One More Reason to Scratch Baruch Off Your List

by Jonah Goldberg

I just got this press release over the e-transom:





First New York City Screening on Nov. 2


New York, NY, Oct. 25, 2010 – As one of the nation’s most closely-watched death row cases heads to the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on November 9, Baruch College Professor of American History Johanna Fernandez teams up with director Kouross Esmaeli of Big Noise Films to investigate the controversial case of Mumia Abu-Jamal in their new film, Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Fernandez wrote and produced the film, which Esmaeli directed. Justice on Trial will receive its first New York City screening at Baruch College on November 2.

A trial court convicted Abu-Jamal of first-degree murder in the 1981 killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death and has been on death row since 1982. During the intervening years, debate has raged between Abu-Jamal’s supporters and detractors, with his supporters maintaining his innocence and claiming that exculpatory evidence was suppressed during the trial.

In Justice on Trial, Fernandez asks what she describes as fundamental questions about the workings of the criminal justice system and the Abu-Jamal case—from his sentencing in 1982 to subsequent appeals. According to Fernandez, Justice on Trial presents the legal and factual arguments for reasonable doubt about the fairness of the guilty verdict.

Abu-Jamal is an award-winning radio journalist who sits on death row in a Western Pennsylvania prison where he has authored six books, including the bestselling Live From Death Row. On orders from the Supreme Court, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals will reconsider reinstating the death penalty on Nov. 9. With the federal appeal on the horizon, Fernandez and Esmaeli expedited completion of their four-year project in order to participate in revived conversations inspired by the case.

WHAT:           Screening of Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

WHEN:           Tuesday, November 2, 7 p.m.

WHERE:        Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch College Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue. Enter on East 25th Street, between Lexington and Third avenues.

Admission is free. The general public should RSVP to 646-312-5073 or, via email, to [email protected].

MEDIA CONTACT: [redacted]

About Johanna Fernandez: Johanna Fernández is a native New Yorker. She received a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University and a B.A. in Literature and American Civilization from Brown University. Professor Fernández teaches 20th-Century U.S. History, the history of social movements, the political economy of American cities, and African-American history.

Professor Fernández is currently working on her forthcoming book on the Young Lords Party, the Puerto Rican counterpart to the Black Panther Party. The manuscript is under contract with Princeton University Press for the Politics and Society in 20th Century America series and is tentatively entitled, When the World Was Their Stage: A History of the Young Lords Party, 1968-1974.

About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 16,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. Through its three schools—the School of Public Affairs; the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences; and the Zicklin School of Business, the largest AACSB-accredited business school in the nation—Baruch College offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees that reflect the college’s foundation in the liberal arts and its strong focus on management and public affairs. Baruch College dates back more than 160 years to the founding in 1847 of the Free Academy, the first free public college in the nation. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world.


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