"A prophetic writer. Mumia refuses to allow his spirit to be broken by the forces of injustice; his language glows with an affirming flame." -Jonathan Kozol, educator and author
Pennsylvania legislators are trying to stop prisoners from speaking about their ideas and experiences. In October, PA Representative Mike Vereb introduced a bill (HB2533) called the "Revictimization Relief Act," which would allow victims, District Attorneys, and the Attorney General to sue people who have been convicted of "personal injury" crimes for speaking out publicly if it causes the victim of the crime "mental anguish."
We believe that this legislation is not actually an attempt to help victims, but a cynical move by legislators to stop people in prison from speaking out against an unjust system. While to us this seems like a clear violation of the first amendment, unfortunately the PA General Assembly doesn't appear to agree, and they fast-tracked the bill for approval and amended another bill (SB508) to include the same language.
PA Governor, Tom Corbett, signed the bill, effective immediately. It allows the state Attorney General or a District Attorney to prevent prisoners from speaking publicly. It is a huge blow to the movement against mass incarceration.
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(Article changed on December 11, 2014 at 13:37)