[Pnews] Report on Mumia Abu-Jamal Court Date

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 21 10:40:27 EST 2015

  */Saturday, Dec 19, 2015/*

      *It was an amazing day yesterday in Scranton, PA, with more than
      100 people inside and outside the courtroom. Folks joined us from
      all over the East coast. The Judge, Robert Mariani, began by
      reading an excerpt of the papers Mumia filed with the court,
      citing the life threatening conditions he suffered when he was
      hospitalized on March 30th, 2015. The Judge referred to those
      conditions as "serious," signaling to all in attendance that he
      meant business. However, even before the proceedings began,
      the DOC's attorney, Laura J. Neale, argued for dismissal of the
      case on a technicality.   She argued that Mumia violated procedure
      in failing to exhausted his DOC administrative appeals process
      first, before filing a suit in court; and that, on that basis, the
      judge should dismiss. Our attorneys, Bret Grote and Bob Boyle,
      literally took out the demolition equipment and went to town. The
      judge disagreed with her too, citing precedents with which she was
      unfamiliar. The judge then asked her: are Abu-Jamal's claims
      legitimate? After much back and forth she was forced to concede
      that they were legitimate, but insisted that there was a violation
      of the process. Then judge asked her, "so do you mean to tell the
      court that you are upholding form over content?" Shortly
      thereafter, the court adjourned because the DOC's attorney asked
      the judge to register his decision in a formal ruling. He came
      back with a powerful opposition to her motion citing precedent.
      And p.s. he came back with fire in his belly.*

*First order after that was to hear Mumia. Although he was stoic, Mumia 
painted a picture of his tortured, Job-like biblical crisis, explaining 
among other things how he scratched himself bloody at night at the 
height of the crisis. The DOC's attorney argued that Mumia is better now 
because the DOC doctors administered the proper medicines. Mumia's 
testimony ended with a question.
Mumia's attorney, Bret Grote: Would you accept Hepatitis C treatment?
Mumia Abu-Jamal: Yes, with it I can live; without it I may die.*

*Meanwhile, Pam Africa was managing the rotation of folks into the 
courtroom and intermittently leading the protest outside with the usual 
fire and power she brings to the struggle. The MOVE organization and 
many Philly supporters held it down in the cold, and at one point, a 
white man brandishing his gun with a press pass provoked the rally. Four 
police officers stood by, flanking him on both sides at times.  Our side 
took pictures, proceeded to expose him as an apparently police-supported 
provocateur, and kept it moving.*
*Back inside the courtroom. Our good doctor, Dr. Joe Harris, took the 
stand as our expert witness.**Movement attorney, Bob Boyle, painted a 
compelling portrait of the situation with a quick-fire, barrage of 
questions to Dr. Harris. Dr. Harris  rocked the court, and argued that 
Mumia's skin problem (Necrolytic Acral Erythema), anemia, and low 
hemoglobin count are all consequences of his active Hep C; and that the 
only solution is treatment with the cure. He also explained that Mumia's 
skin condition hasn't cleared, despite the fact that he has been give 
the strongest topical medicines in the market, which Dr. Harris called 
"big guns," medication. That remains the case, he continued, because 
Mumia's skin condition is tied to the untreated Hep C. He also added 
that it is common for this kind of severe skin condition to come and go 
in Hep C patients; but that in the meantime, the Hep C virus continues 
to advance as indicated by signs of serious liver damage in Mumia's 
system. *

        *At the conclusion of Dr. Harris' testimony, the Judge decided
        to adjourn. We return to Scranton on Tues, Dec 22 for cross
        examination of Dr. Harris and more witness and expert
        testimonies. It was a long day. A few snow flurries came down
        outside and it was freezing in the courtroom. But we got a sense
        of our power. **Except for the DOC attorneys, all in the
        courtroom - including the Judge - were attentive to the moral
        weight of this life and death condition. The lives of the 10,000
        PA prisoners with the Hep C virus were on the balance and in the
        air in the courtroom. We left understanding that health crises
        like these illuminate much of what it means to be human. *

        *T**hen we heard from imprisoned MOVE 9 member Delbert African
        at SCI Dallas, only 30 minutes from Scranton, that he and all
        the brothers on the block saw us on the evening news. BOOM!!*

*Please join us on Tues, December 22. Email bringmumiahome at gmail.com 
<mailto:bringmumiahome at gmail.com>

Reporting for the Movement to Free Mumia and all Political Prisoners, 
with love & in solidarity,*

*Johanna Fernandez
/-The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home/*

*/More Photos 

/*The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home · 13 N. Bedford St · New York, NY 10010

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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