[Pnews] Ruling Keeps Alive Mumia Abu-Jamal's Lawsuit Over Hepatitis Drugs
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 22 10:33:48 EDT 2019
Ruling Keeps Alive Mumia Abu-Jamal's Lawsuit Over Hepatitis Drugs
July 19, 2019
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday kept alive a
lawsuit brought by Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the killing a
Philadelphia police officer in 1981, that alleges his rights were
violated when he was denied hepatitis C drugs. The 3rd U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court decision that Corrections
Department employees were not immune to being sued over their decisions
Abu-Jamal, 65, who is serving a life sentence in the Pennsylvania prison
system, says the initial denial of treating him with two anti-hepatitis
drugs violated his constitutional right to be free from cruel and
He previously won a court order that required the prison system to
provide the drugs.
His lawyer, Bret Grote, said Friday that the treatment was successful.
*Mumia Abu-Jamal Gets New Hearing In Death Of Philadelphia Police
Officer After District Attorney Drops Opposition*
A Wolf administration spokesman said the newly issued opinion was under
review and noted the decision did not conclude the litigation.
On Friday, the three-judge federal panel ruled there are sufficient
grounds at this point to support his claim that he was denied
appropriate treatment for a nonmedical reason — its high cost.
“Our ruling here should not be read to rule out the possibility that the
department defendants may, at a future stage of the litigation, be able
to establish either a lack of medical consensus at relevant points as to
the appropriate procedures surrounding hepatitis C treatment or that
there were ‘medical reasons’ for adherence to the protocol,” wrote Judge
In November, the Corrections Department announced it was moving to
settle a separate lawsuit by providing a prescription drug treatment
regimen for prisoners who suffer from chronic hepatitis C infections.
That deal called for the state to provide direct-acting anti-viral
drugs, giving priority to those with the most serious conditions. The
department said last year the average per-patient treatment cost was
Abu-Jamal, an inmate at the State Correctional Institute-Mahanoy, is a
former Black Panther convicted of the slaying of Officer Daniel
Faulkner, who had just pulled over Abu-Jamal’s brother.
Abu-Jamal spent most of his decades behind bars on death row before his
sentence was reduced in 2011 to life without parole. He was
recently granted a new appeals hearing.
He tested positive in 2012 for the hepatitis C antibody, and three years
later was rushed to a hospital twice in three months, Shwartz wrote. He
repeatedly asked to be treated with two anti-viral drugs, but a prison
system committee rejected his request.
Abu-Jamal sued in May 2015, and a federal judge ordered him to be
treated with the two drugs. The latest appeals court decision concerns a
lawsuit he filed in 2017 that alleges violation of his 8th Amendment
protection from cruel and unusual punishment.
A trial date has not been scheduled.
/(©Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)/
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