Mumia's New Legal Team

Lawyers Introduce Sworn Testimony Of The Real Killer

By: Mike Stark

In a dramatic turn of events, Pennsylvania death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal has fired his legal team and begun pursuing an aggressive new strategy aimed at proving his innocence.

Mumia’s decision to fire his lawyers came after the announcement that one of them, Dan Williams, had written a book about the case without Mumia’s permission -- violating important rules of conduct for an attorney. Since the book was written with the knowledge of Mumia’s lead attorney, Leonard Weinglass, Mumia asked the court to allow him to pick a new legal team -- consisting of Marlene Kamish, Nick Brown, Elliot Lee Grossman and J. Michael Farrell.

Soon after the new team came on board, Mumia began pursing a new strategy aimed at securing his immediate release. In a press conference, his attorneys released several new sworn statements putting forward a new version of what happened the night Officer Daniel Faulkner was shot. The affidavits included statements from Mumia, his brother William Cooke and, most importantly, the sworn testimony of Arnold Beverly, who admits to having shot Faulkner.

In his statement, Beverly said, "Jamal had nothing to do with the shooting... I was hired, along with another guy, and paid to shoot and kill Faulkner. I had heard that Faulkner was a problem for the mob and corrupt policemen because he interfered with the graft and payoffs made to allow illegal activity, including prostitution, gambling, drugs, without prosecution in the center city area."

To back up Beverly’s claims, Mumia’s attorneys released the results of a lie detector test.

Citing fears that Beverly’s safety might be in danger, Mumia’s attorneys filed a request to depose Beverly immediately. But Pennsylvania prosecutors have opposed a deposition.

Mumia’s attorneys were quick to point out the hypocrisy of the state’s efforts to prevent Beverly’s testimony from being heard. In a letter to federal Judge William Yohn, Mumia’s attorneys wrote, "It is a rare habeas petitioner who is able to come before the United States District Court with a full-blown confession from the true perpetrator of the offense."

Mumia also intends to file a petition before a Pennsylvania state court asking for a new trial because of the violations of his rights by his former legal team.

It remains unclear whether Yohn or any other judge will hear the new evidence. With Mumia’s life in the hands of the pro-death penalty courts, it is important that activists keep up the pressure. We must not let them silence the "Voice of the Voiceless."

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!