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Berlin Expat Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:36 AM
Original message
Prosecutor ends 30-year quest to execute ex-Black Panther
Source: USA Today

The Philadelphia district attorney said today he is dropping pursuit of the death penalty against former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer 30 years ago, the Associated Press reports.

Read more: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post...



A famous case, one that even made him a cause celebre here in Europe.
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rethymnon Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Scum
A .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver registered to Abu-Jamal was found at the scene next to him with 5 spent shell casings. Tests performed with the physical evidence verify that Faulkner was killed by a .38 caliber bullet. The extracted slugs were identified as Federal brand .38 Special +P bullets with hollow bases, which matched the shell casings in Abu-Jamal's handgun retrieved at the scene. Rifling characteristics evident on the bullet fragments extracted from Faulkner's body matched those of the handgun. Anthony L. Paul, Supervisor of the Firearms Identification Unit, testified that the type of bullet was rare at the time, with only one manufacturer, though he could name two other manufacturers which produced weapons bearing the same rifling characteristics. Experts testified that the bullet taken from Abu-Jamal was fired from Faulkner's service weapon. George Fassnacht, the defense's ballistics expert, did not dispute the findings of the prosecution's experts.
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atreides1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Why scum?
Because he shot a cop?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
36. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. No cops or FBI ever planted evidence on Black Panther memebers of course... wait
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Exactly, and in this case they went the extra mile
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 12:31 PM by hughee99
to plant a gun registered to him at the crime scene and to plant bullets shot from that gun inside the police officer.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
14.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu Calls for Mumia Abu-Jamals Release
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Calls for Mumia Abu-Jamals Release

Now that it is clear that Mumia should never have been on death row in the first place, justice will not be served by relegating him to prison for the rest of his lifeyet another form of death sentence. Based on even a minimal following of international human rights standards, Mumia must now be released. I therefore join the call, and ask others to follow, asking District Attorney Seth Williams to rise to the challenge of reconciliation, human rights, and justice: drop this case now, and allow Mumia Abu-Jamal to be immediately released, with full time served.

Press release posted in GD: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
(due to a glitch, the post didn't show up on the Latest page).


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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. And the other evidence produced ...was....???
The presence of a gun that matched bullets is just part of the story needed to create a proper sentence. One could say, it's a necessary part, but it isn't sufficient to be the single thing driving a sentence.

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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. 4 eyewitnesses, and he was still wearing the shoulder holster for the gun.
He was found at the scene.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Which still doesn't deal with ALL of the information considered
at sentencing...He WAS convicted of the crime. The issue in question is whether the sentence was correct.

To get there you've got to consider more than just the evidence that he did it.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Witnesses recanted, said they were coerced by police to lie. nt
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Not a single witness recanted in a court of law.
Too bad Mumia's brother wasn't called.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Yes they did testify in court.
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/045.html

Judge Sabo Rules Against Mumia Abu-Jamal
Prison Activist Resource Center prisondesk@igc.org, Media Alert!, Friday 1 November 1996

Finds Veronica Jones' testimony of police initimidation "incredible"

Media Alert! Friday Nov. 1st 1996
Contact Jane Henderson
301-699-0042

Philadelphia- Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Albert Sabo ruled today that the testimony of defense witness Veronica Jones was "incredible and worthy of little belief" and refused Mumia Abu-Jamal's reuqest to add it to the record of his summer 1995 post-convction review appeal (PCRA) hearing.

At a supplemental PCRA hearing on October 1st Jones testified that the Philadelphia police had coerced her into retracting her initial police statements at Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial for the shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer.

Specifically, she stated that, under police threats of 15 years in prison on unrelated felony charges, she had recanted her original, truthful statement to the police that, immediately after hearing shots, she had seen two men flee the crime. Critically wounded, Abu-Jamal had been unable to flee and was found by the police at the scene.

In his ruling today, Sabo concluded that, even if he believed Veronica's story of police initimidation, it is not significant enough to require a new trial. The judge also ignored the fact that, immediately after Jones testified, he had ordered her arrest on a 1994 warrant stemming from a bad check charge. "Given such open intimidation in court", remarked Abu-Jamal's lead attorney Leonard Weinglass, "one can only imagine what happened to Ms. Jones behind closed doors back in 1982."

Jones took the stand on October 1st as a result of a direct order from the Pennsylvnaia Supreme Court which dated September 30th, instructing the trial court to "develop a full factual record." The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had remanded the case in response to papers filed by Abu-Jamal's defense team in May which asked for a supplemental hearing "before a judge other than Sabo" so that Jones could testify.

<snip>

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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. She wasn't a witness against Mumia. She said she saw nothing, because she was drunk.
Then she cooked up a story later on, and tried to testify to it.

There isn't a single witness that recanted their eyewitness testimony that placed Mumia there.
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Myrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Nice but, did they not do powder tests on Abu-Jamal?
If they did and couldn't prove that he'd fired the gun, or didn't bother to do the tests, the presence of "his" gun at the scene means NOTHING.
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Powder tests would have been useless.
First, the reason none were done at the scene was that Mumia needed to be rushed to the hospital.

Second, he was wearing a shoulder holster for the gun in question. The proximity of merely the holster would have given a positive.

Third, the arresting officer handled Mumia, and that would given a positive.

Billy Cook knew what happened that night. Why didn't Mumia call him to the stand?
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Utter fucking scum. But I hope this gives the family some closure.
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 02:50 PM by msanthrope
I understand the family was very involved in this decision.

On edit--The family is requesting that Mumia be moved to gen pop, with other LWOP prisoners, and no special privileges.
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mulsh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
42. you missed the evidence of gunpower on his hands matching
the gun and bullets. oh yeah, that's because it doesn't exist. you'd think that someone who's pistol fired 5 bullets into another person would have that kind of evidence but go figure. Maybe the police and FBI just forgot to look for it.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. Because there was a struggle when he was arrested
Making searching him for gunpowder useless.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. Good. He probably did it, but the DP never sits well with me.
Hell, I think even Ted Bundy should have been left to rot at Angola Prison
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
17. DA dropping death penalty against Mumia Abu-Jamal
Source: ABC7/KGO/AP

The district attorney announced Wednesday that prosecutors will no longer pursue the death penalty against former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, meaning he will spend the rest of his life in prison for gunning down a white police officer nearly 30 years ago.

The decision by District Attorney Seth Williams, made with the support of the officer's widow and the city police commissioner, comes after nearly 30 years of legal battles over the racially charged case.

<snip>

His writings and radio broadcasts from death row made him a cause celebre and the subject of numerous books and movies. His own 1995 book, "Live From Death Row," describes prison life and calls the justice system racist and ruled by political expediency.

<snip>

His message resonated particularly on college campuses and in the movie and music industries -- actors Mike Farrell and Tim Robbins were among dozens of luminaries who used a New York Times ad to advocate for a new trial, and the Beastie Boys played a concert to raise money for Abu-Jamal's defense fund.

<snip>

Read more: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/national_...



www.freemumia.com has much information on the case.
There was also an HBO documentary.

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Puregonzo1188 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Saw this on the news, this is really very excellent.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Archbishop Desmond Tutu Calls for Mumia Abu-Jamals Release
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Calls for Mumia Abu-Jamals Release

Now that it is clear that Mumia should never have been on death row in the first place, justice will not be served by relegating him to prison for the rest of his lifeyet another form of death sentence. Based on even a minimal following of international human rights standards, Mumia must now be released. I therefore join the call, and ask others to follow, asking District Attorney Seth Williams to rise to the challenge of reconciliation, human rights, and justice: drop this case now, and allow Mumia Abu-Jamal to be immediately released, with full time served.

Press release posted in GD: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
(due to a glitch, the post didn't show up on the Latest page).


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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Most of the news articles on this use biased and inflammatory language
calling him a "cop-killer" etc, but not mentioning that most of the witness testimony against him was recanted, witnesses said there were coerced by police to lie.

Wikipedia seems to have a decent article on him right now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumia_Abu-Jamal

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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Not a single witness recanted in a court of law. nt
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Wrong.
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/045.html

Judge Sabo Rules Against Mumia Abu-Jamal
Prison Activist Resource Center prisondesk@igc.org, Media Alert!, Friday 1 November 1996

Finds Veronica Jones' testimony of police initimidation "incredible"

Media Alert! Friday Nov. 1st 1996
Contact Jane Henderson
301-699-0042

Philadelphia- Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Albert Sabo ruled today that the testimony of defense witness Veronica Jones was "incredible and worthy of little belief" and refused Mumia Abu-Jamal's reuqest to add it to the record of his summer 1995 post-convction review appeal (PCRA) hearing.

At a supplemental PCRA hearing on October 1st Jones testified that the Philadelphia police had coerced her into retracting her initial police statements at Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial for the shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer.

Specifically, she stated that, under police threats of 15 years in prison on unrelated felony charges, she had recanted her original, truthful statement to the police that, immediately after hearing shots, she had seen two men flee the crime. Critically wounded, Abu-Jamal had been unable to flee and was found by the police at the scene.

In his ruling today, Sabo concluded that, even if he believed Veronica's story of police initimidation, it is not significant enough to require a new trial. The judge also ignored the fact that, immediately after Jones testified, he had ordered her arrest on a 1994 warrant stemming from a bad check charge. "Given such open intimidation in court", remarked Abu-Jamal's lead attorney Leonard Weinglass, "one can only imagine what happened to Ms. Jones behind closed doors back in 1982."

Jones took the stand on October 1st as a result of a direct order from the Pennsylvnaia Supreme Court which dated September 30th, instructing the trial court to "develop a full factual record." The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had remanded the case in response to papers filed by Abu-Jamal's defense team in May which asked for a supplemental hearing "before a judge other than Sabo" so that Jones could testify.

<snip>

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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. She wasn't a witness against Mumia. She was called by the defense in a Hail Mary atttempt.
She testified that she saw nothing.

Here's the transcript of her original testimony--


http://www.justice4danielfaulkner.com/Days/6-29-82.html...

Not a single person who testified that Mumia was the shooter has recanted. And Ms. Jones is admitting that she is a liar?
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Puregonzo1188 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. I don't believe in the death penalty. I also don't know who shot Daniel Faulkner.
I do know that Mumia did get a fair trial, as demonstrated by Amnesty International. I also know that the prosecutor's version of events are farcical. I know that the original crime scene photos show that police tampered with the crime scene. I know that 15 police officers involved in the investigation, including the lead officer, went down on FBI charges and the police department is the only one in this country ever sued by the Department of Justice.

Does none of that bother you?
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U4ikLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. No response, how odd.
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Puregonzo1188 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Can't say I am surprised.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
33. True -- and again threats of drug charges can be used against almost anyone now .. !!
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. At least he's no longer the only U.S. political prisoner on Death Row.
Now let's get him a new trial.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Good News! eom
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Everyone should be taken off death row
It's an insane practice.
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pettypace Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. What's your preferred punishment for homicide?
This'll be good.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #37
41. Life in prison without possibility of parole
Gee! That was so hard to come up with!

I guess you got me!

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pettypace Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #41
47. I would rather meet Lucifer than spend my entire life in a cage
Wouldn't you?

Life in prison without ever hope of getting out : That is the definition of "cruel and unusual" punishment.



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NoGOPZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #37
45. Mine is a hundred days in jail with community service after thirty days served
I refer to it as the Bill Janklow Sentence ;-)
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. This is great news. Now, let's get everyone else off death row.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. +1 --
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
30. Shoulda done this years ago. He should stay in prison, unless there...
is new evidence he did not commit the crime. I oppose the death penalty; for "first degree" murder, I support the warehouse.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. Good to overturn Deal Penalty after 30 years! Bad that he'll remain in jail -- !! Injustice-!!
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. Why punish him at all? After all, killing a cop should lead to a
movie deal and live of luxury. But that would put him in the 1% - so kill the fucker with all the other rich bastards! That's the politically correct answer, isn't it?

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:01 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. I'd be interested in your view of Reply 27.
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #39
46. Wasn't sure it conveyed what Pu*.*zo intended. Maybe a typo
but it seemed to jump around from the certainty of a fair trial, then contradicted by police misconduct.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
35. That sound was...
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 07:13 PM by Sen. Walter Sobchak
an alarmingly large number of people throwing their hand lotion into the wall.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:04 AM
Response to Original message
40. I did not know The Beastie Boys were activists. Cool.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
43. For one thing, end the death penalty, but the free mumia movement tarnishes the left
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 07:10 AM by alp227
when evidence shows mumia most likely did shoot faulkner. why do people like Mandela and Tutu and even euro govs have no problem defending a cop killer?
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #43
44. Hopefully
with Mumia off death row that will take the wind out of the sails of the Free Mumia movement. I agree it tarnishes the left, and I cringe everytime I see it show up amongst lefty "causes." If Mumia were an inarticulate white guy without media access this would have been a closed book years ago.
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