On the 6th April, the radical Black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal had his appeal for a new trial rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeal was based on the racist purging of Blacks from the jury panel by the prosecution (for which precedents exist!). Meanwhile, the prosecution has been demanding to reinstate the death penalty in his case, which was overturned in December 2001; this may still be granted. Pennsylvania’s governor Ed Rendell has repeatedly made clear that should such a situation arise, he would lose no time in signing a new execution warrant. Mumia’s struggle for freedom has suffered another blow and his life is in danger, again.
Mumia is an award-winning Philedelphia journalist who exposed police brutality against minority communities and covered Black liberation struggles including the famous MOVE trials (see http://www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk/profiles/move.html). He was a founding member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Black Panther Party and President of the Association of Black Journalists. In 1982, he was wrongfully sentenced for the shooting of police officer Daniel Faulkner, in a trial marked by racial bias and a clearly political persection. A wide range of organisations from Amnesty to members of governments to grassroots groups have challenged the conviction; however for over 25 years Mumia has been locked up most of the day, denied contact visits with his family, had his confidential legal mail illegally opened by prison authorities, and put into punitive detention for writing his first of three books while in prison, Live From Death Row.
175 Progress Dr.
Waynesburg, PA 15370