12 December 2011. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts from an article by C. Clark Kissinger in Revolution, newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
December 9 marked the 30th anniversary of the night that Philadelphia police shot, beat, and arrested the revolutionary journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. He was accused of shooting a police officer and swiftly convicted of murder and sentenced to death in a flagrantly unjust trial. He has now been sitting in solitary confinement on death row for 29 years. But two days before this anniversary, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced that he was finally dropping the 30-year campaign to legally execute Mumia.
The DA's decision comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear any more appeals from the State of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has been trying for a decade to overturn a 2001 decision by a federal district court that Mumia's death sentence was unconstitutional because of misleading instructions to the jury by his trial judge.
While this means that Mumia will soon be transferred to general population in the state prison system to serve life without parole, the massive injustice of his conviction and incarceration remains. To millions around the globe, even one more day in prison for Mumia is an intolerable injustice. The political battle must continue to be waged to free Mumia from his unjust imprisonment. While the threat of a legal execution has now been lifted, it is important to be vigilant and keep up the fight to protect him and ensure that his voice continues to be heard. The authorities could try to make the situation worse for him behind bars, and even the threat of an extra-legal execution staged behind prison walls remains.