left so many victims of class injustice victimized because of
stunts in the courtroom. Our movement grows by legal victories, not by
using the courtroom as a place to play out ultraleft fantasies.]


More Mumia madness

The convicted cop killer fires his lawyers after one complains that a
"fringe element" in the movement to free him is hurting the cause.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

By Dave Lindorff

March 14, 2001 | In a stunning turn of events in the decades-old case of
convicted cop killer and black Philadelphia journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, the
death-row inmate has fired his entire legal team. The change came following
word that one of Mumia's lawyers, Dan Williams, is about to publish an
inside account of the case, its fractious defense team and a "fringe
element" in Abu-Jamal's worldwide network of supporters that the attorney
says is undermining attempts to gain his client a new trial. . .

In "Executing Justice," Williams takes readers through the original 1982
trial in which a jury of two blacks and 10 whites convicted Abu-Jamal of
first-degree murder and sentenced him to death. And he describes a 1995
rehearing of the facts in the case, at which serious questions were raised
about the integrity of earlier prosecution witnesses. Williams argues there
is good reason to believe Abu-Jamal did not fire the first shot back in
1981, as claimed by the prosecution. Instead, he says the evidence suggests
Faulkner shot Jamal in the chest first, before being shot fatally himself.
While Williams favors a scenario that has someone else firing the fatal
shot that killed the officer, he seems to suggest that this is less
important than proving that Abu-Jamal was not the coldblooded assassin the
prosecution made him out to be. His view is that it would be much easier to
overturn Abu-Jamal's death sentence, and even his first-degree murder
conviction, than to have him declared innocent.

Williams then attacks key Abu-Jamal supporters -- including MOVE, the
controversial Philadelphia-based political and back-to-nature group that
has been backing Abu-Jamal since his initial trial, and the lawyers from
the Trotskyist Partisan Defense Committee (PDC) -- who have claimed there
exists a grand conspiracy to kill Abu-Jamal, even predating Faulkner's
shooting in 1981, through his time on death row today. Those conspiracy
advocates, who have seen the hand of everything from the FBI to Abu-Jamal's
original attorney, Anthony E. Jackson, behind his conviction, fatally
weakened his case, Williams argues.

Full article at:

Louis Proyect
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