Apparently some of the humane and high-minded opponents of the death penalty are willing to make an exception for Mumia Abu-Jamal:
.... leaders and individual board members of several of the organizations in the US abolitionist movement had signed... a “confidential” memorandum ... stating bluntly that, “As international representatives of the US abolition movement, we cannot agree to the involvement of Abu-Jamal or his lawyers....”The ins and outs of Mumia's case are complicated, Lord knows, and I don't pretend to have an opinion on whether he did the deed or not. But I don't care, either. A defeat for the cop lobby would make me very happy, a victory, very much the reverse.
.... [T]itled, “Involvement of Mumia Abu-Jamal endangers the US coalition for abolition of the death penalty,” the memo .... asserted that the abolitionist movement in the US is trying to “cultivate” the support of the ultra-conservative and staunchly pro-death penalty Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), an organization representing some 35,000 police officers in the US that advocates the execution of Abu-Jamal and all other prisoners convicted of killing of police officers. The FOP, said the memo, has “announced a boycott of organizations and individuals who support Abu-Jamal,” and therefore anything done ... to aid his cause would be “dangerously counter-productive to the abolition movement in the US.”
The nightstick lobby has become such a political heavyweight that like the Israel lobby, they now find themselves looking for more battles to win. Doesn't matter what the battles are, in any substantive way; the point is to keep winning 'em. These gurney cases are a good choice: they appeal to public sadism and moral panic, and drive home the essential lesson that if the police don't like you, you could, well, get killed.
If there's anything to this story about "realistic" abolitionists trying to curry favor with the toilet-plunger Praetorians, it falls into a familiar pattern -- a little like Daily Kos' sick soldier-worship.