RN: Mumia retrial denied


Jan Slakov

Dear Renaissance Network,  Oct. 31

One of the most important things that happened on my recent trip to
Montreal, maybe even the most important thing, was being able to buy a copy
of Mumia Abu-Jamal's _Death Blossoms_. It is, I think, a truly great book. 

I suppose I ought to be in bed (but I will not have time to do this tomorrow
and it is important for us to act on Mumia's behalf as soon as possible). I
want to share with you just a bit of what Mumia's writing is like (enough
hopefully that you will 1) buy his books and 2) help get him out of prison).

Here, then, is one section entitled: "a Write-up for Writing".

On June 3, 1995, one day after being served with a death warrant, I was
served with a "write-up", a misconduct report for "engaging in a business or
profession", i.e. as a journalist. So strongly does the State object to me
writing what you are now reading that they have begun to punish me, while
I'm in the most punitive section the system allows, for dating to speak and
write the truth.

The institutional offense? My book, _Live from Death Row_. It paints an
uncomplimentary picture of a prison system that calls itself "correctional"
but does little more than corrupt human souls; a system that eats hundreds
of millions of dollars a year to torture, maim and mutilate tens of
thousands of men and women; a system that teaches bitterness and hones hatred.

Clearly what the government wants is not just death, but silence. A
"correct" inmate is a silent one. One who speaks, writes and exposes horror
for what it is, is given a "misconduct". Is that a correct system? A system
of corrections? In this department of the state government, the First
Amendment is a nullity. It doesn't apply.

No one - not a cop, nor a guard - can find one lie in _Live from Death Row_;
indeed, it is precisely because of its truth that it is a target of the
state and its minions - a truth they don't want you to see.

Consider: Why haven't you seen, heard or read anything like this on TV,
radio, or in the papers? Newspapers, radio, and TV are increasingly the
property of wealthy individuals and therefore reflect the perspective of the
rich and the established, not the poor and the powerless.

In _Live from Death Row_, you hear the voices of the many, the oppressed,
the damned, and the bombed. I paid a high price to bring it to you, and I
will pay more; but I tell you, I would do it a thousand times, no matter
what the cost, because it is right! To quote John Africa; "When you are
committed to doing what is right, the power of righteousness will never
betray you..." It was right to write _live from Death Row_, and it's right
for you to read it, no matter what cop, guard, prisoncrat, politician, or
media mouthpiece tells you otherwise.

Every day of your life, no doubt, you've heard of "freedom of speech" and
"freedom of the press". But what can such "freedom" mean without the freedom
to read, or to hear, what you want?

As you read this, know that I am being punished by the governement for
writing _live from Death Row_, and for writing these very words. Indeed,
I've been punished by the United States government for my writings since I
was fifteen years of age - but I've kept right on writing.


back to Jan: Having read this little book, (with its great foreword by
Cornel West, preface by Julia Wright and "to the reader" by Bruderhof member
Steve Wiser) I am convinced that Mumia Abu-Jamal is indeed a prisoner of
conscience, that he was framed so as to be put in prison (and maybe killed).
He has come very close to being killed already (apparently extensive
protests prevented the execution from being carried out on Aug. 17, 1995, as
had been planned...) 

Just as our window of opportunity to work together towards a better world is
fragile, the window of opportunity to save Mumia, surely one of America's
most noble and beautiful souls, is likewise small. 

Yours in hope, Jan

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 16:46:25 -0800 (PST)
From: MichaelP <•••@••.•••>
Subject: State supreme ct denies Mumia appeal for new trial

   Mumia Abu Jamal Appeal Denied
   Author:   International Action Center
   Email: •••@••.•••
   Date: 1998/10/30
October 30, 1998  3:30 p.m.

Mumia Abu Jamal's New Trial Appeal Denied

Death row political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal's appeal for a new trial,
which was before the State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was denied today. 

The order was signed by Justice Ronald Castillo who as District attorney
played a key role in denying a new trial to Mumia ten years ago. At that
time as DA Castillo signed all the prosecution's briefs filed against
Mumia's appeal to the State Supreme Court. 

Pennsylvania's Governor Thomas Ridge claimed that he was ready to sign a
new death warrant when the appeal was denied. A death warrant might be
signed as early as today. 

Activists around the country have been preparing for demonstrations for
the day after a negative court decision. 

In New York City, organizers from the New York Mumia Coalition have
announced a demonstration Saturday, October 31, in front of Grand Central
Station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue South at 4:00 p.m..  Call 212 330
8029 the hot-line number for information. 

According to the NY Mumia Coalition organizer, Safia Bukhari, "This
decision is an outrage. We plan to fight the racist so called "justice
system" all the way.  This Judge Castille, who signed the order, has a
major conflict of interest. Not only was he instrumental in the denial of
Mumia's original appeal, he was responsible for making an instructional
video tape that kept African-Americans off juries in Philadelphia for

"We plan to demonstrate in New York this Saturday at Grand Central Station
and go to Philadelphia next Saturday, November 7th to join with our
brothers and sisters there to express our outrage at the attempted
lynching of Mumia Abu Jamal." 

For information go to: http://www.mumia.com
or call 212-330-8029

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e-mail: •••@••.•••
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