” Stay Denied in Hep-C case.”
When a U.S. District Court ruled in early January that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections had twice violated the Constitution and also ordered them to begin treating me for Hepatitis C infection, many people thought that that was that. People walked up to me and asked me how my treatment was going. I was usually replied, “What treatment?” Most were shocked that months later no treatment had begun.
On Monday afternoon, I received a message from Bret Grote of Abolitionist Law Center telling me that the U.S. Third Circuit denied the DOC stay petition. Bret co-counsel Bob Boyle of New York and Dr. Joseph Harris, an expert witness on hepatitis who testified at the public court hearing in December 2016, had done it again. What had they done? They won.
They’ve won not just for me but for thousands of prisoners suffering from Hep C. For them all, the day of treatment has moved closer, and not just treatment, a cure. This is especially sweet for Dr. Harris, an internist who serves patients in Harlem suffering from Hep C and HIV.
At the hearing, he riveted the courtroom when he testified that he treated some 30 patients for Hep C and had 30 cures. Then he corrected himself, saying, “I want to say 31 patients.” When asked why he changed his number, he shocked the courtroom when he said the 31st patient was myself. I had Hepatitis C, but I don’t anymore. Dr. Harris may be reached at email@example.com.
The battle continues for Hepatitis C treatment, and we’re winning.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.