The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Appeals court refuses to overturn Mumia Abu-Jamal’s conviction

Mar 31, 2008

A federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision that overturned a death sentence for Mumia Abu-Jamal. He was convicted in 1982 of killing a Philadelphia cop.

The media present the decision as some sort of victory. In reality, the prosecution can still appeal the decision – and the threat of execution still hangs over Abu-Jamal’s head.

At the same time, the court let stand Abu-Jamal’s conviction, despite evidence that has been brought forward that someone else did the killing, that it was impossible for Abu-Jamal to have done the shooting, that police tampered with the evidence and that Abu-Jamal was tried before an almost all-white jury in a city where over 40% of the population is black.

All Abu-Jamal has asked for is a new trial.

Abu-Jamal is someone who, like many others of his generation, opposed racism, and injustice against poor people. From the time that he was a teenager, he stood up against police brutality in a city, Philadelphia, where it was rampant. He stood up against the impoverishment of the population as well.

So the authorities tried to make an example of him with a legal lynching. When a massive international protest movement didn’t let them get away with executing him right away, the authorities have played for time and dragged out his case in every way imaginable. They have kept him buried alive on death row for 26 years.

Every person with a conscience has an interest in supporting Mumia Abu-Jamal’s fight for justice.