Exclusive! New Test Shows Key Witnesses Lied at Abu-Jamal Trial; Sidewalk Murder Scene Should Have Displayed Bullet Impacts
As for Cynthia White, though she claimed to have been standing on the sidewalk by the intersection of 13th and Locust, just feet from the shooting, no witness at the trial, including Chobert, claimed to have seen her there. Furthermore, White’s story about the shooting changed dramatically over time, as she was repeatedly picked up for prostitution, and each time, was brought down to the Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit, where she was questioned again and again about what she had seen. In her first interview with detectives, she said she saw Abu-Jamal shoot the officer several times before Faulkner fell to the ground. A week later, she said it had been one or two shots that were fired before the officer fell to the ground. A month later, in January, 1982, she was talking about only one shot being fired before Faulkner was on the ground--the version of her account that she eventually presented at trial.
Given the already problematic nature of both Chobert’s and White’s sworn testimony, this new gun test evidence demonstrating that there certainly should have been obvious bullet marks located around Faulkner’s body if, as both these “eye-witnesses” testified under oath, he had been fired at repeatedly at point blank range by a shooter straddling Faulkner’s prone body, the whole prosecution story of an execution-style slaying of the officer by Abu-Jamal would appear to be a prosecution fabrication, complete with coached, perjured witnesses, undermining the integrity and fairness of the entire trial, as well as the subsequent death sentence.
Told about the results of the their gun test, and asked four questions to explain the lack of photographic evidence or testimony about bullet impact marks in the sidewalk around Faulkner’s body, the Philadelphia DA’s office offered only a non-response, saying, “The murderer has been represented over the past twenty plus years by a multitude of lawyers, many of whom have closely reviewed the evidence for the sole purpose of finding some basis to overturn the conviction. As you know, none has succeeded, and Mr. Abu-Jamal remains what the evidence proved - a murderer.”
Robert R. Bryan, lead attorney for Abu-Jamal, informed of the results of the gun test, and shown a copy of the resulting marks on the concrete, said, "Wow. This is extraordinarily important new evidence that establishes clearly that the prosecutor and the Philadelphia Police Department were engaged in presenting knowingly false testimony to a jury in a case involving the life of my client. The evidence not only demonstrates the falsity of the prosecution's story about how the shooting occurred, and of the effort to portray the shooting to the jury as an execution-style slaying. It raises serious questions as to whether either of the two key witnesses actually were witnesses to the shooting."
Courts – federal and state – have over the years rejected all evidentiary challenges and all but one procedural error in the Abu-Jamal case, despite granting legal relief on the same issues as those raised by Abu-Jamal in dozens of other Pennsylvania murder cases--including a few cases involving the murder of police officers.