The Spark

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

Legal System Denies Mumia Abu-Jamal Medical Care

Oct 12, 2015

Mumia Abu-Jamal, former journalist and Black Panther Party militant, has been imprisoned since 1981 for a crime which is widely acknowledged he didn’t commit. In 2001, the court system recognized that he didn’t receive a fair trial. At the time of his trial the prosecution had excluded most black people from the jury. And the presiding judge, Albert F. Sabo, had said to the police, “Yeah, and I’m gonna help ‘em fry the n ....” But Mumia wasn’t retried. He was only re-sentenced. Even though his death sentence was changed to life imprisonment in 2001, the court system seems to be trying to impose the death sentence in another way.

In fact, a short time ago, Mumia finally got out of his cell in a Pennsylvania prison, where he had lived for years and had written books and articles defending himself. But it was only because he was confined to the prison hospital. His health has been ruined. He already had eczema and diabetes, but now he has Hepatitis C.

There is a treatment for it. Gilead Sciences has pills which sell for $1,000 per pill but only cost $3.50 per pill to produce. The treatment lasts for three months, so he needs $84,000 to cover it. The State of Pennsylvania has refused to pay. Other states pay for it, including the very reactionary Texas, which loves to use the death penalty, but which gives this medicine to prisoners, some of whom are able to get well. But not Pennsylvania. A judge, minimizing the effects of Hepatitis C, rejected a suit that demanded that he be treated.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, who lost 88 pounds, continues to stand up against this oppression. Early in 2015, a Pennsylvania law was passed to deprive him of the right to speak or write, but after protests, this repression was dropped.

Contributions toward Mumia’s medical costs can be made to:

Mumia Abu Jamal's Medical and Legal Defense Fund
c/o Prison Radio
P.O. Box 411074
San Francisco, CA 94141

or on the internet to: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mumia-abu-jamal-in-danger-treatment-now#/story