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href="https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/07/19/ruling-keeps-alive-mumia-abu-jamals-lawsuit-over-hepatitis-drugs/">https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/07/19/ruling-keeps-alive-mumia-abu-jamals-lawsuit-over-hepatitis-drugs/</a></font>
        <h1 class="reader-title">Ruling Keeps Alive Mumia Abu-Jamal's
          Lawsuit Over Hepatitis Drugs</h1>
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          <div class="reader-estimated-time">July 19, 2019<br>
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                    <p>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 regarding
                      Abu-Jamal.</p>
                    <p>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 unusual punishment.</p>
                    <p>He previously won a court order that required the
                      prison system to provide the drugs.</p>
                    <p>His lawyer, Bret Grote, said Friday that the
                      treatment was successful.</p>
                    <p><a
href="https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/04/17/mumia-abu-jamal-appeals-hearing-philadelphia-police-officer-daniel-faulkner-larry-krasner/"><strong>Mumia
                          Abu-Jamal Gets New Hearing In Death Of
                          Philadelphia Police Officer After District
                          Attorney Drops Opposition</strong></a></p>
                    <p>A Wolf administration spokesman said the newly
                      issued opinion was under review and noted the
                      decision did not conclude the litigation.</p>
                    <p>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.</p>
                    <p>“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 Patty Shwartz.</p>
                    <p>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.</p>
                    <p>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 about $20,000.</p>
                    <p>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.</p>
                    <p>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.</p>
                    <p>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.</p>
                    <p>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.</p>
                    <p>A trial date has not been scheduled.</p>
                    <p><em>(©Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All
                        Rights Reserved.)</em></p>
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