HEP C: A New Death Row (NLG)
[Speech writ. 8/6/17] © ’17 Mumia Abu-Jamal
When I left Death Row, little did I know that I was entering another, quieter, non-obvious Death Row.
Here, I’m not speaking of Pennsylvania’s draconian life sentences, what I’ve called ‘slow death row’.
I mean death by medical neglect -- and a malicious form of malpractice by the DOC’s failure to treat the deadly liver infection of hepatitis C.
At our court hearings in December of 2015, we learned of the DOC’s Secret Protocol, which explicitly refused to even consider treating any prisoner, unless and until a person had “esophageal varices”- or, in English, ‘bleeding from one’s throat’.
A federal judge sitting in Scranton, PA (Robert Mariani, J) looked at that protocol, and twice -- twice - declared it unconstitutional.
For lawyers, jailhouse lawyers, and especially you -- members of the NLG - this is your open door, to bring law to the people, to save lives (not to mention health), and to make state DOC medical officials serve medical needs - and not profit motives.
I end on this note: today, in PA prisons - indeed, in this very prison, prisoners are still being turned away because DOC medical continues to apply its malicious and unconstitutional profit-driven protocol!
Our work is not yet done.