Speaking from Death Row: Mumia Abu-Jamal


Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist who has been on death row in Pennsylvania for twenty-six years. He was convicted in 1982 for killing a white police officer. His trial and subsequent conviction has aroused controversy and criticism for alleged constitutional violations and other improprieties. In spite of his two decades of imprisonment on death row, Abu-Jamal continues to fight for his freedom and for his profession.

April 07, 2009: Supreme Court Denies Appeal for Death Row Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal
The Supreme Court has denied an appeal from the journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal. On Monday, the court rejected without comment Abu-Jamal’s bid to overturn his conviction for the 1981 killing of a white police officer following a controversial trial before a predominantly white jury.

March 28, 2008: Following Mixed Court Ruling, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Lead Attorney Maintains Hope for Overturning Conviction
A federal appeals court Thursday refused to overturn the conviction of imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal and rejected his call for a new trial. However, the long-awaited ruling said Abu-Jamal, who has been on death row for twenty-six years, deserves a new sentencing hearing because of flawed jury instructions. If he is re-sentenced, he will face either death or life in prison without parole. We speak to Abu-Jamal’s lead attorney, Robert Bryan.

May 18, 2007: Citing Racist Bias, Attorneys for Mumia Abu-Jamal Urge a Federal Appeals Court to Grant the Former Black Panther a New Trial
Attorney Robert Bryan says a racist judge and racist jury practices contributed to the sentencing of Abu-Jamal to death row. Bryan joins us in New York one day after he argued before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

May 15, 2007: Philadelphia Court Hearing Could Decide Fate of Imprisoned Journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal
In Philadelphia, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s legal team is preparing for a hearing that could decide the fate of the imprisoned former Black Panther. Abu-Jamal has been on death row for 25 years after being convicted of killing a police officer following a controversial trial before a predominantly-white jury. On Thursday, the Third Circuit Court Of Appeals will hear oral arguments to decide whether Mumia gets a new trial, life in prison without parole, or execution. Hundreds of supporters are planning to rally outside the courthouse. We’re joined by Linn Washington of the Philadelphia Tribune, and hear a recent audio commentary Mumia recorded behind bars.

June 23, 2006: Julia Wright, Daughter of Famed Writer Richard Wright, on Mumia Abu-Jamal
We take a look at case of death row case prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal. with Julia Wright, daughter of the late, famed writer Richard Wright. We also play a tribute to Julia Wright that Mumia Abu-Jamal recorded from death row.

February 07, 2005: Mumia Abu Jamal Remembers Ossie Davis: 'A Lion Has Fallen'
We play a prison radio commentary by journalist and death row prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal. He remembers Ossie Davis and plays an interview with him from 1980.

May 10, 2004: In the Shadow of Abu Ghraib: Death Row Prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal On Iraq Prison Scandal
The photos from Abu Ghraib show Spec. Charles Graner Jr. in photographs giving the “thumbs up” over piles of naked Iraqi men. Graner reportedly worked as a prison guard in Virginia and at SCI Greene–the notorious prison in southwestern Pennsylvania where political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is held on Death Row. We hear Abu Jamal’s latest commentary recorded by the Prison Radio Project.

April 16, 2004: Exclusive: Mumia Abu Jamal Speaks to Democracy Now! From Death Row
55 Years Ago this week Pacfica’s first station KPFA first took to the airwaves in Berkeley in order to give voice to the voiceless. Today we go to inside the prison walls to speak with the often censored death row journalist Mumia Abu Jamal. We spoke with him by phone from the San Francisco office of the Prison Radio Project.

January 23, 2004: Michael Moore on Wesley Clark, Mumia Abu Jamal, the Democratic Presidential Debate and More
Academy award-winning documentary filmmaker, television producer and author Michael Moore joins us in our firehouse studios to discuss his endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, hearing his name during the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire, the controversy surrounding the mention of death row prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal in his latest book, and much more.

December 09, 2003: 22nd Anniversary of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Arrest for Fatal Shooting of Officer Danny Faulkner
22 years ago today Mumia Abu-Jamal was arrested for the fatal shooting of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal was also gravely wounded. We speak with activist Pam Africa about Pennsylvania’s most famous death row inmate.

November 17, 2003: Free Mumia Coalition Responds to Michael Moore and His New Lawyer Discusses Recent Case Developments
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against Mumia Abu-Jamal’s habeas corpus appeal last month around the same time he was named an honorary citizen of Paris. We speak with Robert Bryan, Mumia’s new lead attorney and Suzanne Ross of the Free Mumia Coalition in New York City.

August 08, 2003: Mumia Abu Jamal on the 25th Anniversary of the Arrest of the MOVE 9
25 years ago today in West Philadelphia hundreds of armed police officers raided the homes of the African-American political group known as MOVE. By the end of the day one police officer was dead and 12 members of MOVE were arrested and jailed. Nine of them would later be convicted in a controversial trial.

January 15, 2003: From Death Row, Mumia Speaks Out On the Death Penalty & the “Broken” System
Death-penalty opponents are asking state officials around the country to follow the lead of outgoing Illinois Governor George Ryan, who recently commuted the death sentences of all 167 inmates on death row.

October 24, 2002: From Death Row: Mumia Abu-Jamal Conducts His First Interview in 22 Years, with Indicted Human Rights Lawyer Lynne Stewart
On Saturday, award-winning journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal anchored his first interview in 22 years, from his cell at SCI Greene Prison in Pennsylvania. In this exclusive interview, Abu-Jamal talks to attorney Lynne Stewart who is currently under indictment by the Justice Department for “materially aiding a terrorist organization”, during her representation of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.

September 27, 2002: 'Hunger for War': Death Row Political Prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal Condemns U.S. War Plans
Recorded in prison on Friday, September 20th, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal reads his latest commentary from death row.

July 30, 2002: A Mumia-Abu Jamal Special: Julia Wright, Daughter of Richard Wright, Leads a French Delegation in Fight for Mumia Abu-Jamal
For 20 years, award winning journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has spoken to the world from Pennsylvania’s death row. His writings and commentaries from death row have made him a world-renowned celebrity for racial equality and against the death penalty.

April 24, 2002: From One Death Row to Another: Today Is the Birthday of Mumia Abu-Jamal: He Has Been On Death Row for Twenty Years
Today is the birthday of Mumia Abu Jamal. He is 48. He has spent twenty years of his life on death row.

December 19, 2001: A Federal Judge Throws Out Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Sentence, Ruling That the Formerjournalist and Black Panther Is Entitled to a New Sentencing Hearing After Two Decades On Death Row
In a ruling that was immediately challenged by both prosecutors and the defense, a federal judge today lifted thedeath sentence from Mumia Abu-Jamal for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel J. Faulkner. Inordering that Abu-Jamal be given a new death-penalty hearing within six months or be sentenced to life in prison,U.S. District Judge William Yohn also affirmed the death row inmate’s conviction on a charge of first-degree murder.The court order overturned the sentencing portion of Abu-Jamal’s trial but refused Abu-Jamal’s request for a newtrial, upholding his 1982 conviction on first-degree murder charges. The ruling can be appealed to the U.S. 3rdCircuit Court of Appeals.

December 19, 2001: A Federal Judge Throws Out Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Sentence, Ruling That the Formerjournalist and Black Panther Is Entitled to a New Sentencing Hearing After Two Decades On Death Row

December 10, 2001: A Rally for Mumia-Abu Jamal in Philadelphia Is Attacked; Seven People Are Arrested Andcharged with Felony Assault and Felony Riot; Three Demonstrators Are Hospitalized
On December 9th 1981, 20 years ago, journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was driving a cab in Philadelphia when he came to theintersection of Locust and 13 Street. He says he saw a police officer beating his brother William Cook. While it isunclear what happened next, it is undisputed that both he and officer Daniel Faulkner were shot, and that Faulknerdied.

August 29, 2001: Lawyers for Abu Mumia Jamal allege original Judge made racist comment at trial

August 29, 2001: Running across the United States for Abu Mumia Jamal

August 20, 2001: "*Mumia Abu Jamal*:/2001/8/20/mumia_abu_jamal
Protesters are demonstrating in Philadelphia against the denial by state officals to allow Abu Jamal attendence to a state appeals court hearing. Abu Jamal was sentenced to death for the claim that he shot a police officer–a claim he denies. Abu Jamal’s attornies Marline Kamish and Elliot Grossman join Amy for a phone conversation.

August 17, 2001: Mumia Abu Jamal: A Case for Resonable Doubt
Documentary about Mumia’s history and the history of his case. The documentary hears from police, and doctors as well as Mumia’s family and Mumia himself.

August 07, 2001: Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations Orders Mumia Abu-Jamal Support Group to Cease Fund Raising
A state agency in Pennsylvania, Bureau of Charitable Organizations, has ordered the main non-profit fund-raising organization for imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal–the International Concerned Families and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal–to stop soliciting contributions until it clears up what the Bureau calls questions about its finances.

March 29, 2001: Mumia Abu-Jamal Fires Defense Lawyers
You may have heard that Mumia Abu-Jamal has fired his lawyers. The African American journalist and former Black Panther took the drastic move in response to the pending publication of a book written by one of his key attorneys.Abu Jamal is currently on Pennsylvania’s Death Row where he has spent the past 19 years for the murder of a white policeman.

February 28, 2001: Mumia Abu Jamal Commentary: WBAI the Coup On Wall Street
On this, the last day of African American history month, we look at life of Mumia Abu Jamal. Pacifica radio was the first national outlet to broadcast his commentaries from Death Row. It was four years ago this month, a minute before we were scheduled to go on air, that the 12 Pennsylvania stations controlled by Temple University, pulled Democracy Now off the air.

February 28, 2001: Biographer Terry Bisson On His New Book “On a Move: The Story of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal gathered at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY last night tocelebrate the publication of Mumia Abu Jamal’s first biography, written by Terry Bisson.

December 20, 2000: Mumia Activist Held in Isolation and Incommunicado
After violating parole that barred him from leaving his native New York for political activities, Clark Kissinger was jailed in Philadelphia. Kissinger has been a key activist opposing the execution of Mumia Abu Jamal. Last week he was put in isolation and as of two days ago has been held incommunicado.

December 07, 2000: Lead Mumia Abu Jamal Organizer Jailed
Yesterday, one of the leaders in the movement to stop the execution of journalist Mumia Abu Jamal was jailed for violation of probation. Clark Kissinger received a 90 day jail sentence in Philadelphia after having been arrested in that city at a demonstration in support of Mumia in July 1999. He was charged with “failure to obey a lawful order”—a petty offense, on a par with leaving a dog off a leash. His one-year probation barred the New Yorker from traveling without the court’s permission.

August 22, 2000: Police Infiltration Into Protest Movement
This from a piece in The Los Angeles Times of August 18: The Los Angeles Police Department calls them “scouts,” and they are so good at their job that, during this week’s protests, some were shot at and others were arrested—by their own colleagues.

August 14, 2000: Mass Demonstration for Mumia Abu Jamal Kicks Off Week of Protest in Los Angeles
Thousands of people marched through downtown Los Angeles Sunday as they kicked off what will be a week of major protest here in Los Angeles during the Democratic National Convention. Scores of police officers in riot gear lined the streets and helicopters hovered above as marchers wound their way through the streets of LA to the Staples Center.

August 03, 2000: Police Step Up Crackdown on Activists
Over the last couple of days here in Philadelphia, more than 380 people have been arrested in Philadelphia. Many activists reported being pulled over or detained. Scores remain in prison as stories of brutality against demonstrators continue to surface.

August 01, 2000: Mumia Abu Jamal: Trial By Media
The case of Mumia Abu Jamal is known around the country. What a short time ago was an issue of just activist communities is increasingly being picked up and pursued by the corporate press. Time magazine, The New York Times and 20-20 are some of the main media outlets that have recently given feature length coverage to Mumia’s case. His innocence or guilt is hotly debated as is the fairness of his trial and the larger issue of the death penalty. And they all seem to agree that justice has been served in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal. Interestingly, the Independent Media Center here in Philadelphia from where we are broadcasting is just around the corner from where officer Faulkner was shot.

May 15, 2000: All Things Censored, a Look Back at Philadelphia
This weekend marked the 15th anniversary of the Philadelphia police dropping a firebomb on the house of the MOVE organization. That bombing incinerated 6 children and 5 adults. Ramona Africa was the only adult survivor of that bombing.

May 15, 2000: All Things Censored: The Commentaries of Mumia Abu Jamal
This weekend, as the Million Mom March took place in Washington, DC, protesting guns and gun violence, people in Philadelphia and elsewhere in the US rallied around the case of death row prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. Abu Jamal is an award-winning journalist who sits on Pennsylvania’s death row after a 1982 conviction for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. That conviction has been contested on various constitutional, legal and moral grounds ever since.

February 28, 2000: Mumia Supporters Hold Mass Civil Disobedience at U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today on whether the 1996 Effective Death Penalty Act should deny those facing execution the right to appeal when there is new evidence on their innocence. The fate of more than 3,000 death row prisoners hangs in the balance. Journalist Mumia Abu Jamal is one of those inmates.

(more from the archives to be added shortly)