PHILADELPHIA—On April 26, 2011, Mumia Abu-Jamal was granted a new hearing as to whether he should be sentenced to life or death.
Abu-Jamal has been held captive inside a a Pennsylvania penitentiary for nearly thirty years, following a 1982 conviction in a kangaroo court on trumped up charges of killing Philadelphia cop, Daniel Faulkner.
This most recent development in the case of the former Black Panther and journalist must be summed up as a victory for the movement that is struggling to free him from death row.
Well known Free Mumia advocate and journalist, Linn Washington, writes, “The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has issued a ruling upholding its earlier decision backing a new sentencing hearing in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal…
“The Third Circuit's ruling, if left standing, allows Philadelphia prosecutors to call for a whole new sentencing hearing if they want to try and reinstate the death penalty.
“That would require the impaneling of a whole new jury, to hear and consider evidence regarding ‘mitigating circumstances and aggravating circumstances’ in the case, and then to decide for either execution or life-without-possibility-of-parole–the only two options legally available.
“Abu-Jamal has exhausted his avenues of appeal of his conviction, absent new evidence in the case.”
This basically means that the state could not do business as usual in the face of an international defense effort.
And as far as Mumia’s avenues of appeal being exhausted, just as this decision was forced on the courts, so can a stronger movement force the court to find “new evidence in the case” that has been there all along.
The movement forced this decision and the movement can Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!
In the absence of a movement, the state would have long ago “legally” murdered him.
We must stay vigilant and consistently oppose the genocidal death penalty!
This recent decision was the State’s response to a world-wide movement built around Mumia’s case–a movement which united and rallied various social forces and political and social movements.
Such political motion has made it difficult for the State to simply murder Mumia without exposing itself as the anti-black, colonialist state that it really is.
The system can’t stand in the light of day without losing—at the least—the moral authority grip it has on the people’s brains.
However, for the oppressed and exploited African working class, life itself—whether in prison or in the ghetto—is problematic.
We must keep the state in the retreat mode until Mumia is totally free from his dungeon-called-prison, and until the death penalty is smashed.
We must win the people’s minds in the streets. The people must state emphatically that Mumia Abu-Jamal is a political prisoner and that the U.S. government has no legitimate right to define him as a common criminal, much less hold him captive.
Surely, the motion of the people has pushed the State back enough to avoid Mumia’s expedient execution.
This development has served to provide time and space through which the struggle to free him can and must be deepened.
Mumia’s case not a question of guilt or innocence
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDM) rejects the notion that the state has imposed on the minds of the people that Mumia is somehow the criminal and his captivity in prison is an act of justice.
We reject the notion that we must prove his innocence to anybody, much less the U.S. government, the biggest criminal organization on the planet.
The fact is that Mumia Abu-Jamal is a political prisoner, locked down because of his conscious opposition to the U.S. government’s war against the African community.
No matter how one may try to flip it, bounce it or turn it inside out, the U.S. government has no redeeming qualities.
The police, one of whom the state claims Mumia killed, have no more right to occupy the African community than the U.S. Marines have to invade and occupy Libya, Afghanistan and other lands of oppressed peoples.
This is why we say that, while the evidence clearly shows that Mumia did not do it, he had a right to, just as the people of Egypt, Afghanistan and the Philippines have a right to permanently throw the yoke of U.S. oppression off their backs.
It is such resistance, which brims just beneath the surface of every ghetto in North America, that the State fears most.
It is out of fear of such resistance that the U.S. government finds it necessary to lock up, assassinate or force into exile all of our freedom fighters.
Despite whatever the U.S. government position is on political prisoners and prisoners of war held in U.S. prisons, the people will indeed TEAR DOWN THE WALLS!
And the masses who are also locked down by colonial authority will, too, be set free.
InPUDM continues to lead that resistance.
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!
Free all African political prisoners and prisoners of war!
Smash the death penalty!