New Forensic Test By Leading Mumia Experts Shows That — Surprise! — The Mumia Trial Was A Complete Sham
Tonight at the Merriam Theater, local director Tigre Hill will premiere The Barrel of a Gun, his long-in-coming doc about the case of that most divisive of Philadelphians, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Hill has characterized his doc as being some kind of final word on the case, even going so far as to hint as some big reveal in the picture, but really, the fix is in: It’s been clear for a while that Hill’s film sides with the Michael Smerconish/Maureen Faulkner Anti-Mumia Industrial Complex, such as it is, and in point of fact, the premiere doubles as a benefit for The Daniel Faulkner Educational Grant Fund, with tickets costing $46.99 — Faulkner’s badge number. (We’ll have more on Hill’s film tomorrow.)
But as it happens, the truly big reveal comes today not from The Barrel of a Gun but from two leading experts on the Mumia case — Philadelphia Tribune columnist Linn Washington, who arrived at the crime scene on the night of December 9, 1981 and has been covering the case ever since, and Dave Lindorff, author of Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. In a report published on This Can’t Be Happening, the duo conducted a forensic test that gets to the heart of Abu-Jamal’s trial: If he was guilty, where was the evidence?
Meaning this: The prosecution’s case was centered around the idea that Abu-Jamal shot Faulkner in the back and then stood over him at point blank range and fired four times – hitting the officer once. One question that has come up before is that if three bullets missed the officer, then why were traces of the bullets or the bullets themselves not recovered in and around the sidewalk? No marks were ever found in the concrete, nor was there any evidence of report on concrete dust or debris on Faulkner of Abu-Jamal. In Lindorff and Washington’s test, described in detail in the video above, the pair prove that, if indeed it all happened the way the prosecution said it did, the police should have had evidence that, in reality, simply wasn’t there. Lindorff and Washington come away from the test making two key points: Key evidence was missing, and that its absence also points to the idea that two key witnesses in the trial lied (and in all likelihood were coached to lie) on the stand.
None of this is to say that Abu-Jamal was guilty or innocent. That’s a can of worms that can, and should, only ever be truly opened again by a high court. What it does point to is the simple fact: This trial, and the myriad ways that it was botched in 1982, was a sham. And nobody will ever shut up about it until the case is tried again.