From the MumiaNYC Website:
Philly D.A.’s Office finds file boxes in Abu-Jamal case
by Robert Moran, Updated: January 9, 2019- 9:53 PM
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has informed a judge that prosecutors have found six boxes of files in the case of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal that may be significant to his appeals effort. Or, they could just be copies of existing documents.
In a Jan. 3 letter to Common Pleas Court Judge Leon W. Tucker, Assistant District Attorney Tracey Kavanagh wrote that the boxes were discovered Dec. 28, a day after Tucker ruled that Abu-Jamal can reargue an appeal before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
In his 36-page decision filed Dec. 27, Tucker noted that prosecutors had failed to produce two documents they were obligated to preserve while Abu-Jamal’s appeals were active. The unavailability of the documents could be prejudicial to Abu-Jamal, but the prosecutors’ conduct was not egregious, Tucker said.
Kavanagh wrote in the Jan. 3 letter that the District Attorney’s Office was reviewing the contents of the six boxes and the judge was welcome to take a look, too.
Ben Waxman, spokesperson for District Attorney Larry Krasner, said Wednesday in an email that the boxes were being made available for review to Abu-Jamal’s lawyers. The letter was released to the media Wednesday.
Kavanagh explained that on Dec. 28, “the D.A. and members of his staff went to a remote and largely inaccessible room of the District Attorney’s Office marked ‘Storage,’ looking for office furniture.”
They discovered the boxes, which were labeled with variations of Abu-Jamal’s name and were designated as “18/29, 21/29, 23/29, 24/29, 29/29. The sixth had no numbering.”
Five of the boxes also were marked with the name “McCann.” Edward McCann was a high-level supervisor in the District Attorney’s Office who left the office in 2015.
Kavanagh wrote: “This means the Commonwealth’s prior representations that it had produced the complete file for this Court’s review in this case were incorrect, although those representations were based upon a diligent search and were accurate to the best of the Commonwealth’s knowledge at the time.”
Prosecutors had previously delivered to the court what they said was their complete file in the Abu-Jamal case, which included 32 boxes with each being marked as “1 of 31, 2 of 32, 3 of 32, etc.”
Lawyers for Abu-Jamal did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday night. McCann declined to comment on the development.
In his ruling, Tucker wrote that Abu-Jamal can reargue his appeal because former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille did not recuse himself due to his prior role as Philadelphia district attorney when Abu-Jamal was appealing his case.
Abu-Jamal, 64, a former Black Panther and sometime radio reporter, is serving a life sentence for the Dec. 9, 1981, shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, 25, at 13th and Locust Streets.
Staff writer Chris Palmer contributed to this article
My own observations about this article:
1. The term “convicted cop-killer”, though technically accurate, is a common technique to lean in a specific direction while not actually being incorrect. It causes a specific reaction in the reader which very likely creates a negative feeling about someone who, in this particular case, is a compassionate, articulate person who made a decision to help others rather than himself, who was hunted by “law” enforcement and goaded into a fatal confrontation simply for being a member of a group created to help black people survive in a hostile country with a definite presence of white supremacy throughout the corridors of power – especially in the areas of law enforcement and the judicial system and who has been a model prisoner dedicated to truth and justice since his biased and unjust incarceration.
2. Is it a coincidence that one day after Judge Tucker ruled the the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office “had failed to produce two documents they were obligated to preserve while Abu-Jamal’s appeals were active” and that the unavailability of the documents “could be prejudicial to Abu-Jamal”, that these documents were mysteriously found? It is possible that if they weren’t produced that Mumia’s case would improve distinctly – possibly causing a mistrial? Or, is it also possible that a judge could possibly have signed off on a search warrant allowing defense attorneys to search for additional records? I honestly don’t have knowledge about the law to know the answer, but it is interesting to ponder the possibilities.
3. A spokesperson for D.A. Larry Krasner said “that the boxes were being made available for review to Abu-Jamal’s lawyers.” I wonder how much time will elapse between the D.A.’s office finding the boxes and the time that Mumia’s attorneys will have access to them. And, also, how many people in the D.A.’s office will be working at collating material and possibly taking papers out to put in their own “special” file.
4. “This means the Commonwealth’s prior representations that it had produced the complete file for this Court’s review in this case were incorrect, although those representations were based upon a diligent search and were accurate to the best of the Commonwealth’s knowledge at the time.” How diligent of a search? And it’s disingenuous to say it was “accurate to the best of the Commonwealth’s knowledge” since someone in their employ apparently hid that information at some point.
Also from the MumiaNYC Website:
Special Report: New and Favorable Development’s in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Saturday, January 12, 2019, 3 pm
The People’s Forum
320 West 37th Street, New York City
Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; MOVE
Johanna Fernandez, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home; History Professor, Baruch College
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
Bob Boyle, Mumia’s Civil Rights Attorney
Robyn Spencer, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home; History Professor, Lehman College