by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
On Tuesday, November 9, Mumia Abu Jamal will be fighting for his life because, like all criminal defendants of African ancestry, he was denied the right of effective legal representation under the Sixth Amendment. Nearly eighty years ago, the Supreme Court entertained this issue for the first time.
Since Powell v. Alabama (“Scottsboro Boys”), the right of effective legal representation for Blacks has continued in its breach. One of the most glaring abuses was the “Central Park 7”. The Manhattan district attorney’s office chose to wrongfully prosecute seven, innocent, Latino and Black boys. Six were wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman. Later, newly-discovered evidence revealed prosecutorial misconduct and wrongful convictions.
The seventh boy escaped the “gallows” because his attorney chose to elevate his client’s interest over his own interest. This happened while the attorney was also being asked to deliver the heads of two other clients; namely, Tawana Brawley and Rev. Al Sharpton. Again, this attorney put the interests of his clients over his own interest.
The Cuomo administration illegally disbarred him for life. Andrew Cuomo was his father’s advisor. Blacks would reward Andrew Cuomo in 2010 even though he looked the other way, as state attorney general, while the NYPD routinely abused Blacks and Latinos on the streets of New York City.
Since that illegal disbarment, this attorney has enjoyed no income even though no person in New York has sacrificially devoted more time to redress grievances of Blacks. The Black media has censored him for life. Jesus Christ and Malcolm X, among others, suffered the same fate. Nothing has changed from time immemorial.
It is not surprising that this attorney stood alone in front of the U.S Department of Justice in Washington, DC on this past Friday to complain about electoral abuses in New York. No Black elected official, leading Black nor grassroots activist would join him. They embrace the notion of going along to get along. They are not sacrificial lambs.
The American Revolution was fought over “taxation without representation”. It is not only the main issue in the District of Columbia today but it also should be the main concern in every Black colony in the United States. Blacks reside in colonies within the United States and Dred Scott is the law in every Black colony. Crispus Attucks led the American Revolution and died in the Boston Massacre.
In 1976, I lost my first legal job because I insisted on the right of legal representation for Blacks. This was five years before Mumia was framed for killing a Philadelphia police officer. Soon after Mumia was illegally convicted for this murder, I lost another job as an attorney for attempting to protect the legal rights of the Schomburg Coalition.
If you fast-forward to January 2010, the Black, Latino and Asian members of the New York City refused to vote in favor of political representation for their constituents. Instead, they chose for Council Speaker Christine Quinn to continue to speak for them and their constituents.
On November 2, New York decided that Blacks and Latinos should rely on whites to speak for them. Andrew Cuomo had already warned them that his gubernatorial administration was for “whites only”. Nothing has changed since the first editorial in Freedom’s Journal in 1827. Negroes still believe that they are inferior to whites.
Mumia’s hearing on Tuesday, November 9 at 12:00 p.m. will be heard at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at 601 Market Street in Philadelphia, PA. He is personally fighting for his life. On the other hand, Blacks should be fighting for rights as human beings.
Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471