Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   No comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

30 Years!

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/10/11

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)

On December 9th, Mumia Abu-Jamal, arguably the world's most famous death row prisoner, will have been incarcerated for 30 years. As I've written here before, I've read the entire transcript of Mumia's trial, and am convinced that it was unfair and that Mumia should be freed. I feel well qualified to make this determination because while serving two one-year judicial clerkships for the Justices of the Massachusetts Appeals Court it was my job to read trial transcripts and judge the fairness of those trials.

Mumia, who I believe was wrongfully convicted of killing a police officer, remains on Pennsylvania's death row. However, it now appears likely that the State of Pennsylvania will mount no further appeals of the Federal Court's ruling overturning his death sentence. In other words, while he will no longer face execution, Mumia will remain in prison for life without the possibility of parole.

I met Mumia in the 1970's when he gave me a platform on his radio program to discuss the effort to reopen my parents' case. I've also had some brief correspondence with him, but I've never visited him in prison. The last time I visited death row was during the last week of my parents' lives when I was six years old, and I've decided - even almost 60 years later - not to put myself through another death row visit. But I've spoken with many who have visited him and read a lot of his writing. He is a remarkable human being.

Confined to a small cell 23 hours a day with limited access to the outside world, he has written a half-dozen books, produced hundreds of commentaries and had a world-wide impact on the movements to abolish capital punishment and protect the human rights of the more than two million people locked away in the American Gulag. Despite his circumstances he has been a true champion of the rights of others.

There are those who claim that Mumia's case has been an impediment to eliminating capital punishment in America. They argue that death penalty proponents will cite this outspoken and politically articulate, radical, African-American man, convicted of killing a white police officer, as an example of why we must retain capital punishment. Trying to hide cases like Mumia's from the undecided will not cajole them into opposing the death penalty. Focusing only on the most pitiful or palatable inhabitants of death row will never eradicate executions. It would be a strategic disaster for the anti-capital punishment movement to silence one of our most powerful voices in pursuit of such a flawed approach.

Moreover, Mumia has never written about his own case, but rather addressed and organized as best he could on behalf of other inmates. Mumia should be commended, not blamed, for speaking up for others, and those who advocate for Mumia should be applauded for their tireless efforts to achieve justice for him. I agree that not enough attention is paid to other death row inmates. Instead of attempting to silence Mumia, the solution is for everyone in the anti-death penalty movement to speak up more forcefully for all death row inmates.

Mumia's accomplishments provide inspiration for thousands on both sides of the prison walls, as well as within and beyond our nation's borders. He is a rock of resistance, and I am sure I am just one among countless others who salute him on this sad anniversary of his unjust incarceration.

 

www.rfc.org

Robert Meeropol is the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. In 1953, when he was six years old, the United States Government executed his parents for "conspiring to steal the secret of the atomic bomb."

For thirty years he has been a (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why I won't vote for Obama in November

Julian Assange, My Parents and the Espionage Act of 1917

"Obamacare" Not the Only Show to Watch at the Supreme Court

Democracy in Egypt, Repression in Puerto Rico

Sixty Years Ago Today My Parents Rcvd the Death Sentence

Why I'm Supporting Bradley Manning

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments