Sept 7th ‘Day of Rage’: Immediate medical treatment for Mumia & 6,000 prisoners

The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home

Tues Sept 6, 2016

Pam Africa, 267-760-7344
Bob Boyle, 212-431-0229



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

DAY OF RAGE: Press Conference and Demo at Health Department Demand Immediate DOC Treatment of Mumia Abu-Jamal and 6,000 prisoners with Chronic and Active Hep C and Abu-Jamal’s Immediate Release

Philadelphia, PA – Concerned residents, activists, attorneys, health specialists, and elected state officials will hold a press conference on Wednesday, September 7th, outside of the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1400 Lombard Street, followed by a march to the Governor’s office at 200 Broad Street and the DA’s office at 3 South Penn Square.

According to Pam Africa, “We are demanding that the DOC immediately administer the Hep C cure to Mumia Abu-Jamal and the other 6,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania who are suffering with active and chronic Hep C.” She continues, “What we see here is another attempt to kill Mumia, an innocent man, by others means. We are also demanding his immediate release.”

The activists are emboldened by a recent and rare court ruling on prisoners’ health conditions by US District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani that declared unconstitutional PA’s Hep C protocol for treating prisoners with the deadly liver disease. Filed last week, the decision denied—on a technicality—Abu-Jamal’s request that the court order the DOC to treat him with the Hep C cure.

However, Judge Mariani’s decision illuminated the medieval health practices of the DOC’s “Hepatitis C Treatment Protocol.” The judge found that the DOC Protocol “deliberately delays” administering the known and standard Hep C cure to prisoners, until the prisoner experiences bleeding of the throat, among other deadly symptoms.

Abu-Jamal’s attorney Bob Boyle observed that, “the ruling has implications not just for prisoners, but for all PA residents with Hep C who haven’t secured treatment for this life-threating and growing epidemic.” He continues, “This decision will advance issues of public health because it cites precedent, which establishes that Medicaid must treat Hep C patients with the cure. Judge Mariani extends to prisoners this basic right to health care when he concludes that ‘the standard of care for individuals with chronic Hepatitis C is no different within the prison walls than in the community.’”

Judge Mariani went further, citing 8th Amendment violations in DOC practices. His ruling lambasted the DOC protocol for its“deliberate indifference to the known risks which follow from untreated chronic hepatitis C” and for delaying care “until the inmate faces the imminent prospect of “catastrophic” rupture and bleeding out of the esophageal vessels. Additionally, by denying treatment until inmates have ‘advanced disease’…the interim protocol prolongs the suffering of those who have been diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis C and allows the progression of the disease to accelerate so that it presents a greater threat of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and death of the inmate with such disease.”

In August 2016, Abu-Jamal’s attorneys filed a motion challenging the constitutionality of his conviction, citing precedent set by the important Supreme Court decision in Williams v. Pennsylvania. Abu-Jamal’s attorney and Professor of Law at Widener University, Judith Ritter, explains that, “The high court ruled in Williams that it is unconstitutional and a violation of due process for a judge who was formerly a prosecutor and who played an active role in the prosecution of the defendant to be part of the panel of judges that determines the defendant’s appeal. Abu-Jamal’s right to an impartial tribunal free of judicial bias was violated by PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille. Chief Justice Castille refused to recuse himself during one of Abu-Jamal’s most important appeals to his court in 1998, even though he had been a senior assistant District Attorney during Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial and Philadelphia DA during the time of Abu-Jamal’s direct appeal.”