Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mumia Abu-Jamal: "To My Friends of OWS"

Mumia Abu-Jamal: "To My Friends of OWS"

Walmart Message to OWS dictated while in Administrative Custody at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, PA.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
My Friends of OWS,
My message will have to be brief. But let not this brevity take from it, its strength.
You are the central movement of the hour. You're raising questions that are in the hearts of millions. Your motto, "We are the 99%," has been heard, heeded, and responded to by millions. You can be certain that the 1% have heard you clearest of all.
Your work, however, is just beginning. You must deepen, strengthen, and further your work until it truly reaches the 99%, almost all of us: workers, black folk, Latinos and Latinas, LGBTs, immigrants, Asians, artists, all of us, for we are integral parts of the 99%. I salute you and hope fervently that you will grow beyond number.
Though I speak to you today by proxy, I'm confident that you will here my voice soon.
Love, fun and music,
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook on April 24, 1954) was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death. He has been described as "perhaps the world's best known death-row inmate", and his sentence is one of the most debated today. Before his arrest, he was an activist and radio journalist who became President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He was a member of the Black Panther Party until October 1970.

Since his conviction, his case has become an international cause and he has become a controversial cultural icon. Supporters and opponents disagree on the appropriateness of the death penalty, whether he is guilty, or whether he received a fair trial. During his imprisonment he has published several books and other commentaries, notably Live from Death Row (1995).

Since 1995, Abu-Jamal, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections #AM8335, has been incarcerated at Pennsylvania's SCI Greene, where most of the state's capital case inmates are held. In 2008, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the murder conviction, but ordered a new capital sentencing hearing over concerns that the jury was improperly instructed. Subsequently, the United States Supreme Court allowed his July 1982 conviction to stand, and ordered the appeals court to reconsider its decision to rescind the death sentence. On April 26, 2011, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction as well as its decision to vacate the death sentence. The issue of the sentence—death or life imprisonment—was remanded for a new hearing. On December 7, 2011, the Philadelphia District Attorney dropped the prosecution's pursuit of the death penalty. Abu-Jamal's sentence has been commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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