Physical Evidence

When apprehended Mumia Abu-Jamal was wearing an empty shoulder holster.

A gun owned by Jamal and registered in his name was found at his side. At the 1982 trial, a store owner, Joseph Kohn, testified that he sold Jamal this gun on July 17, 1979 and produced a sales receipt with the gun’s serial number and Jamal’s signature on it to verify this fact. Mr. Kohn also stated that he sold Jamal a box of .38 caliber Federal brand +P ammunition. Kohn explained that +P is special high-velocity ammunition that “devastates” its target when it hits. He also noted that police are restricted from using +P ammunition for this reason.

The gun found on the ground next to Mumia Abu-Jamal was a five-shot .38 caliber Charter Arms Revolver. Jamal’s gun contained five (5) spent casings. Four of these casings were manufactured by Federal Arms (the 5th was a Remington), which were unique in that their bullets had a hollow base. Ballistics tests verified that the bullet that killed Officer Faulkner had a hollow base (a feature exclusive to Federal brand ammunition) and was .38 caliber. Further, tests revealed that the fatal bullet had been fired from a gun barrel rifled with eight lands and grooves and a right-hand twist in its barrel. This is the identical pattern found in the barrel of Jamal’s gun (the barrel of Officer Faulkner’s own gun, for example, had only four lands and grooves).

As already noted, Jamal had his own ballistics expert at trial, George Fassnacht. Though Judge Sabo encouraged him to do so, Jamal did not call Fassnacht to testify in 1982. The obvious reason was that Fassnacht could not dispute any of the ballistic evidence. (N.T. 6/23/82, 6.136) Jamal tried to dispute this same information in his 1995 PCRA proceeding, at which Fassnacht again served as Jamal’s ballistics expert. But when the time came for Fassnacht to testify, Jamal refused to let him look at the bullet. (N.T. 8/2/95, 150)

It was unequivocally determined the bullet removed from Jamal’s torso had been fired from Officer Faulkner’s service revolver.

Trace metal tests were performed on the jackets worn by both Mumia Abu-Jamal and Officer Faulkner. The tests confirmed that each man was shot from a distance of less than twelve inches.

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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.