LOS ANGELES — As of January 11, 2010 United States political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is the closest to death he has ever been. In 1981, Mr. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther as a teenager and a noted radio journalist, was shot by police, arrested and then charged with allegedly killing a Pennsylvania police officer. He was convicted after a flawed trial and sentenced to death by a jury from which the prosecution had systematically excluded Black people. The judge, notorious for sentencing people to death in great numbers, gave instructions to the jury that have been found to be invalid and incorrect. Although the courts have refused to allow new evidence demonstrating Mumia’s innocence and disproving Police allegations against him, he won an appeal which set aside his death sentence and required a new sentencing phase trial hearing.
The Supreme Court is now set to rule on an appeal by Pennsylvania prosecutors of that lower court ruling. They will either reinstate his death sentence, or uphold the lower court in granting him a new sentencing trial. If the death penalty verdict is upheld, Mumia Abu-Jamal could be dead within 48 hours. For up to date information concerning the ruling visit www.breakthechains.info.
In Los Angeles, a group called Mumia: Alive and Free! is working towards getting Mumia Abu-Jamal a new sentencing trial. However, it is our ultimate goal to have this innocent man be free.
We call for a massive gathering outside of the Downtown Los Angeles Federal Building, 200 N. Los Angeles St. (corner Temple) at 5:00 pm, the day after the Supreme Court ruling. We urge cities throughout the country and the world to act in solidarity for Mumia in any way imaginable.
Please distribute flyers far and wide. Encourage everyone you know to do something to spread the word about Mumia’s case, no matter what they can do. Sign the petition to save his life (http://www.iacenter.org/mumiapetition/). Pressure local media outlets. Initiate public rallies. Engage students, neighbors and co-workers in your area or members of your faith group. If we do not act, every single one of us will share responsibility for his death.