Former Death Row Prisoners

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Mumia’s struggle has resonated in every quarter of U.S. society. A dramatic letter calling for his freedom was signed by 15 innocent people who had lived on death row for periods ranging from two to 12 years.

They had been convicted and freed when the racist and classist frame-up against them was finally brought to light. The letter was circulated and released on Nov. 13 at the National Conference on Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty in Chicago. Excerpts from the former death row inmates’ letter follow:

“We know Mumia’s struggle, because no one knows it better than we of the lengths to which the criminal ‘justice’ system will go in its relentless quest to take a life. Many of us are intimately familiar with the daily degradation of Mumia’s 17 years on death row: locked in a cell for 23 hours each day, forbidden to embrace or even see his family members, prohibited from being filmed or audio-taped by reporters, slapped into punitive detention for writing and publishing his views, refused the right to confidentially communicate with his attorneys.

“We were sustained in our struggle for justice, as Mumia is, by the tireless support of our families, friends, and people of principle who organized to liberate us from the machine that tried to slay us. And, above all else, we were sustained, as Mumia is, by the only real certainty we were allowed on death row-the knowledge that we were innocent.”

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