Jamal’s Bragging Confession to the Murder

In their testimony, several witnesses stated that Mr. Jamal was violently resisting police when he was brought into Thomas Jefferson Hospital.

Three people, including two police officers and a black hospital security guard twice heard Jamal shout out, “I shot the Mother Fucker, and I hope the Mother Fucker dies.” Two of these individuals, police officers Gary Bell and Gary Wakschul, each reported what they had heard two months after the incident. The third, security guard Priscilla Durham, reported hearing the same outburst to her supervisor the day after the shooting.

In 1982, the jury heard Jamal’s attorney argue that the testimony confirming the confession was untrue, because the two police officers came forward so long after the shooting, and because Officer Wakschul had written in a report, that “the Negro male made no comments.” However, the Defense had no explanation to counter the testimony of Priscilla Durham. Ms. Durham was a security guard who was employed by the hospital the morning of December 9, 1981. At the 1982 trial, Ms. Durham testified that she had reported what she had heard to her hospital supervisor, in writing, the day after the shooting.

Priscilla Durham testified:

Ms. Durham: At this time I didn’t know [who he was]…all I did was hear him say, I shot the mother fucker and I hope the mother fucker dies.

6-24-82, T.R. 28

Ms. Durham was asked where Jamal was when he made his incriminating outburst. She replied, “He was at my feet.” (6-24-82, T.R. 28). She reported this to her supervisors the next day:

Ms. Durham: I had already given a statement.

Mr. Jackson: To whom?

Ms. Durham: Jefferson [Hospital] investigators.

Mr. Jackson: When did you give that?

Ms. Durham: The next day.

N.T. 6-24-82, 47.

The report was produced in the courtroom, verifying her testimony.

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