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Mumia Abu-Jamal – Life After Death Row and His Quest for Freedom [Video]

Mumia Abu-Jamal – Life After Death Row and His Quest for Freedom [Video]

n a Democracy Now! exclusive, Mumia Abu-Jamal phones in from the SCI Mahanoy prison in Frackville, Pennsylvania, where he is being held in general population after nearly 30 years on death row. Although he now lives in a bigger cell than what he calls the “small dog cage” of the last three decades, Mumia says his life sentence is akin to “a slow death row. It’s bigger in terms of the time differential, but it’s slow death row, to be sure.” After having his death sentence overturned in late 2011, Abu-Jamal says he is determined to win his release from prison over allegations of racial bias and judicial misconduct in his conviction. “We want freedom,” he says of the movement calling for his release. Supporters have long argued racism by the trial judge and prosecutors led to Abu-Jamal’s conviction. He notes that during his trial a court reporter overheard the judge in his case, Judge Albert F. Sabo, say in his chambers, “I’m going to help them fry the nigger.” “This was heard by a court reporter—a member of the court staff, a court employee, and a person that is perhaps the best listener you could ever have for any conversation, because that’s her job,” Abu-Jamal says. “We didn’t know about it until years later, but when we put this into our papers, our filings, it has been essentially ignored by every court it’s come in front of. How is that possible? And so, I mean, that’s certainly one indication, as you can see, one example of an unfair system.”


Actor and activist Danny Glover speaks to Mumia Abu-Jamal for the first time after championing the jailed former Black Panther’s cause for over two decades. “I just want to tell you that — and I’m really emotional because I didn’t expect to hear your voice this morning — that we continue to struggle and will continue to struggle to fight for your release. … We love you, brother,” Glover tells Abu-Jamal. “I am as pleased as punch and thrilled to hear you there,” Abu-Jamal responds. On Occupy Wall Street, Abu-Jamal calls the protests “one of the greatest advances in the democracy movement in our modern period,” but one that is only in its nascent stages. “They have something more important to do, and that’s to connect with other people’s movements around the country and build a kind of resistance that can transform this country.”


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