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Mumia is Named Honorary Citizen of Paris

Old Oct 28th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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Mumia is Named Honorary Citizen of Paris

Mumia Abu Jamal, convicted murderer of a Philadelphia police officer, has been made an honorary citizen of Paris, the first such designated since Picasso in the early 70s. Any comments?
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 10:06 AM
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ira
 
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Well, anyone who would make Picasso an honorary citizen is capable of anything.
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 10:23 AM
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What prompted this? Just curious. I know that for many he is considered a victim, and is a symbol of injustice in the US, but it seems extraordinary, especially since it's the first time since the 1970s. And Paris isn't exactly known for its tolerance of minorities...
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 10:32 AM
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He's was made an honorary citizen of Paris in December 2001 - this isn't exactly fresh news.

For whatever reasons, his case has fascinated the French. Schoolchildren are required to study it. The French are deeply opposed to the notion of the death penalty, and Mumia's case provides fodder for all kinds of debate on that issue.
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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The police officer's wife was recently on the Bill O'Reilly show. As expected, she is very upset about what she perceives as total disrespect for her dead husband. It is very hurtful to her and her family. I, too, find it bizarre to say the least.
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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I live in Philadelphia, so I am very familiar with the Mumia case. Several years ago I met a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer who covered the trial. At first he believe in Mumia's innocence, but after much research and investigative work, he believed him to be guilty afterall. I have met many intellectual, elite Philadelphians who took up Mumia's cause. But, after questioning them, I came to realize that many of them sided with Mumia because it was the "politically correct" thing for them to do. Many of them didn't even know the merits of the case, they just jumped on the bandwagon to be trendy. How bloody daft.
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 12:01 PM
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"How bloody daft" is right. But you could have just as easily said, "how bloody typical!"
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 12:09 PM
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While I understand his case was very high-profile, it seems hardly appropriate to use it as a symbol of the injustice of the death penalty. I am staunchly opposed to the death penalty, and whatever my views may be on Mumia's innocence or guilt I would never use him as a 'poster-person' for this cause, because it was so divisive and it's the perfect way to convince pro-death penalty advocates that they're right. That's why it seems bizarre. His innocernce is irrelevant really, it's the fact that many are convinced he's guilty that makes it strange. I understand it's a personal honor and perhaps their honoring of him had nothing to do with the death-penalty issue, but as St.Cirq says they are opposed to it and most likely were making a statement about the issue. Anyway, rambling, I'm just confused. Why him??
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 12:26 PM
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Bonjour Everybody,

I think mp413 gave the right answer: to many in Europe, and expecially in France where his case has been widely publicized, Mumia has become kind of a symbol of all that is perceived as wrong in the American judicial system and the death penalty. I personnally hold no opinion on his case and think this move is rather daft.

"Adopting" a (perceived) victim of injustice is a common way in Europe to try to influence his/her country's judicial and political system into exerting some leniency or reviewing the case. During Caucescu's rule, many cities "adopted" Rumanian cities due to be destructed, for example.

Ira: considering Chirac gave a medal for cultural achievement to Stallone (and I thing Madonna too) and made him "chevalier des lettres et des arts", I'm afraid we can expect more daft moves from my government ;-)
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 12:30 PM
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Bon Soir, Florence.

Maybe the awarding of "honors" has more to do with politics and money than merit.
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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At least picasso, Madonna and Stallone are not MURDERERS.
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