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City mocked for standing against execution

Wednesday August 15, 2001


I’m surprised that your editor’s story on the San Francisco Chronicle’s attack on Berkeley made no reference to its editorial cartoon (Aug. 9), which lists “To Stop Mumia’s Execution” among the sins of a City Council wearing a Mao cap. 

A hit man, Arnold Beverly, has confessed that he and another, Kenneth Freeman, now dead, were hired by the mob and corrupt police to kill, and did kill, Officer Faulkner, and that Mumia Abu-Jamal had nothing whatever to do with it. Beverly says that the contract was because Faulkner “interfered with the graft and payoffs made to allow illegal activity” such as prostitution, gambling and drugs. 

On July 19, Federal Judge William H. Yohn refused to allow Beverly to be deposed on the grounds that new evidence of Mumia’s “actual innocence” is not admissible!  

He cited the very recent Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which requires that the facts of the case as determined by the state court “shall be presumed to be correct.” 

He also cited the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court in Herrara v Collins, ruling that a “potential claim for actual innocence...absent an independent constitutional violation, may not be the subject of a federal habeas petition.”  

This means that an innocent person may be executed if the Constitution was adhered to in procedure! 

On Beverly’s charge against the Philadelphia police, in 1995 six Philadelphia police officers pled guilty to charges of falsifying evidence and planting drugs. In an affidavit filed with Mumia’s new appeal in state court, former FBI paid informer Donald Hersing documents Philadelphia police involvement in protection rackets and payoffs, exactly as Beverly states. Alphonso Giordano, the ranking officer on the scene of Faulkner’s murder, and a key witness at Mumia’s preliminary hearing, was never called to the trial itself because of corruption charges hanging over his head, which later led to his resignation from the force. 

Mumia has been in prison for twenty years.  

That is longer than one serves for murder, unless deliberately intended beforehand, which the prosecution did not charge and which is a requirement for the death sentence.  

In any case, therefore, he should go free. 



Bill Mandel