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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct 20, 2011 / 22 Tishrei, 5772

After husband is murdered, 30 long years of phone calls

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | PHILADELPHIA — In California last Tuesday, Maureen Faulkner's telephone began ringing at 6:30 a.m. When she looked down and saw the instant onslaught of calls from the 215 and 610 area codes, she knew they would bring bad news. After 30 years, she's grown accustomed to getting bad news by phone.

Hugh Burns, a good friend and tireless advocate from the appellate division of the District Attorney's Office, was the one to finally tell her that the U.S. Supreme Court had cleared the way for the man who killed Police Officer Daniel Faulkner to receive a new sentencing trial. Prosecutors can take on another sentencing hearing in the hopes of again winning a death sentence against Mumia Abu-Jamal, or close the case and allow him to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.

While the decision will technically be made by District Attorney Seth Williams, he has always promised to be deferential to Maureen's wishes. No one can deny that she's earned that right — the right to put an end to the jarring early-morning interruptions, the first of which she answered at 6236 Harley St., at 4 a.m. on Dec. 9, 1981.

After Abu-Jamal was convicted and sentenced to death for Faulkner's murder, there was relative peace for a few years. Maureen moved west, while her husband's killer became a cause celebre.

A turning point came in 1991, when the phone rang with the news that the Yale Law Journal had printed an essay written by Abu-Jamal. The following year, it rang again, this time bringing word of Pacifica Radio Network's decision to air his social commentaries. In the spring of 1995, more bad news by phone: Addison Wesley was publishing the first of Abu-Jamal's many books.

Maureen took none of these insults lying down. In '95, she hired an airplane — like those she'd often seen passing over the Shore — to fly a banner around the publisher announcing that they were supporting a cop killer.

When her phone rang Aug. 9, 1995, it was to alert her to a full-page ad in the New York Times, wherein a group of celebrities — including Alec Baldwin, Danny Glover, Molly Ivins, Spike Lee, Michael Stipe, Joanne Woodward, and dozens more — lent their support to her husband's killer.

The calls were constant in 1995, 1996, and 1997, when Abu-Jamal was given Post-Conviction Relief Act hearings, each of which Maureen attended. She still recalls learning of the December 1995 publication of a biased piece in support of Abu-Jamal in the American Lawyer, as well as the July 1996 airing of a slanted HBO documentary.

In January 1999, the ringing was to alert her to a "teach-in" supportive of her husband's killer to be held in Oakland, Calif., public schools. On Jan. 14, 1999, she was awakened to the news that a benefit concert for Abu-Jamal, headlined by Rage Against the Machine, had sold out. Yet another notification in October 2003 brought news that Paris had named Abu-Jamal an honorary citizen.

Perhaps the worst call came a few days before Christmas in 2001, when Burns relayed the news that U.S. District Judge William Yohn had ruled that Abu-Jamal was entitled to a new sentencing hearing. Though Abu-Jamal's guilt was not in question, a new sentencing hearing would essentially entail revisiting all the evidence supporting the original conviction for first-degree murder — and thus, the details of Officer Faulkner's death.

Truth is, Maureen Faulkner's phone hasn't stopped ringing for 30 years. And she would be pleased to let it keep ringing for the rest of her life if her efforts didn't appear so fruitless. But now she knows she's been victimized twice. Once by Abu-Jamal and once by the legal process.

Pennsylvania's death penalty exists in name only. It is a sham and a fiction. We have it and don't use it — not even when the wrongdoer has killed a cop.

Indeed, Maureen Faulkner is far from the only widow dreading yet another bad-news call. Pennsylvania alone has 208 death-row inmates. Ed Rendell, who was the district attorney when Officer Faulkner was killed, signed 119 death warrants during his eight years in Harrisburg. No one was executed.

Among those festering on death row is a cadre of Philadelphia cop killers, including several who have been there for the better part of two decades. Abu-Jamal may have been around long enough to earn the moniker "Pops," but he isn't alone.

In fact, the only death-row inmates who actually meet their prescribed fate are those who give up their seemingly endless appeals — in other words, the ones who ask for death.

So goes the empty implementation of what passes for capital punishment here. The most heinous criminals need not worry about actually facing the punishment a jury of their peers selected. Victims, widows, and loved ones, meanwhile, are destined for a lifetime of thinking twice each time the phone rings.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Previously:


10/13/11 Black women should only marry out of their race?
08/31/11 Some political gaffes really say something
07/27/11 An overture of candidates' theme songs
06/28/11 Where's the app for common sense?
06/02/11 Over-scrutinizing lives costs us potential leaders
04/19/11 Taking a chance to say, ‘Hi’
04/06/11 Race policies should be altered to reflect new demographic reality
11/10/10 Delaware's independent, but short-lived, voice
11/03/10 Papers should leave endorsing to others
10/21/10 Media help to hype perception of bullying
09/23/10 Officer down, killer hyped up
08/04/10 Documents highlight Pakistan's shortcomings as a U.S. ally
07/06/10 On taking back Sept. 11
06/29/10 Name elite corps to develop energy independence?
04/21/10 New account reinforces a serviceman's valor
03/11/10 Medical profession must police itself better
02/18/10 One-trick athletes
02/09/10 Active, retired law officers should be able to carry guns on planes to help stop terrorists
02/04/10 How to bring tech up to speed
01/28/10 Campaign donations must be fully and immediately disclosed online
01/07/10 The flying emperor still has no clothes, and no one is willing to say so
12/24/09 A law to mandate college football playoffs?
12/17/09 Cheney's abuse of freedom of speech
11/26/09 The true cost of freedom from anxiety
10/27/09 If GOP wants to win in 2012, it must reshape its primary process
10/08/09 It's time to get smarter on extended school day
09/03/09 What a summer of eulogizing flawed public figures reveals about society
08/12/09 It's time for cyclists and motorists to reconcile
08/05/09 Faces have changed, but vitriol remains
06/25/09 Fair comment or foul? Warm up the Muzzle Meter
06/08/09 Believability is key in crime-hoax villains
05/14/09 Did Hollywood inspire the meltdown men?
04/20/09 Let's give killers their due: Anonymity
03/12/09 Uninsured who can't afford medical care lose a lot more
02/06/09 My debate with Musharraf on hunt for bin Laden
01/29/09 Torture must remain an option
01/15/09 Making a case for suing Madoff
12/22/08 A difficult but rational chat about ‘plans’
12/17/08 Facebook epidemic: More than 120 million have joined, many too old for this nonsense
12/01/08 The high price of downsizing the news biz
11/14/08 Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system
09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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