Myth # 16

Jamal’s lawyers argue that the prosecution case depended on the idea that Officer Faulkner shot Jamal after he had fallen to the ground. Then they argue that the angle at which Jamal was shot (downward from the chest to the lower back) makes this impossible. Therefore, they conclude, someone else shot Faulkner and Jamal is innocent.

To support this theory Jamal’s attorneys presented Dr. James Hayes as their witness at the 1995 PCRA hearing. Dr. Hayes, a Pathologist, stated that the downward angle of Jamal’s wound made it impossible for him to have been shot by someone who was sitting on the ground. Dr. Hayes’ testimony is often presented as proof positive that Jamal is innocent. It is further argued that had a pathologist testified in Jamal’s behalf in 1982, he would have been acquitted.



The case against Jamal did not depend on the idea that Officer Faulkner shot him after already having fallen to the ground. This “prosecution theory” was simply made up by Jamal’s current attorneys and attached to the prosecution in an attempt to display for Jamal’s followers outside the courtroom how weak the case against Jamal was.

In fact, the evidence seems to show that, after Jamal shot him in the back, Officer Faulkner was either still standing up or was in the process of falling when he shot Jamal. Despite what Jamal’s attorneys argue, the prosecution has never attempted to establish how Jamal received his chest wound. The simple fact is, nobody saw how Jamal was shot.

Whatever the angle at which he was hit, 4 eyewitnesses (including defense witness Robert Harkins) saw Jamal proceed to shoot Officer Faulkner to death as he lay on the ground. Only in the twisted minds of Jamal’s most crazed devotees would the minor dispute about the angle of Jamal’s wound matter.



In the 1995 PCRA hearing, Jamal called a pathologist, Dr. John Hayes, supposedly to refute trial testimony by Cynthia White, who supposedly had said that Officer Faulkner had shot Jamal while Faulkner was lying on the ground on his back.

The first problem with Jamal’s theory is that Ms. White had never said any such thing:

Q. Were you able to see the police officer fire anything at the man who shot him?

MR. JACKSON: Objection. There’s no indication that the police officer shot, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Can you rephrase the question?

Q. Were you able to see the police officer do anything to the defendant?

A. [Cynthia White]: No.

Q. Did you see the police officer once he was reaching and apparently grabbing something and falling down? Were you able to see the police officer’s arm?

A. No.

Q. Why not?

A. Because Jamal was standing over him. Jamal’s back was like towards me. He was blocking my view from the police officer.
N.T. 6/21/82, 4.104-105.

That Faulkner shot Jamal is undisputed; the bullet removed from Jamal’s chest matched identically the riffling pattern found in Faulkner’s service revolver. However, no eyewitness was able to say exactly when, or how, or at what angle, the officer managed to shoot Jamal after having been shot by him in the back (e.g., N.T. 6/19/82, 269; 6/25/82, 8.64).

Dr. Hayes, moreover, testified on cross-examination in 1995 that he had been misled as to the underlying facts of the shooting by Jamal’s lawyers. (We’ve all been there, Doctor). On direct examination, Dr. Hayes stated that the angle of Jamal’s injury made it impossible for Officer Faulkner to have shot him while he was sitting on the ground. However, after he was shown the actual trial record by the Assistant District Attorney, Dr. Hayes admitted the Jamal’s wound was entirely consistent with his having been shot by a standing or falling man, either while the gun was held at a slightly downward angle or while Jamal was leaning slightly forward (N.T. 8/4/95, 77-79, 100-104, 114-115; finding of fact 100). This is exactly what Cynthia White had testified to.

But the testimony of Dr. Hayes did more than just support the prosecution’s testimony. For one thing, he conclusively disproved William Singletary’s claim that Officer Faulkner spoke to Jamal and then shot him, after Faulkner had been shot in the head. Dr. Hayes confirmed that Officer Faulkner had died instantly when he was shot in the head (N.T. 8/4/95, 60-61). Singletary, HBO’s key eyewitness, was describing the supposed actions of a dead man.

Dr. Hayes also demonstrated that it would have been impossible for Jamal to have been shot by someone lying or sitting on the ground. But contrary to the rhetoric of Jamal’s lawyers, this fact did not disprove the prosecution evidence — it disproved Jamal’s evidence. Singletary (and another defense witness, William “Bippy” Harmon, who offered testimony that contradicted and mutually excluded Singletary’s testimony and whose fabrications were so transparent that even Weinglass doesn’t mention him any more) insisted that Jamal was shot by Officer Faulkner while the officer was lying or sitting on the ground. In other words, Dr. Hayes, Jamal’s own expert witness, proved that Jamal’s eyewitness evidence about another man shooting Faulkner was false. Thank you, Dr. Hayes.



The allegedly “critical” issue of the angle of Jamal’s injury is simply a canard thrown out by Jamal’s attorneys to support their transparent and easily disproved theory that William Cook’s mystery passenger is the “real killer”. The testimony offered by Dr. Hayes, Jamal’s own witness, actually supports the prosecution’s position and disproves the testimony of Jamal’s own alleged exculpatory eyewitnesses, Singletary and Harmon, each who whom said that Faulkner shot Jamal as he sat on the ground.

Further, the Supreme Court reviewed Jamal’s alleged evidence in 1998 and completely rejected this argument.

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Without the support of Justice for Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, the Faulkner family – and specifically Maureen – could not afford to keep up the vigilant fight.