Mumia on Democracy Now! 12-12-2011

12/12/11

Mumia Abu-Jamal Speaks About His Removal From Death Row

Hundreds of supporters of the imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal gathered on Friday in Philadelphia to mark the 30th anniversary of his arrest for the killing of a white police officer. The event occurred just two days after Philadelphia prosecutors announced they will no longer seek the death penalty for Abu-Jamal. On Friday, Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, called it to the event to make his first public remarks since the prosecutor’s decision was announced.

Mumia Abu-Jamal: “I am for the first time, in almost 30 years, I’m not on death row physically. I’m in a new block, called an AC block. The cells are somewhat identical to death row but no one on this block is on death row, including myself. It takes some getting used to, you see, I’m still acclimating myself.”

Abu-Jamal was also asked about his reaction to having his death sentence converted to life without parole.

Mumia Abu-Jamal: “I must admit to some surprise because I was expecting the hearing–by that I mean a sentencing hearing–even though many friends and supporters and even lawyers said there probably wouldn’t be one. I believed there would be one. And I continued to feel this way until I heard the news. I will be talking to my lawyers in a matter of days and we will be going over precisely those kinds of questions. Because there will not be a hearing there is some disappointment because we thought we could make some things happen in that hearing and really give a good fight, but we’ll have to fight in other ways. I want to thank everybody that really supported us for so many years.”