Baruch College Hosts Screening of New Documentary, Justice On Trial: The Case Of Mumia Abu-Jamal

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New York, NY, Oct. 18, 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 performingartscenter@baruch.cuny.edu.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Pauly, 646-660-6129; Jennifer.pauly@baruch.cuny.edu

To host a screening of the film, contact Johanna.fernandez@baruch.cuny.edu and kouross@bignoisefilms.org.             

Trailer here:  http://bignoisefilms.org/films/tactical-media/114-justice-on-trial

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/justiceontrialthemovie