[Pnews] Mumia Abu-Jamal Hearing - Devastating cross examination

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Dec 23 10:40:08 EST 2015



    *Devastating cross examination *

Dateline: 12-23-2015 Scranton PA Federal Court

Day Two of "Abu-Jamal v. Kerestes" had fireworks equal to the opening 
round on Friday. The arguments for a Preliminary Injunction continued 
before the U.S. District Court in Scranton Pennyslvania.(here Mumia's 
interview after Friday's hearing) 
<http://prisonradio.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=247585f092e945ff55b9a1bb2&id=2fb1148f67&e=b26148be22>

It was a day of dueling doctors, admissions, explosive documents, and 
first hand testimony, which debated the constitutional right to health 
care while in prison.  The question: does Mumia Abu-Jamal receive life 
saving new anti viral drugs that cure Hepatitis C? or will Judge Robert 
Mariani's federal court allow the Department of Corrections in 
Pennsylvania to deny _any treatment_ for chronic Hepatitis C - and 
maintain (a just revealed protocol) that calls for "denying care" and 
"monitoring imates" while the virus ravages the body causing 
irreversible organ damage.

The morning featured vigorous cross examination.  Dr. Joseph Harris, 
deftly handled Department of Corrections cross, emphasizing this key 
point: the cure for Hep C is clearly the medical standard of care. And 
denial of treatment is no treatment for a progressive and infectious 
disease.

In a last minute addition to the witness list the DOC questioned 
dermatologist Dr. Schleicher who first treated Mumia's devasting skin 
condition in Feb. of 2015.  The Department of Corrections through this 
expert unconvincingly asserted that Mumia's skin condition was unrelated 
to Hepatitis C, and that his low platelet counts, anemia of chronic 
disease, abnormal liver function tests, are not caused by Hep C.

At 12:10 of the hearing a withering cross exam by Robert Boyle (Attorney 
for Abu-Jamal) exposed Schleicher's limited diagnostic acumen, his 
failure to monitor Mumia's two hospital ICU admissions and the 
illuiminating fact that he did not follow up on Geisinger Medical 
Center's recommendation in May for an Hep C viral load test.  He got him 
to admit that "he did not know much about Hep C". Schleicher has 
continued to treat Mumia, and it was revealed was unaware that the 
infectious disease specialist hired by the department of Corrections, 
Dr. Ramon Gadea, had recommended on September 9th treatment for 
Hepatitis C in response to Mumia's ongoing ravaged skin. Notably, Dr. 
Gadea and the onsite doctors at SCI Mahanoy who see Mumia in the 
infirmary on a weekly basis were not called to testify.  It can be 
presumed that  their testimony would have been unfavorable to the DOC.


    *Standing Up for Mumia*

The mid afternoon featured Dr. Suzanne Ross and Dr. Johanna Fernandez. 
  The value of these two frequent and long term visitors to Mumia was in 
the compelling details that they provided describing Mumia's injuries, 
acute sysmptoms, and deteriorating health.  Some examples from the acute 
period of symptoms in the spring and summer included Mumia's slurred 
words, elephant skin, scales and bloody cracks in his skin on 90% of his 
body, extreme weakness, swelling of his limbs, and loss of mental 
acuity.  When cross-exmamined both Ross and Fernandez were unapologetic, 
as they expounded on Mumia's innocence, unjust incarceration, and the 
state's naked attempts to silence him.

As those who know Mumia personally realize, the man just does not 
complain, and is frankly unable to describe his own vulnerablity.  As 
such, this testimony was key.  Present through video streaming 
throughout the proceedings Mumia was, as Dr. Fernandez testified is part 
of his character, simply stoic.  Before this devastating health crisis, 
there were only a handful of occasions that he has gone to sick call 
during 34 yrs of incarceration.  This might be surprising for a man who 
is known to the world as a writer and eloquent pubic commentator.


    Key Evidence Exposed

In an explosive revelation: Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center, 
dissected the testimony of DOC defense witness infirmary administrator, 
Mr. Steinhart - revealing that there is a written Hep C treatment 
protocol that was developed this year.  Grote appealed to the judge, and 
he required that the DOC immediately produce a copy of the document. 
  Laura Neal, DOC counsel quickly tried to surpress the public release 
of the document, calling for it to remain under seal.  Overheard in the 
courtroom, DOC associate defense counsel noted that they did not want 
this document available publically because it would increase the 
department's liability in the class action pending for inmate Hep C 
treatment.  Debate continues Wed morning on whether this document will 
be sealed.  A Right To Know request  by Prison Radio requesting the 
document was filed with the state during break requested by the judge so 
he could read the protocol

On tap: Cross Examination of DOC expert- Dr. Jay Cowan, notoriously head 
of Riker's Island Medical Center.  please follow us on twitter, 
facebook, and tonight on email for updates...

The doctors and lawyers that enforce the PA Department of Corrections 
policy have got a problem. Health Care is a constitutional right, even 
for those who are incarcerated.   Proving that the DOC has been 
"deliberately indifferent"  the required standard for a preliminary 
injunction and relief in this case clearly has been met by Abu-Jamal's 
attorneys.

via Prison Radio
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San Francisco, CA
94141
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