Mumia Abu-Jamal is probably the most famous political prisoner of the USA, along with Leonard Peltier. He is a journalist and a political activist of leftist ideas. Today, Spanish bi-weekly Diagonal interviews his attorney, Robert Bryan, who claims he was declared guilty, 28 years ago, in a clear case of institutional racism, with the judge openly telling to a colleague: "I'm going to get the nigger fried" and banning eight black people from taking part in the jury.
The case is now at an appeal court with a very technical twist on whether the case is similar or different from another case. Bryan blames the situation to poor defense in past trials and would like them to be repeated ex novo. He argues that this is very typical: poor people cannot afford a good defense attorney, what favors the more experienced public accusation. Mumia's former attorney did not even present the racial composition of the original jury in a past revision in 1995, what could have changed the case completely.
This is an example of why death penalty is an error, not just in the case of Mumia but in thousands of other cases in the USA and across the world. People are executed not for comitting a crime but for not being properly represented, for not being able to pay for a good attorney. Death penalty is a privilege reserved for the poor.He also says that Mumia is being persecuted essentially for being an active voice, for not shutting up, for denouncing all kind of injustice and abuses. So the authorities only see one way to achieve this goal: killing him. However so far they have only achieved to make him globally famous. Bryan says he's not going to stop writing.
He wants to live, he does not want to die. He does not wish to be executed. But he will not shup up, he will not go silent just to save his own life.He also makes an appeal to sign the petition asking US President Barack Obama to speak, as moral authority, in favor of a moratorium of death penalty for Mumia and the 20,000 people that are sentenced to death in the USA. You can read and sign the petition (in many languages) HERE.
Here there is the trailer of the movie on Mumia's life, In prison my whole life:
Further information: Mumia Abu-Jamal Legal Defense.