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Petitioning PA Secretary of Corrections John E. Wetzel and 1 other

Stop the Medical Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal
 by Neglect and Malpractice!

Summary:

The life of brilliant journalist, intellectual, and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is in great danger. On March 30, after months of medical neglect, Mumia - imprisoned at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, PA - went into diabetic shock and was hospitalized with life-threatening high blood sugar. Just two days later, he was transferred back to the same prison that failed to diagnose or treat him. His diet is dangerous and his health is deteriorating. Only massive pressure will stop his medical execution through neglect and malpractice.

To:

John E. Wetzel, PA Secretary of Corrections
Tom Wolf, PA Governor

I join with the international movement of human rights advocates, clergy, medical professionals, and justice-seeking people calling for the following immediate steps to save the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal and to uncover the systemic problems that led to his medical crisis:

1. Allow daily visits by Mumia’s family, friends, and attorneys.

2. Allow Mumia’s choice of specialist doctors to examine and schedule treatment for him – NOW.

3. Provide Mumia with a diet that meets his particular medical needs.

4. Launch a full investigation of prison healthcare in Pennsylvania.

5. Mumia is innocent and should never have been incarcerated. Release him immediately!

Background:

We the members of the movements to free Mumia Abu-Jamal comprise one of the longest-running grassroots campaigns for any prisoner in America. Mumia survived 29 years in solitary confinement on death row until the US Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that his death sentence was unconstitutional. Unable to kill Mumia on death row, Pennsylvania officials consigned him to a “slow death row” sentence of Life without Parole, a sentence suffered by 49,000 other prisoners in the US. At age 61 Mumia is now exposed to the debilitation and vulnerability to death that is the unconscionable fate suffered by thousands of elderly in US prisons today. The neglect and assault on Mumia’s body are flagrant and unacceptable. In this latest assault on his life:

- Mumia reported three months ago a full-body outbreak of eczema, with blisters and bloody sores. Treatment by prison doctors and staff produced a severe reaction. His skin ruptured. 


- Prison officials failed to properly diagnose Mumia’s growing health crisis.

- On March 30, 2014 Mumia went into diabetic shock and fainted in the prison.

- When taken to Schuylkill Medical Center, he had a blood sugar level of 779 - just shy of the 800 figure that registers diabetic coma. His sodium was also alarmingly high at 168, which could have resulted in death. Throughout his stay he was shackled to his bed.

- Simultaneously, Mumia is reported to have kidney stones that he  will probably have to painfully pass in his already weakened condition.


- Barely two days after his hospitalization, he was suddenly transferred to the Mahanoy Prison infirmary, despite his very bad condition. On April 1, 2015, Mumia’s family reported that he was shaking uncontrollably, had labored breathing, and had lost over 80 pounds in the last three months. We see this transfer as an attempt to sever Mumia from the widespread attention he has garnered during this health crisis, and to shut down the movement’s vigil at the hospital.

Clearly all this constitutes a form of abysmal physical neglect and malpractice that approximates torture. Such abuse provokes and prolongs acute pain. It debilitates and kills.

Therefore, we say “Enough!” and make the following demands on the Mahanoy Prison, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and the Governor:

1. Allow daily visits by Mumia’s family, friends, and attorneys. Their support and protection in this time of vulnerability is lifesaving, and must not be restricted.

2. Allow Mumia’s choice of specialist doctors to examine and schedule treatment for him – NOW.  Neither the prison staff nor the Schuylkill Medical Center has a diabetes specialist. There is precedent in Pennsylvania for this. When John E. du Pont, an heir to the famed chemical fortune, was imprisoned, he was allowed care by private doctors. Mumia deserves the same.

3. Provide Mumia with a diet that meets his particular medical needs. Since he was prematurely taken from the hospital and put back in the prison where these problems started his blood sugar levels have been rising because they are only giving him foods like pasta that are dangerous with diabetes. Yet Pennsylvania prisons have diets in place for people dealing with health problems, including diabetes, and they aren’t even giving him that.

4. Launch a full independent investigation of prison healthcare in Pennsylvania. The state’s medical services have been so neglectful –even abusive – that its entire healthcare operations warrant independent review. The unexpected and unexplained sudden death of political prisoner Phil Africa of the MOVE organization last year, while he was under prison medical supervision, is but one of many examples of the physical jeopardy, even mortal danger, faced by prisoners undergoing the system’s healthcare procedures.

5. Mumia is innocent and should never have been incarcerated. Release him immediately!

For more information, updates, and action alerts -- including the ongoing phone pressure campaign -- please visit Free Mumia Coalition, Prison Radio, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, and on like us on Facebook

This petition was delivered to:
  • PA Secretary of Corrections
    John E. Wetzel
  • PA Governor
    Tom Wolf


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 by Neglect and Malpractice”. Join Supporters of Mumia and 11,027 supporters today.