Jailhouse Lawyers

Jailhouse Lawyers
Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.
Foreword by Angela Y. Davis

Related News

Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts

Listen to the podcast: Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio Jan 2, 2011

"Cornel West & Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Conversation"

Recorded at Labyrinth Books in Princeton, NJ during the book launch of Jailhouse Lawyers.

-Cornel West & Mumia Abu-Jamal Mar 3, 2010

BookTV: Interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal

"Former Black Panther Party member and death row inmate presents the practices and cases of prisoners defending other prisoners in the U.S. court system. He is calling from prison to participate in a conversation with Cornel West & Patricia Fernandez Kelley."

Apr 17, 2010

Celebrating Mumia Abu-Jamal's 55th birthday and the release of his new book "Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A."

Watch speeches by Angela Davis, Ed Mead, Tiny, aka Lisa Gray-Garcia, Tony Serra and others at the celebration of Mumia's 55th birthday at the Humanist Hall in Oakland, CA.

-Abu-Jamal News Apr 24, 2009

"Without Struggle, There Is Nothing"–Mumia Abu-Jamal Speaks from Death Row about His Case, Prison Reform and "Jailhouse Lawyers"

"We turn now to my interview with author, journalist, death row prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Last week, the Supreme Court denied his appeal to overturn his conviction for the 1981 killing of a white police officer following a controversial trial before a predominantly white jury. Abu-Jamal contends, as well as a number of [inaudible], that the case was marred with racial bias, including the deliberate exclusion of African Americans from the jury. The decision leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling upholding Abu-Jamal's conviction."

-Amy Goodman, democracynow.org Apr 16, 2009

Post Supreme Court Interview with Mumia

Listen to Mumia's post Supreme Court ruling interview with Noelle Hanrahan.

-Noelle Hanrahan, Prison Radio Apr 6, 2009

Fort Hood

""Once again, an American soldier has gone on a rampage, shooting other American soldiers.

What makes this news even more remarkable than usual is the fact that the shooter is more than a soldier -- he's a doctor -- and a psychiatrist!

Oh -- and he's Muslim."

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Z Space Nov 16, 2009

The Afghanistan Trap

"The Afghanistan war is due for a recycling, but it may not go the way the U.S. has planned.
Begun under dubious circumstances, more as a demonstration war to set the stage for the real drama of Iraq, Afghanistan has almost always been more useful as a proxy war, fought by others, rather than a direct war, fought by Americans.
But 9-11 changed all that, and today, 9 years later, Barack Obama is beginning to resemble, more and more, another congressman who became a president: Lyndon B. Johnson...

Death Row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is a committed revolutionary, journalist, and author of many books. His most recent title is Jailhouse Lawyers; Prisoners Defending Prisoners vs. the USA."

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Z Space Oct 16, 2009

G20 Speech

"From Death Row, Mumia Abu-Jamal."

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Z Space Sep 1, 2009

Imagine Being Van Jones

"Death Row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is a committed revolutionary, journalist, and author of many books. His most recent title is Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners vs. The USA published by City Lights Books. Massive evidence demonstrating that Mumia Abu-Jamal did not receive a fair trial has convinced groups as diverse as Amnesty International and the national NAACP to demand that he be granted a retrial."

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Z Space Sep 22, 2009

Citing Withheld Evidence, Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal Call for Civil Rights Investigation

"On April 6, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal from death-row journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of white Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial deemed unfair by Amnesty International, the European Parliament, the Japanese Diet, Nelson Mandela and numerous others. Citing the Supreme Court denial and several instances of withheld evidence, Abu-Jamal's international support network is now calling for a federal civil rights investigation into Abu-Jamal’s case."

-Hans Bennett, San Francisco Bay View Jun 16, 2009

Turning Point in History
"Now is the time to organize, to expand our movements, to protest  in our strength and our diversity, for if history teaches us anything, if the left fails to organize, the right will do so."
-Mumia Abu-Jamal, ZSpace May 2, 2009

Obama and America del Sur: A 'New Relationship?'
"As U.S. President, Barack Obama treks to the Caribbean to sit and sup with Latin American leaders, he does so amidst a promise of a new relationship with America del Sur. While this brand of quiet and thoughtful presence is indeed profoundly different from the thoughtless bravado and bluster of his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush, it still hearkens back to a bygone era, one rarely recalled today, that of John F. Kennedy. Yet is this merely a difference of style or substance?"
-Mumia Abu-Jamal, ZSpace Apr 30, 2009

Mumia Abu-Jamal & Prison Abolition
On April 24, 2009, in Oakland, CA, former political prisoner Angela Y. Davis spoke in support of death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, at an event marking Abu-Jamal's 55th birthday and the release of his new book: 'Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. The USA'. (10 minutes)
-Angela Davis, ZVideo Apr 28, 2009

In Her Own Words: An Interview wit' Angela Davis
". . . Mumia's case is so important for us to get involved in. We have to save his life. We have to free Mumia. And yeah, as many people acknowledge he rarely uses his amazing talent and capacities to advocate for himself. He's always advocating for others, and that is all the more reason to be passionate advocates for him. I have traveled in other parts of the world a great deal, and there are movements to free Mumia all over the world. Sometimes I feel very embarrassed that we have not managed to overcome the power of the Fraternal Order of Police for example and the other conservative forces that are determined to put Mumia to death. But this book is yet another reason why we need to defend him, and why we need to use whatever is available to us, whatever knowledge, whatever instruments are available to us to guarantee that his life is saved and that he is eventually set free."
-JR Valrey, The Liberator Magazine Apr 24, 2009

World To Come
"By any reliable measure, the U.S. economy is not growing, but contracting. The jobless rate has recently climbed to the highest levels since 1983, and already this recession is expected to be the longest in 70 years! . . . The world's reserve currency (the U.S. dollar) is used both as a tool to trade in commodities, such as crude oil, and as an investment in itself, such as in Treasury notes (called 'T-bills'). Both uses send hundreds of billions into American treasuries. To cut that off could spell an unprecedented fall in the value of the U.S. dollar, and send the American economy spiraling downward."
-Mumia Abu-Jamal, ZSpace Apr 15, 2009

WBAI "Where We Live"
"The April 9, 2009 WBAI Radio show 'Where We Live' focusing on the case of death row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the April 4 US Supreme Court ruling which rejected Abu-Jamal's appeal for a new guilt phase trial."
-Suzanne Ross, WBAI Apr 9, 2009

Supreme Court lets Mumia Abu-Jamal's conviction stand
"The Supreme Court has let stand the conviction of former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was sent to death row for gunning down a Philadelphia police officer 28 years ago. He contends blacks were unfairly excluded from the jury, and has been an outspoken activist from behind bars. The justices made their announcement Monday. A separate appeal over whether Abu-Jamal deserves a new sentencing hearing has not been taken up by the high court."
-Bill Mears, CNN Apr 6, 2009

High Court Lets Abu-Jamal's Conviction Stand
"Death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal lost his bid for a new trial in the killing of a city police officer after the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not take up the case . . . Abu-Jamal's attorney, Robert R. Bryan of San Francisco, called his client's trial 'a mockery of justice' and said Monday he would seek a rehearing by the high court. But prosecutor Hugh Burns said that 'for practical purposes, this was the last remotely realistic chance for getting a new trial.' Abu-Jamal's death sentence remains in limbo."
-Kathy Matheson, Associated Press Apr 6, 2009

The Latest Twist in the Mumia Case: Supreme Test

"...An internet based petition campaign requesting the US Supreme Court to overturn the 3rd Circuit ruling and grant Abu-Jamal a court hearing on the jury selection discrimination issue amassed over 1,200 signatures in just a few days. This petition campaign initiated by a coalition of anti-death penalty groups in Germany has gained signatures from persons in Germany, Austria, Brazil and Turkey despite it not being formally launched internationally. So far, petition signers include noted German actors, actresses, activists, academics, civic leaders and one member of the German parliament."

-Linn Washington, Jr., Counterpunch Mar 20, 2009

The Other Inauguration

Mumia Abu-Jamal on racist violence against black men in prisons on Inauguration Day, while Obama took office. Listen Here!

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio Mar 10, 2009

Money Changers in the Temple

Mumia Abu-Jamal on money changers in the Bible, FDR and the current financial crisis. Listen here!

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio Mar 9, 2009

Mumia's New Book On Jailhouse Lawyers

"You can purchase Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A., released this March, directly from City Lights Books. Read the foreword by former political prisoner Angela Y. Davis and an interview with Mumia about his new book. In Mumia's words, "This is the story of law learned, not in the ivory towers of multi-billion-dollar endowed universities, but in the bowels of the slave-ship, in the hidden, dank dungeons of America."

'More Than A Book Party' events will be held in the US around April 24, to mark Mumia's birthday and the release of Jailhouse Lawyers."

-Abu-Jamal News Mar 5, 2009

Introduction to Mumia Abu-Jamal's New Book on Jailhouse Lawyers

"One of the most important public intellectuals of our time, Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent more than twenty-five years behind bars, the majority of that time on death row. He is supported by millions all over the planet, not only because of the egregious repression he has suffered at the hands of the state of Pennsylvania, but because he has used his abundant talents as a thinker and writer to expand our knowledge of the hidden world of jails, prisons, and death houses in which he has spent the last decades of his life. As a transformative thinker, he has always taken care to emphasize the connections between incarcerated lives and lives that unfold in the putative arenas of freedom."

-Angela Y. Davis, IndyBay Mar 3, 2009

Inheriting An Empire
-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio Mar 2, 2009

The Passing of the Papers
-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio Mar 2, 2009

More Lessons from Luzerne
-Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio Mar 2, 2009

Jailhouse Lawyers

"Mumia Abu-Jamal has been unjustly incarcerated on Death Row in Pennsylvania for more than 25 years. A detailed report by Amnesty International demonstrates that Abu-Jamal was the victim of a heinously racist trail, and calls for a retrial. The following questions were mailed to Mumia Abu-Jamal at SCI-Green Prison in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania by his editor at City Lights Books, Greg Ruggiero.

(1) Can you please describe what Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. The USA is about? What is it trying to communicate?

The book, Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. The USA is about the shadow-world of jailhouse lawyers, and their battles in the courts and in their cells, to gain a thin foothold in the struggle for human decency, the fulfillment of the constitution, and for service."

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, ZNet Feb 25, 2009

Music Over the Mall

As a student of history, of politics and of music I viewed the recent presidential inauguration with considerable interest.
And while it was obviously a moment of historic proportions, it can't be said that it held surprise.

That's usually because politics tends to flatten highs, and lop off lows, as politicians attempt to appeal to the broadest base.
That's also because political systems strive for the safety and security of protocol; the safe refuge of precedent, to give the image that all is well, that the U.S. endures,and the empire is essential unchanged, and still regnant.
I therefore beheld it from a distance; interested, yes, but not engaged.
If anything was utterly remarkable, it was the vast throng, standing for hours in the biting cold for as far as the eye could see.
Yet, for all the glitter and spectacle, what moved most was something quite unexpected.
John Williams' composition (he of "Star Wars" and "Jaws" fame), "Heirs..." performed by violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo- Ma, clarinet player Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriela Montero, was a breathtaking piece of musical mastery. Perlman began the piece, his violin sounding a mournful dirge that was almost funereal.  He was joined shortly thereafter by Yo-Yo Ma's deeper cello, which echoed this theme, painting a picture of wintry mourning, of emotional heaviness.  This mood was shattered by McGill's light, airy clarinet, which was as triumphant as the coming of spring.  By the time Montero graced the keys, the theme had wholly changed.  From winter, to the bright warmth of spring, from dissonance to ebullient unity.
To say this was a composition of beauty and brilliance would be understatement.

It was a work finely tuned to its time. It was a music nicely pitched to the passing of a political era.
It teaches us that music, at its best, can be magical.
It was so wondrous that I wept.
--(c) '09 maj

-Mumia Abu-Jamal Jan 28, 2009

U.S. activists in solidarity with political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal

"Dec. 6 was declared an International Day of Solidarity with death row political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Events were held in France, Switzerland, Germany, England and Mexico, while in the U.S. events were organized in Detroit, San Francisco, Baltimore, Portland, San Diego and other cities."

-Betsy Piette, Workers World Dec 12, 2008

International Day of Solidarity for Mumia Abu-Jamal
"At noon, on Saturday, Dec. 6, supporters of death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal will gather at Philadelphia City Hall for a protest march through downtown that will conclude at the Federal Court Building. International solidarity actions are being held in France, Switzerland, Germany, England, and Mexico, while in the US, events are organized in Detroit, San Francisco, Baltimore, Portland, and San Diego. Mumia is currently appealing to the US Supreme Court for a new guilt-phase trial, while the Philadelphia DA is appealing to the same court in an effort to execute Mumia without a new sentencing-phase jury trial.

The new video Fighting for Mumia's Freedom: a report from Philadelphia focuses on the March 27, 2008 denial of a new guilt-phase trial for Mumia, the DA's continued attempt to execute him, and the response of Mumia and his international support network."
-Hans Bennett, Philly Independent Media Center Dec 2, 2008

Death Row Activist Prepares New Appeal
"Mumia Abu-Jamal rallied thousands of protesters in the U.S. city of Denver last week who were calling for the release of U.S. political prisoners.

In a recorded message for the crowds protesting outside the Democratic National Convention, journalist Abu-Jamal attacked U.S. foreign policy, the protection of 'foreign despots' and war for 'foreign pipelines'.

Abu-Jamal made the recording from his death row prison cell at a time when his 26-year battle for freedom has reached a critical point.

He and his lawyer are preparing to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court to ask it to rule on whether the lower courts have denied him justice because of racial bias."
-Adrianne Appel, Inter Press Service Sep 3, 2008

New Legal Update for Mumia Abu-Jamal
" This Legal Update is made on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is on Pennsylvania’s death row.  United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit entered an order extending the due date for submitting the Petition for Rehearing En Banc on behalf of my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal. We will file it on June 27, 2008.  There apparently is still confusion regarding the March 27 federal decision. A new jury trial was ordered on the question of whether the penalty should be life or death. The court did not rule that Mumia should receive a life sentence as some have stated. The penalty-phase was reversed because the trial judge gave misleading and unconstitutional jury instructions. Nonetheless, I expect far greater gains..."
-Lead attorney Robert R. Bryan, Indybay.org Jun 10, 2008