Nov 10, 2014
Pennsylvania just passed a law that seeks to silence Mumia Abu-Jamal, and any other prisoners who attempt to speak out.
Governor Tom Corbett signed the “Revictimization Relief Act” into law on October 21.
This law allows victims of crime to sue convicted prisoners for “causing further suffering” – by speaking or writing publicly at all. It was pushed through the state senate after Abu-Jamal gave a prerecorded commencement address at Goddard College in Vermont. It seeks to silence anyone in prison, and especially those wrongly imprisoned who want to draw attention to the injustice of their imprisonment – and especially imprisoned political prisoners, which the U.S. tries to pretend it doesn’t have!
Abu-Jamal, a political activist and former Black Panther, was convicted in 1982 on trumped-up charges of killing a police officer in Philadelphia. He spent many years on death row appealing his conviction, before a worldwide campaign forced the courts to commute his sentence to life in prison. He remains in prison to this day.
But while he’s been in prison, Abu-Jamal has been an outspoken and frequently published critic of the United States government, economy and justice system.
And now the government is trying to shut him – and others like him – up.
It’s no surprise – it’s what they’ve been trying to do all along!