Talk:Mumia Abu-Jamal

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WP:BRD[edit]

Ok, so my "B" was "R"'d; now I'm here to "D". I changed the sentence "the events that led to his incarceration" to "he murdered Daniel Faulkner". This was reverted, with the summary "this won't do". May I ask, "Why?". His murdering Faulkner was what led to his incarceration. Why must we dance around the direct facts? Joefromrandb (talk) 18:59, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

This was added once before recently by an IP, and I reverted it. I tried to find a date to avoid the issue, but, unfortunately, the full text of the article is not online, so I have no idea when it happened. In the context of explaining his personal life, it seems wrong - and is certainly jarring - to use the phrase "he murdered Dankiel Faulkner", and it was a judgment call on my part to remove it. The current less aggressive text is perfectly accurate (assuming the source says what it's supposed to), so I don't see why we need to change it. It would really help to know the date as "shortly before" is ambiguous.--Bbb23 (talk) 19:07, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Assuming the IP that previously added it is no longer editing the article, perhaps WP:3O would be helpful. I realize you find it "jarring". I, however, find it unencyclopedic to to use what seems to amount to little more than euphasim. As it now seems to be only the two of us disagreeing about this, perhaps other editors will weigh in here. Joefromrandb (talk) 19:14, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks to the efforts of User:DrKiernan, it looks like our problem has been solved.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:27, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. Joefromrandb (talk) 20:29, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

I too am troubled with the "when gunfire broke out, injuring Abu-Jamal and killing Faulkner." edit. Jogershok (talk) 05:08, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

The opening sentence that Mumia "is an American prisoner convicted for the December 1981 murder..." seems ambiguous and misleading to me. Other convicted murderers of note are not described in their articles as "American prisoners" or have the more passive language of "convicted for". There does not appear to be any factual evidence to suggest a wrongful conviction, so I prefer the language that I had proposed, Mumia "was convicted of the December 1981 capital murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. After being convicted of murder he was sentenced to death on July 3, 1982. That sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment without parole in December 2011." That seems more direct and factual to me than, Mumia "is an American prisoner convicted for the December 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His original sentence of death, handed down at his trial in July 1982, was commuted to life imprisonment without parole in December 2011." Also, it is not factually correct that the sentencing was done at his trial. The trial determined guilt or innocence and then the sentencing determined the sentence. I do not want to simply revert back without some discussion here first. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wcmcdade (talkcontribs) 20:08, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
Secondly, I added "by Mumia Abu-Jamal" in the sentence "Officer Faulkner was shot dead by Mumia Abu-Jamal in Philadelphia while he was conducting a traffic stop on Abu-Jamal's brother, William Cook." I think that it clarifies who is who in the original crime. I also prefer to leave in the documented fact that "Abu-Jamal was seen running towards the officer and his brother." This establishes how Mumia arrived at a scene where the officer was killed without getting in to too much detail about his cab or the nature of the red light district neighborhood, etc. These edits can be made in the opening paragraphs and still maintain the 5 paragraph rule.
Lastly, I think that I agree with other comments about the WP rule, Calling a Spade a Spade. The article lacks the information about the organizations that existed at the time that were actively working to bring anarchy and undermine the elected government (under the guise of liberalism). We don't have enough information in the article about the subversive activities of the organization MOVE that worked from the evening of Mumia's arrest to discredit all prosecutorial efforts around Mumia's case because he was considered a brother in the MOVE organization. Understanding the motivations and activities of MOVE and other organizations would help people understand why a controversy was manufactured (in this case - but certainly not all cases) in the first place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wcmcdade (talkcontribs) 20:28, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
The lead is phrased in that way so as not to choose one side of the debate over the other: i.e. not choosing the side that he is a murderer over the side that he is a political prisoner. Your draft states without qualification that Abu-Jamal shot Faulkner, but the other side would argue that he did not. For myself, I dislike the repetition of "convicted of murder" in one sentence after the other. We've already been told he was convicted of murder, so we don't need to be told it again in the very next sentence. DrKiernan (talk) 20:39, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
One thing I agree with is repeating "convicted murder" is repetitious. I think that I would settle for "After being convicted he was..." I do not think that there is any substantive evidence as to innocence anywhere. There was a lot of support for Mumia around the objection to a death penalty. Many of his celebrity "supporters" have stated when questioned that they objected to the death penalty but had no opinion on whether or not Mumia was guilty of the crime. So if there is any real debate it would be a death penalty debate, not guilt vs innocence debate. I have no interest in Mumia Pro/Con, but I can't find anything that can credibly suggest that he is innocent. I hope that you address my other concerns/questions as well. Also, I'd like to have a third party weigh-in here to help move us along. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wcmcdade (talkcontribs) 21:00, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
So I think that the language on the opening paragraph in my draft, "He was sentenced to death on July 3, 1982. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison on December 2011." is more direct and encyclopedic than "His original death sentence, handed down after his trial in July 1982, was commuted to life in prison on December 2011". My objection to your version is: 1. There was only ever one death sentence. So saying that it was "His original death sentence..." is inaccurate and misleading. 2. "handed down after his trial" is passive and begs the questions "who" handed down this sentence, and was there someone else involved other than the jury and judge? The edit I propose is more direct, provides additional information, is non-judgmental, and conveys the same meaning in the same number of words. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wcmcdade (talkcontribs) 17:42, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Leaving out why the Activists et al had a concern confuses readers who are not familiar with that time in history or this case. I like the edit that you made about fairness of the trial, but I think that we have to introduce the concept of racism here to accurately set up why there is a controversy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wcmcdade (talkcontribs) 17:45, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
BRD does not mean that you revert after coming to the talk page. It means you wait for consensus before restoring the new material. DrKiernan (talk) 17:58, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Don't see significant discussion about why he is controversial[edit]

Most people know about Mumia Abu Jamal because the supporters of him are very vocal. This article explains why he may be guilty, and it does so from a seemingly neutral standpoint. It doesn't seem to explain why he is considered innocent by so many. I read this article and feel like I understand why he may be considered guilty, I don't understand why he may be considered innocent. I've seen other featured articles that seem to have a suttle bias. Honestly I'm probably for that bias, but I would really like to know WHY Copenhagen has made him an honorary citizen, rather than simply that it has. Flizvoz (talk) 01:29, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

I just read the article and came to the same conclusion. I have no idea from the text why some people think he is innocent. Surely there must be more than what is presented here?Nojamus (talk) 05:13, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
It's pretty well spelled out: accusations of racism, and of a police conspiracy to frame him. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:21, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I've heard almost no one in Philadelphia considers him innocent. I don't even think he claims he innocent. That's not to say one has to be innocent to get an unfair trail. But his trial seemed rather ordinary, except that I think he defended himself-always a bad idea, lawyers will say. The case of Copenhagen honoring him, I think, is a result of rumor and conspiracy mongering.

The people in Europe hear rumors passed on by supporters which are many fold removed from the facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:DA8:D800:107:E842:6A5A:974C:D01A (talk) 15:28, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

does the introductory section give enough weight to the controversy surrounding Mumia's case?[edit]

Hey Wikipedians. I'd like to put out the idea that the introductory section to this article gives a somewhat inappropriate equal-weight summary of the two 'sides' of the controversy surrounding Mumia (said controversy being central to his noteworthiness, and thus inclusion in Wikipedia). As is demonstrated further along in the article, i.e. in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumia_Abu-Jamal#Popular_support_and_opposition Mumia is noteworthy not for his detractors (which are listed in the article as including the police, those who prosecuted him and the family of the victim...as these are rather obvious detractors, they hardly merit designation as some kind of substantive 'opposition' imho) but for his supporters. I think the paragraph beginning 'Supporters and opponents disagreed on the death penalty' would be more informative to the reader if it reflected this, perhaps indicating the noteworthiness of his supporters (e.g. Amnesty, Human Rights Watch), instead of implying something that isn't backed up later on. 174.91.143.35 (talk) 05:37, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

It's difficult reading through the first few sections to see what the controversy could be: there appears to be no case for the defence and enough evidence for a prosecution. If there is more to the case than this, (ie. if, in fact, there is a case for the defence), then I agree it needs to be highlighted earlier on in the article. OldSquiffyBat (talk) 08:23, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
That's part of the problem. Pro-Mumia support relies on accusations of racism on the part of the judge & jury, and accusations that the police framed Mumia because of his political activism. It's difficult to find reliable sources that go into more detail than that, as is the nature of conspiracy theories. There's more detail in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mumia Abu-Jamal on the inconsistencies in various witness' testimony & questions about the evidence. It's more complicated than can really fit in the article about him, so it's better covered in the article on the trial. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:40, 11 July 2012 (UTC)


Today is the first day I have heard of Mumia Abu Jamal. I had hoped to understand why there is so much support for him. Unfortunately, after reading this article, I came away with the impression that the evidence was simply against him and that he was rightfully imprisoned. There is scant information as to why there is seemingly so much popular support and opposition. Are the accusations of racism of merit? If so, I can believe that as it happens all the time. However, I get the impression that the race matters were addressed during subsequent appeals and he had nothing to stand on. I say all this simply to agree with the above wikipedians and say that I am truly confused as to why people are backing Abu-Jamal. Racism alone won't generate the amount of support this man seems to have and I would like this article to better articulate that. – BAKURA (talk) 19:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I totally agree, I came to this article for the same reason, and there seems to be no summary or discussion at all about why he is considered innocent by so many? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.60.162.192 (talk) 02:20, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

There isn't much discussion of why he may be innocent because there is absolutely no evidence that he is. What is in the article is all there is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.45.32.75 (talk) 10:34, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

The evidence of his quilt is overwhelming and the final court decision was to question only the sentencing instructions given by Judge SABO as flawed. At his trial, Mumia was his own worst enemy by his behavior which resulted in his removal from the proceedings. Little wonder a jury, with 2 black jurors, took only 3 hours to return with a death sentence. Some of his supporters are not convinced of his innocence but are in his camp due to many reason including their general opposition to capital punishment. [1] Mike Ferral, actor and life-long opponent of capital punishment, writes to ABC's 20/20, "I don't, personally, hold Mumia Abu-Jamal as a hero. I don't know the man. He is obviously very intelligent and very articulate, and he just as obviously holds views that do not endear him to the establishment. Nor do they make him a character with whom the general public is likely to easily find sympathy."[2] Jogershok (talk) 16:05, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

References

Weirdly prescient...as I was thinking the same thing[edit]

I just read a news article that led me to Nixon's Enemies List which led me to the actor Paul Newman. It said he was an activist who supported Mumia Abu-Jamal. So I come here. But reading the article makes it no clearer to me, as a European, as to why so many people thought this was a gross miscarriage of justice?

As a neutral reader I have not been able to establish just how the crime created such a fuss. Particularly as the shooting is just explained in a few very bland statements. I don't see, as the rebuttal details are separate, where it all became an attempt to incriminate an innocent man? Abu-Jamal is at the scene, wounded, five spent shell casings from his gun, wearing a holster near to a dead cop that has his bullets in him.

I think this article is failing because its attempt at neutrality are curtailed by its authors "NOT" having a neutral POV as they are presenting the case with presumptive attitudes. The narrative just seems to make leaps without explaining the exposition. For instance, the doubts to guilt are not explicitly expressed only listed as to what they are.

As I noted above, Abu-Jamal was there at the scene with the gun that shot the officer. So why is there no clear and simple steps to explain why so many people think he is innocent? Was another person caught? Did Abu-Jamal lose the gun and then it turn up at the crime scene? Was everybody who was a witness just lying? TBH and it's because I am not a legal person, I thought all the rebuttal to the procedural stuff was trying to suggest there was no actual evidence exonerating Abu-Jamal as the shooter; therefore his legal defence has been discredit all the incriminating evidence? If that is right then? This article needs to written as per WP:SPADE.

It is not difficult this article just needs to make these points clearer as it would sure help a lot, because quite frankly I think article is unjustified in its present form and is more a platform (as per WP:SOAP) for people with an issue over the sentence than actually the promulgation of information. 109.149.209.214 (talk) 22:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Seeking help with another article that stirs controversy[edit]

In general, I find the tone of discussion in this article to be civil and attempting to be balanced. I am trying to add information to the article of Oscar Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist convicted of Sedition, use of force in armed robbery and other crimes. He was convicted as part of a conspiracy involving over a dozen other nationalist members of the FALN, some of whome were convicted of bombings that killed and maimed individuals. But the article read, when I arrived, as if this was a clean cut case of a political prisoner inappropriately jailed for his beliefs. I am conscious that one person's freedom fighter is another person's terrorist, but that does not mean we can not reach a balanced discussion of the facts.

But enough of an introduction: my question is how can wikipedia arrive on a way to mediate better these articles. I sense they have done a reasonable job here, how can that be expanded to something like Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has become the Mumia for the cause of Puerto Rican independence.Any help would be appreciated.Rococo1700 (talk) 23:05, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Broken link for Guilty And Framed[edit]

The "courttv" link is now a link to their rebranding materials.

I found a copy of what I think is the same article:

http://stuarttaylorjr.com/content/guilty-and-framed — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiseebs (talkcontribs) 19:27, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

NPOV is critical Wiki policy. Ref sites that have gathered facts pro/con Mumia's guilt are acceptable[edit]

Hi Helpsome, FOP can be considered a reliable source - same as with justice.danielfaulkner.com, the Feminist Wire, and/or Mumia's own books. They may all disagree about the fairness of the trial or capital punishment and having differing POV's, but as long as they're being used to source factual information that is written in a NPOV manner then they are appropriate for Wikipedia. Please stop removing/altering sources that are critical of Mumia's guilt, e.g. the FOP ref and the article "D.A.: Abu-Jamal can go rot in cell" from Philly.com. Wcmcdade (talk) 20:45, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

It is an incredibly biased source and you are slipping it in where there are already two references. It isn't needed because there is no new information being added. Helpsome (talk) 22:12, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

What information from this source is biased?Wcmcdade (talk) 20:42, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Seriously? The link opens with "Danny Faulkner was the kind of young man every father and mother wants for a son, every child wants for a brother and every person wants for a friend." as if this was a verifiable statement of objective truth. For an article to open with this statement, everything that follows shows a clear conflict of interest which makes it an unreliable source. Helpsome (talk) 11:01, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm a regular volunteer over at Third Opinion, the request made there for a 3O has been removed because there has not been sufficient discussion of this matter before seeking assistance. All forms of moderated content dispute resolution at Wikipedia require a thorough discussion before asking for help. I won't say more than this, but neither the question of whether a source is biased nor the fact that a source is being used to "source factual information that is written in a NPOV manner" determines whether or not a source is a reliable source. The actual standard is set out here. Consider the reliable sources noticeboard for advice, but not dispute resolution, concerning reliable sources. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 22:25, 2 December 2014 (UTC)