[Pnews] The Public Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal?

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 27 10:32:43 EDT 2015


  The Public Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal?

Sun, 04/26/2015 - 23:03
"F*%king Horrible"
by:
Linn Washington Jr.

In August 1936 nearly 20,000 people filled a vacant lot next to a 
municipal building in a small Kentucky town to watch the hanging of a 
man convicted of rape. This hanging, conducted by two executioners 
retained by that town, would be the last official ‘public execution’ in 
America.

Although states across this country have banned executions where the 
public can freely attend, some contend that the American public is again 
witnessing the spectacle of a public execution – more precisely: the 
spectacle of a killing occurring in plain sight administered by 
governmental authorities.

This current spectacle of governmental killing involves a high-profile 
inmate in Pennsylvania that evidence indicates is quite possibly 
experiencing a ‘slow execution’ through calculated medical mistreatment.

Author/activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, perhaps the most widely known prison 
inmate in America, is gravely ill, hardly able to walk or talk because 
of severe complications related largely to the diabetes which medical 
personnel inside a Pennsylvania prison failed to diagnose for months. 
Prison medical personnel either did not detect the diabetes earlier this 
year while giving Abu-Jamal numerous blood tests that easily identify 
the elevated blood sugar levels of diabetes or did not inform Abu-Jamal 
of the blood test results.

That failure to find his raging diabetes led to Abu-Jamal’s emergency 
hospitalization at the end of March, after he collapsed, unconscious and 
in sugar shock. When authorities finally transported Abu-Jamal from the 
SCI Mahanoy prison to the hospital, he was on the verge of a potentially 
fatal diabetic coma. Weeks before that emergency hospitalization, 
Abu-Jamal’s blood pressure spiked to a level that required 
hospitalization that he did not receive, stated persons working with 
Abu-Jamal.

Despite Abu-Jamal’s obvious painful and deteriorating medical condition, 
Pennsylvania prison authorities have barred Abu-Jamal from receiving 
access to or consultation from medical experts assembled by his supporters.

Those experts could provide the quality of care unavailable at either 
the demonstrably incompetent infirmary inside SCI Mahanoy or that 
non-prison hospital authorities utilized. (Abu-Jamal has had adverse 
reactions to medications he has received from the Mahanoy prison 
infirmary, his supporters said.)

The refusal of Pennsylvania prison authorities to properly treat 
Abu-Jamal or permit him access to non-prison medical personnel who could 
effectively treat his conditions fuel understandable fears among 
Abu-Jamal’s far-flung supporters that anti-Abu-Jamal forces are trying 
to effectuate the death sentence that once hung over Abu-Jamal.

The ‘fear’ that foul play could be apart of Abu-Jamal’s poor medical 
care arises from the fact that police, politicians and others had 
vigorously campaigned for Abu-Jamal’s execution for 28-years. Abu-Jamal 
received a death sentence following his controversial 1982 conviction 
for killing a Philadelphia policeman. That campaign for execution 
included many forms of harassment. The extraordinary punishments from 
that campaign provide proof for many that Abu-Jamal is a political 
prisoner.

“They are outright killing him in front of us,” Pam Africa said. Africa, 
a close associate of Abu-Jamal and head of International Concerned 
Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal, visits him regularly.
(Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was converted to life in prison after 
federal courts repeatedly upheld the dismissal of the death sentence 
citing constitutional violations.)

“He is in pain. His skin is so bad from that rash that he looks like a 
burn victim,” Africa said. “The is F*%king horrible …”

When prison authorities returned Abu-Jamal to SCI Mahanoy from that 
hospital, following a few days care in the ICU, he was still seriously ill.

Yet, prison authorities ordered him returned to his prison cell after a 
brief stay in the Mahanoy infirmary following his return from the ICU. 
Authorities returned him to his cell despite his visibly weakened 
condition, dramatic 70-lb.weight loss, labored breathing, swelling of 
his body parts and open sores on his skin from a festering rash.

Prison authorities certainly knew that Abu-Jamal’s weakened condition 
would make it difficult for him to walk back to the infirmary for help 
since the distance from his cell to the infirmary is the distance of 
about three-city-blocks. Certainly authorities knew the difficulties 
facing Abu-Jamal even in obtaining meals from the dining hall, a nearly 
two-block distance from his cell.

Prison Radio, the San Francisco-based media entity that has broadcast 
Abu-Jamal’s prison commentaries for decades, recently issued an update 
on his medical condition utilizing information provided by Abu-Jamal’s 
wife, Wadiya following her latest visit.

According to that report Abu-Jamal “is extremely swollen in his neck, 
chest, legs and his skin is worse than ever, with open sores. He was not 
in a wheelchair, but can only take baby steps. He is very weak. He was 
nodding off during the visit. He was not able to eat – he was fed with a 
spoon. These are symptoms that could be associated with hyper glucose 
levels, diabetic shock, diabetic coma, and with kidney stress and failure.”

Prison Radio, a few days before that updated report on Abu-Jamal’s 
condition, had released information that Pennsylvania prison authorities 
were refusing proposals to address Abu-Jamal’s worsening medical condition.

Prison Radio revealed that prison authorities had notified Bret Grote, a 
lawyer for Abu-Jamal, that they would not allow Abu-Jamal to be examined 
by his own doctor, and would not allow his doctor to speak with prison 
medical staff to assist or direct Abu-Jamal’s care. Prison officials are 
also refusing to allow regular phone calls between Abu-Jamal and his 
doctor and they said they would not allow Abu-Jamal to be examined by an 
endocrinologist (a diabetes specialist).

Proposals for Abu-Jamal receiving medical care from personnel outside 
the prison system are not out of line. Authorities allowed millionaire 
John DuPont to have his medical issues treated by his own private 
physician at his expense while he served a life sentence for murder 
before dying in a Pennsylvania prison. Authorities denying Abu-Jamal 
allowances that authorities have extended to other inmates is a part of 
the pattern of punishments that target Abu-Jamal.

Charges that prison authorities are deliberating mistreating Abu-Jamal 
are routinely dismissed as hyperbole by authorities despite abundant 
examples of mistreatment directed at Abu-Jamal and other inmates.

For example, in 2010 an inmate serving a life sentence like Abu-Jamal 
filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania prison authorities challenging 
their refusal to provide him with medical treatment for acute kidney 
stones despite a previous court settlement where authorities had agreed 
to provide that inmate with his needed treatment.

That inmate, Walter Chruby, secured an injunction from a judge in 
Pittsburgh ordering immediate treatment. Chruby’s lawsuit, according to 
a court ruling on that injunction, stated that immediately after Chruby 
won that first court order for treatment, prison authorities “began 
withholding or intentionally delaying adequate medical care…”

The medical mistreatment of Mumia Abu-Jamal comes at a time when callous 
law enforcement, particularly brutality and fatal shootings by police, 
is in the national spotlight. Abu-Jamal, in his books and commentaries 
produced in prison, has been a strident critic of inequities in the 
criminal justice system. The medical mistreatment of Abu-Jamal is rife 
with callousness and inhumanity.

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*Source URL:* http://thiscantbehappening.net/node/2746
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