On October 26, political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal’s request for a new trial was rejected after a court hearing in Philadelphia. Abu-Jamal has been in prison for 40 years after being accused of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.
Despite many inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, he was sentenced to death row in 1982 and has been in prison since (despite the fact that the death penalty sentence was overturned in 2011 by a federal court). At every turn, Mumia has faced racism and corruption from the courts. At the beginning of his trial, the judge was famously overheard saying he was going to “help them fry the ‘n—r’.” Since then, Mumia and his supporters have fought for justice and to free him from prison.
This treatment from the courts has continued today. Mumia’s attorney petitioned for a new trial after new evidence was found at the Philadelphia district attorney’s office showing that the state bribed key witnesses who testified for the prosecution and against Mumia in his original trial, as well as evidence of how the prosecution systematically struck potential Black jurors from serving on the jury.
Despite this evidence, the court system in Philadelphia denied Abu-Jamal’s claim. It is clear the same forces that imprisoned him 40 years ago are still intent on making sure he never gets out of prison. If anything will change his situation, it will be the continued efforts of activists to publicize his case and shine a light on the injustices of his trial and the criminal justice system. We stand with Mumia and those fighting to release him. Free Mumia!