In the wake of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s denial of Mumia Abu Jamal’s last state appeal on October 26, the government is closer to executing a political prisoner than it has been since the Rosenbergs were electrocuted in the 1950s. Although attorneys have filed a petition for rehearing, Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge could sign a death warrant to kill the award-winning journalist, former Black Panther and radical at any time.
Mumia was wrongly convicted of killing a Philadelphia policeman in 1982 after a trial tainted by extensive governmental misconduct. Physical evidence and credible witnesses demonstrate that Mumia could not have killed the officer. Mumia has now been on death row for 17 years, during which time he has continued his work as a journalist despite the state’s attempts to silence him.
It now appears that Mumia’s last chance to survive is a final federal appeal, and more importantly, the Court of public opinion. Despite some publicity, including the film “Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for Reasonable Doubt?” which aired on national television, Mumia is hardly a household word and it is possible that an innocent radical will be executed without most Americans even knowing about it. Mumia’s case has received much more attention outside the US than here at home, and worldwide Mumia’s case is considered an example of America’s racist injustice system running wild.
Protests are planned worldwide soon after governor Ridge signs Mumia’s death warrant. In the Bay Area, meet the Tuesday after the death warrant is signed at 5:30 p.m., Montgomery and Market St., San Francisco (Montgomer BART.) To get involved in efforts to raise awareness of Mumia’s case and save his life, call 415-431-3594. You can also call governor Ridge and demand that he order a new trial for Mumia: Tom Ridge, Main Capitol Building, Rm 2225, Harrisburg, PA 17120, governor@ stata.PA.US, 717-787-2500. Or, let the State of Pennsylvania’s