Was Obama Wrong to Nominate Mumia Lawyer Debo Adegbile to DOJ?

A lot of people are unhappy about this.

Debo Adegbile

President Barack Obama has nominated former Mumia Abu-Jamal lawyer Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, and a lot of people are not OK with that.

Earlier this week, the Fraternal Order of Police sent a letter to President Obama, blasting him for the nomination. Here’s part of what FOP National President Chuck Canterbury had to say:

As word of this nomination spreads through the law enforcement community, reactions range from anger to incredulity. Under this nominee’s leadership, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People volunteered their services to represent Wesley Cook, better known to the world as Mumia Abu-Jamal–our country’s most notorious cop-killer.

There is no disputing that Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was murdered by this thug. His just sentence–death–was undone by your nominee and others like him who turned the justice system on its head with unfounded and unproven allegations of racism.

Of course, lawyers represent bad people all the time, right? Canterbury addresses that point as well:

We are aware of the tried and true shield behind which activists of Adegbile’s ilk are wont to hide–that everyone is entitled to a defense; but surely you would agree that a defense should not be based on falsely disparaging and savaging the good name and reputation of a lifeless police officer.

Certainly any legal scholar can see the injustice and absence of ethics in this cynical race-baiting approach to our legal system.

Meanwhile, Maureen Faulkner, the widow of the police officer whom Abu-Jamal was convicted of gunning down, went on Fox News to express her disgust at the nomination:


In Adegbile’s corner, there are 75 organizations that have signed on to a letter to the United States Senate, urging the senators to confirm the nomination. Those organizations include everyone from the AFL-CIO to the National Center for Transgender Equality to the National Bar Association. Here’s an excerpt:

Mr. Adegbile is exceptionally qualified to lead the Civil Rights Division at this time in history. As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer on civil rights issues, he would bring a depth and breadth of understanding of federal civil rights laws, and their enforcement and application.

He has litigated cases across civil rights subject areas, from voting rights to fair housing to employment discrimination to equal educational opportunity. He has practiced law at all levels, from the trial court to the Supreme Court, and has appeared in courts throughout the country.

The letter does not specifically address Adegbile’s involvement in the Abu-Jamal case or the FOP’s opposition to his appointment.

But what do you think?

POLL Was Obama Wrong to Nominate Mumia Lawyer to DOJ?

[Photo: AP]

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  • MystiKasT

    More anti-white garbage from Obama and Eric “my people” holder. They have made it very clear they hate white people.

    • Brett Smithton

      sure..every time there is a scandal..and ther are ALOT of scandals with OBAMA:: fast and furious, obamacare, solyandra, bengaazi, the IRS scandal….sure ALL OF THOSE are RACIALLY MOTIVATED….GROW THE FUCK UP ASSHOLE…just cause your SAVIOUR is tainted…anybody who questions his SHITTY MOVES are labeled racist..or worse…you call them an UNCLE TOM….if they happen to be black….YOU are th racist here.

  • littledmk31

    Why isn’t this headline news. Really lane closures on a bridge are more important. Talk about diversion.

    • PAPlan

      Aren’t you reading about it on a news site?

  • blackr423

    So, according to the FOP, any defense attorney who represents a guilty person should never be allowed to serve on a federal level. Or is it just this nominee.

    • donkeypant

      This nominee. Not all defense attorneys in general. This guy went beyond zealous advocacy. He subscribed to, and perpetuated, the endless flow of evolving misinformation and character assassination that has grown on this cause celebre like a toxic fungus.

      And any objective attorney with a good head on his or her shoulders who is actually worthy of this appointment would know Mumia is guilty.

    • judgeroybean

      It is one thing to say that Mumia abu Jamal did not get a fair trial, and should be retried. It is another thing entirely to claim that he was framed for a murder that he did not commit. Adegbile has said the latter, and it is despicable. The evidence is overwhelmingly against abu Jamal, and it is why he has never been retried or pardoned. Abu Jamal was a radical activist mixed up with John Africa’s violent movement in Philadelphia, and he brutally murdered a young cop (who had a wife and a young child) who was in the middle of routinely arresting abu Jamal’s cousin in a traffic stop. He should have been put to death long ago. Guilty as charged, next case. And people like Adegbile are just clogging the judicial system up with spurious tactics and ludicrous claims, which is why it now takes almost 20 years to put death row inmates to death in most cases now. (Question: Do you think Troy Davis was innocent too? People whined about that, but I did not see BHO and Eric Holder do anything about that one. Because Davis was guilty as sin, and they knew it.) This is costing the taxpayers a fortune, but the NAACP and the rest love it because it is good for donations. The whole thing is a rancid scam.

      • trashbuster

        Mumia was framed for a crime he did not commit. Your attempts to prove otherwise will no doubt be compromised by your ignorance of
        basic facts (e.g.. Faulkner had no children and it was Mumia’s BROTHER Bill, not his cousin, who was stopped). But I encourage you to give it a go!

    • trashbuster

      So, I’m somewhat but not completely amazed at the level of blatant racist ignorance being spewed by everyone bui you and ex-repug, most of which
      is not worth responding to, but I’ll stick around for awhile to put in my 2 cents
      if you 2 can hang…
      I’ll start by challenging anyone to posit one bit of untainted evidence or credible testimony demonstrating Mumia’s guilt. So have at me, know-it=alls! :)

  • matthew brandley

    the entire obama adm and anyone who voted for this commy bastard is wrong. Holder obama, jarret, the epa. everyone in the adm is as corrupt as the day is long and should all be in jail.

    • trashbuster

      wow, looks like i’m needed here…

  • Whitey

    Right, Obama was raised by White People in Hawaii. He is about as black as I am.

    • EllenO

      Obama loves the black father who left him and hates the white mother who raised him.

      His background matches Debo’s completely.

  • StanDarsh


  • StanDarsh

    Racist Right attack Obama for NO reason again: Nominates “racist cop killer”!

    You know what pathetic, hypocritical and Ironic about all these? It that Obama is being called a racist, by the same racists that’s against Obama!

    When are you all going to stop with your conspiracy theories? Obama’s a racist? I know that when you all look at Obama, all you see is a Black man, but he’s HALF WHITE. He was raised by WHITE PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS. Him mom… White. You all and your theories. You keep jumping from on thing to another.

    The only thing radical is your imagination. This nominee is not “radical” simply because he, as a defense attorney, defended his client in court. You all have to do better than this.

    Maybe I missed label class or something, but HOW does Obama nominating a Lawyer, who NO political affiliations, defending a cop killer make HIM a racist? other than to do his job as a defense attorney, what has Debo P. Adegbile done outside the realm of his job that suggest he hated white people and advocates the killing of police officers?

    It doesn’t!

    Since when is providing constitutional legal representation a crime or even a bad thing? The NRA and right-wingers are always defending gun owner’s rights despite the carnage from guns. Police officers get injured and killed with those guns. So is anyone who defends second amendment rights disqualified from serving in a capacity to oversee voting rights?

    So a lawyer is not allowed to defend a client? That is an attorney’s job, whether he agrees with the client or not. Typical right-wing ignorance. Jamal may have been guilty. But there were loads of problems with the way his trial was handled. Voter suppression is a big deal in this country. It affects a lot more people than Abu Jamal did.

    Do you believe that people accused or convicted of a crime should not have legal counsel? It’s a bit of a stretch that you’re making.

    Speaking of Which, You cannot be a Muslim and a Communist at the same time. For that matter, Marxism and Communism are different things as well.

    As for the absurdity of point two, he was raised by his loving WHITE family.

    No, he cannot be impeached as he has committed no crimes. No, his is not a Dictator, but he is President.

    What a load of excrement you have shovelled for us here!

    If you believe any of them you are a gullible victim of right-wing propaganda. This is Obama’s country and he has children who have to grow up and live in the USA. Why on Earth would he hate it, or try to destroy it?

    I don’t think he is a Marxist but America is headed that way.

    I should NEVER expect less than fake outrage from the party of racism, bigotry and class elitism that is still resentful and cannot stomach or accept that we elected a black president to the Oval Office not only once, or twice, but IN GENERAL!

    • Canabe65

      Actually Stan it is you’re party which is the party of bigotry, racism, and even class elitism. It is the Dems that put pit people of different class and race against one another but you are to embroiled in left-wing ignorance and propaganda to see that. It is you’re party that fought to keep slavery legal not the GOP and shall we not forget Jim Crow brought about by you’re so-called tolerant party. It is you’re party that preys on the poor and weak minded lying to them saying that the dems are for the poor when they care only for votes and keeping people enslaved on the Gov’t dole.

      Obama has indeed lied to the Nation numerous times from Benghazi to the health care. He may not be a Dictator but he sure acts like one dividing this Republic and it’s people. You seem to be the only one who seems interested in the color of somebodies skin color as we care about the lack of character and his dangerous policies that are hurting America and our childrens future.

      The ignorance lies with you and they fact you believe lies and propaganda that would make Joseph Goebbels proud.


    adickbile is a POS

    • ExRepug

      And … ? When a Democrat occupies the White House, it is his prerogative to nominate a liberal. It works both ways: A Republican President is entitled to nominate a conservative to head the Civil Rights Division.

  • bernard helinski

    Once a cop killer always a cop killer. The stigma he cannot hide from.. He’s really going to look out of place when he dines at the W H with P O .

  • So does Debo Adegbile use Obama’s fake social security number too? 042-68-4425.

  • The first thing debo will do is haul George Zimmerman back into court for his “hate crime” against the punk trayvon. Mark my words.

  • judgeroybean

    Wow. If the National Center for Transgender Equality is backing him, how could any centrist American citizen possibly object? Have the National Association of Children Abandoned by Their African Fathers and the Coalition for Bogus Recipients of Affirmative Action also weighed in on his side? Seriously, though, this guy is an absolute disgrace. What is the president thinking? And who’s next? Angela Davis for the Supreme Court, perhaps? Mau mau, baby!

  • Staplehawk

    Isn’t this guy also an ex Black Panther? Ya know, the same clan that recently marched through the streets chanting racial slogans while carrying the same muslim brotherhood flag that is carried to celebrate any kind of extremist ‘victory’?

    • ExRepug

      No. Where did you get that notion?

      • Staplehawk

        Abu Jamal… The guy he defended tooth and nail and above and beyond the call of measure. He didn’t just defend him. He pulled him out of the gutter of justice several times beyond his job description.

        • ExRepug

          Quite the remarkable feat for a 13-year-old, wouldn’t you say? That alone evidences that he is a legal prodigy, as the courts agreed with his appellate arguments.

          • Staplehawk

            If any ‘legal prodigy’ were to be up there working as an employee for We The People, WE only want one that also has integrity and fights for the cause of We The People. Not fighting for what special interests need ‘done’.

          • ExRepug

            So, you’re accusing him of lacking integrity because of his legal advocacy, simply because he is passionate about a cause you disagree with? Just want to make sure I understand your point — the criminally accused are not entitled to a vigorous defense. If that’s the case we might as well toss the Sixth and Eighth Amendments into the trash.

            Apparently only advocates of conservative causes have integrity. That’s a pretty sad position to advocate.

          • Staplehawk

            If his legal defense record were consistent in fighting that hard for everyone, then yes. Instead he chooses to fight for things like ‘no criminal background check on minorities’ and loads of racist positions. He’s not fighting for justice. He’s fighting for dark skinned criminals to get a constant free pass and not be held accountable for what they’ve done. Go ahead and continue to advocate for this man. At least we all know where you stand.

          • ExRepug

            Yeah. We get it that you don’t like those positions. He probably disagrees with your politics, too. He’s fought hard for the causes that he believes in, just as you fell strongly and would fight equally hard for your causes. You still have not, however, identified where he is lacking in legal skills to carry out the job to which he is nominated.

            Careful, Hawk. Your repeated references to race and skin color — both his and his clients’ — are quite revealing. You and I both know what your true objection objection is, don’t we?

          • Staplehawk

            Listen troll, All you have to do is look at my profile to realize my position on race. Nothing to reveal brother, I’m doing more for race equality than you could ever dream. You’ve clearly stated your position on business owners looking to find out who they are hiring, just for starters. He won’t perform his job with integrity because he just wants a free pass for criminals. Research his track record troll. I don’t debate with trolls that are only out to ‘get their man’ into position. This administration is coming apart and the fruits of it’s tree are rotten. Just one more rotten fruit.

          • ExRepug

            Yep, you’ve confirmed that you don’t him, his politics, or anyone who disagrees with you.

            Have a lovely day, Hawk. Stop following me around like a snot-nosed little sister trying to aggravate her big brother.

            Oh — and get your nose fixed. It’s out of joint.

          • Staplehawk

            That’s about the response I would expect from someone who picks a fight and can’t stand on their own two feet. Go sit in your corner, coward.

          • trashbuster

            “…dark skinned criminals…”
            Just as we can all see where YOU stand. lol

          • Staplehawk

            Care to take a stab at what NAACP stands for? Idiots like you only resort to the race card when you have no legs to stand on.

          • trashbuster

            Uh, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People?

            Generally only racists use terms like “race card” — as though it’s all a big card game.

            Still waiting for something — anything — tangible from you Mumia-haters to respond to in an informative way. (I don’t respond to vitreol and ad hominems, btw — these should be recognized for what they are, i.e. desperate tactics to divert the dicussion.)

          • judgeroybean

            Why don’t you read up on the subject before wanking about it in public like some kind of pervert? Why do you think the police and Officer Faulkner’s widow are bent out of shape about this nomination? This guy Adegbile is an NAACP lawyer who has tried to get the vile cop killer Mumia abu Jamal released, based on the spurious claim that Abu Jamal is innocent, laughable if you know anything about the case. You probably think Troy Davis was innocent too, right? Even though he confessed to a neighbor, and several people saw him commit the murder. Why don’t you go spew lies on “The Nation” website? They would love you there, particularly if you are a self-hating white man atoning for the white man’s supposed sins against the black man.

          • ExRepug

            Wow, that’s quite a vomit of venom you’ve spewed out. I suggest that before you accuse someone of not being informed about Debo Adegbile, YOU do some research.

            And see a doctor about that problem you suffer whereby you regurgitate profanity against others who don’t share your politics. You might be developing an ulcer or thin skin.

          • judgeroybean

            A “vomit of venom”? Oooohhh, well aren’t you the Witty One? The more pertinent thing is that you are spreading lies about this nominee. His father was indeed Nigerian, and he abandoned the family. And Debo Adegbile has actively worked on the Mumia abu Jamal case and claimed that MAJ is innocent of the crime of murdering a cop. None of that is contested. Why don’t you just hang out with your little groupuscle of politically correct group-thinkers? Clearly you are factually challenged, and need a support group. The brain dead left will gladly help someone like you; try your local ACLU chapter.

          • trashbuster

            See, exRepug — you just need give these folks enough time and they’ll expose their mentality better than any point-counterpoint could ever do…doesn’t it occur to anyone that if these sort of people hate Mumia so much, he must be doing something right?

            Or does this sort of “discourse” really reflect the mindset of the
            “Philadelphia Magazine” readership?

      • judgeroybean

        You are wrong. He is half African. His African father impregnated his white American mother and then abandoned the two of them. Just like BHO, and the parallel has naturally drawn commentary. Don’t you listen to NPR or watch the news? What kind of name did you think Adegbile was, Cuban? Moron.

        • ExRepug

          Your source that Mr. Adegbile is a Black Panther who runs through the streets chanting racial slogans is …? I suspect it begins with an A and ends with an S.

          Quite telling that you’ve stooped to derogatory name calling. You’ve come up empty with substantive comment. Pick yourself up out of the gutter and articulate a case why this man lacks the legal chops for the job.

          • Staplehawk

            Expugs postion: He can fight for a criminal really really hard and get him a lesser sentence. He deserves the job.

            Rational persons position: He is clearly a good fighter for specific people that he chooses, but does not have consistent intergrity to fight for everyone on a unbiased level, which is require for a lead position in Civil Rights. Civil Rights covers Everyone, not just minority. He advocated for ‘No criminal background checks’ which would take away any power from business owners to know who they are hiring. When you do that you are taking away the business owners Civil Rights and giving Uncivil Rights to a criminal. Do criminals deserve to have second and possibly even third chances? yes. Do business owners have the right to know who they are hiring and make a choice based on that to hire a criminal or not? To give them a second chance or not? Yes. So his record therefore is NOT consistent in working for everyone equally. There are many more people ahead of him that will perform that position equally, so they should get consideration first.

            King of ironic this guy also fought for equal racial integration in schools and public spheres, but this administration is filling itself with an unequal proportion of said ‘races’. This house of cards is falling. The fruit of it’s tree is being exposed and it’s rotten.

          • Staplehawk

            Rational persons reason #2: He fought for evenly distributed minorities on teams in schools. Yes this sounds really really good. The only problem is it only works on paper. A teacher and volleyball coach ran a high school volleyball team. She had 5 white girls, 4 hispanic and 2 black girls. Under the law that he fought to have implemented, the teacher had to go actively find 3 more black girls to be on the team, even though they said they didn’t want to. Now that she had to have girls out playing that didn’t want to that meant the 2 white girls (That wanted badly to play and get scholarships) and 1 hispanic girl (that wanted to play and get scholarships) had to all sit on the bench while 2 black girls played that didn’t want to. This is not civil rights. It’s politically correctedness gone mad. It’s Uncivil and it’s just plain ignorant.

            We are still waiting on you to provide ANY reason why he should be the man for the job.

    • trashbuster

      “Isn’t this guy also an ex Black Panther?”
      If you mean Mumia, yes, he certainly was a proud Black Panther child
      prodigy back in the day. But I think the group you’re talking about marching
      in the streets was the “New” Black Panther Party, which is quite different in
      its philosophy and practice and similar in name only. Not that I would guess
      you would be too concerned about such distictions.

  • tin man

    “Commy Bastard”? HMM, Take a guess who appointed the Judge below?

    Judge William H. Yohn Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    upheld the conviction but vacated the sentence of death on December 18,
    2001, citing irregularities in the original process of sentencing.[52] Particularly,

    … the jury instructions and verdict sheet in this case involved an
    unreasonable application of federal law. The charge and verdict form
    created a reasonable likelihood that the jury believed it was precluded
    from considering any mitigating circumstance that had not been found
    unanimously to exist.[52]

    He ordered the State of Pennsylvania to commence new sentencing proceedings within 180 days[71] and ruled that it was unconstitutional to require that a jury’s finding of circumstances mitigating against determining a sentence of death be unanimous.[72]
    Eliot Grossman and Marlene Kamish, attorneys for Abu-Jamal, criticized
    the ruling on the grounds that it denied the possibility of a trial de novo at which they could introduce evidence that their client had been framed.[73]
    Prosecutors also criticized the ruling; Officer Faulkner’s widow
    Maureen described Abu-Jamal as a “remorseless, hate-filled killer” who
    would “be permitted to enjoy the pleasures that come from simply being
    alive” on the basis of the judgment.[74] Both parties appealed.

    • trashbuster

      All good observations.

      For those interested, it is worth pointing out that Mumia’s initial appeal back
      in 1995 listed over twenty serious violations of judicial and prosecutorial
      propriety including witness coercion, racist jury selection procedures,
      concocted testimony and manipulated evidence. This appeal was heard by
      the original judge (Sabo) who, shockingly, ruled that all Mumia’s contentions
      were invalid and that his own conduct had been pristine. He was also heard
      by a court reporter to state that he was going to help “fry the nigger.”

      To make a longer story shorter, the “jury form” issue was the only one to make it through the final round of appeals, however it was one of the least compelling issues compared to the others, which were not allowed to be
      heard by the federal appeals court.

  • democratnomore

    The entire obama administration is made up of criminals which includes him among them being a two bit extortionist and anarchist like sharpton posing as a neighborhood organizer. The democrats have made a mockery of civil rights and the legal system, they’ve politicized everything from civil rights to women’s contraceptives in order to divide us, control us, and to gain votes. If there is a special interest group they use it for their own empowerment, I understand why you can not reason with a democrat the party attacks are emotional that’s why young and dumb are such easy targets especially teenage girls they have no facts so they have to lash out with hate, your a racists if you don’t support obama no I see a lying incompetent piece of crap who’s policies go against everything this country stands for, your a homophobe if you disagree with gay people sorry thought this was the land of the free where everyone has a RIGHTS. Simple facts most people don’t think about gays because they don’t effect them and as for blacks the only enemy they have in this country is themselves they keep themselves down they murder one another nightly and they listen to those who’s lively hood depends on keeping them like a herd of cattle dumb and dependent. That is why they treat successful black americans as traitors but treat rabid dogs like gang bangers as heroes. I supported the civil rights movement so they have equal opportunities not special treatment, not to have states or companies through out tests because no blacks or hispanics passed, not to allow either nationality get away with crimes because it’s politicly useful.

  • jonik

    Not much substance going on here. To add some, here’s a few points about the Mumia case that don’t get out there quite enough.

    Judicial and Prosecutorial Misconduct

    • The prosecution’s case is built on the erroneous assumption that only three people were present at the time of the shooting, but a fourth person – the probable perpetrator – was seen fleeing the scene after Officer Faulkner was shot. The police, prosecutor Joe McGill, and the trial judge suppressed this from both the defense and jury.
    [NB: This 4th person WAS acknowledged in earlier hearings about Mumia’s brother, but McGill “forgot” about him later at Mumia’s trial.]

    • Mumia was convicted in the absence of material evidence. The bullet that killed Officer Faulkner could not be matched to Abu-Jamal’s gun. The police also failed to perform routine tests on Mumia’s hands [or jacket], which would have determined that he had not shot a gun that night.

    • A freelance journalist’s photographs of the crime scene – which also disprove key points of the state’s case theory – were never made available to the defense or the jury.

    • A court stenographer testified in an affidavit that during the trial she heard the presiding judge, Albert Sabo, say, “I’m going to help them fry the nigger.”

    Police Corruption:

    • In 1979, the Department of Justice filed an unprecedented lawsuit against Philadelphia’s mayor and 21 top city and police officials. Its conclusions? That the police department’s behavior – which included shooting nonviolent suspects, abusing handcuffed prisoners, and tampering with evidence
    – “shocks the conscience.”

    • The officers who arrested and later brutalized Mumia came from the 6th District, which was under yet another federal investigation for police corruption by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, with the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice under Ronald Reagan.

    • As a result, fully a third of the 35 officers involved in this case, including the top officer at the crime scene, Inspector Alfonzo Giordano, were subsequently convicted of rank corruption, extortion and tampering with evidence to obtain convictions.

    We urge people of conscience to call on the Philadelphia DA, the Governor of
    Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Attorney General to release Mumia Abu-Jamal, and
    bring Philadelphia’s native son home.
    Sign the petition. http://www.change.org/petitions/release-mumia-abu-jamal

  • Steven D. Pike

    Adegbile should never be given a position that allows his virulent racism to enjoy power

  • Geeky Grandma

    This isn’t right. Did he think that because it’s been so long, the law enforcement community would forget??? The man is notorious!

  • Jones Gore

    This lawyer only used the tools he was given to defend and save the life of his client. He was not and will not be the last lawyer white or black to these tools.

  • 47Murph

    Obama is disgusting and a sorry excuse for a human being. He has shown his true colors now of how he wants to destroy America. Even some of his own Democratic party want to distance themselves from him. He is a sad and pathetic individual. Adegible is just another one of his tools.

  • nlcatter

    you morons gof off at work, this guy did his job, GTH you morons

  • Kansas_City

    Even guilty as heck cop killers are enttiled to a lawyer — even after they shoot a police officer in the back and then stand over him and shoot him in the face, and then
    proclaim “I shot the mutha fuckah and I hope the mutha fuckah dies.”
    However, Mr. Adegbile did not just represent him. He was part of a shameful public relations campaign that represented Adegbile as victim of racial prejudice and was wrongly accused. If you can stand it, look at this PR campaign.

    I think the country can do much better than to appoint a person with this background to a high department of justice position.