Mumia Responds to Denial of his Appeal by Supreme Court

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It was not unexpected that the Supreme Court would deny my appeal. The Supreme Court hears only a tiny percent of the cases that are brought before it, roughly 75 out of 7000 in one semester or a term of the Court. I entertained no expectations that mine would be granted.

We have to remember that we are working with a conservative court that has worked assiduously in the Bush and Reagan administrations and now in the Clinton administration to narrow the chances of anyone having had their case heard, not just a prisoner on death row.

Even the most charitable observer must agree that by virtue of the court taking such a small fraction of the important cases that are filed before it, it is impossible to ignore the fact that many grave injustices are going unresolved. Given the tone and tenor of recent Supreme Court opinions, there is even a sense of relief that they didn’t grant my third appeal.

And the trend is increasingly in favor of the State; the trend is increasingly to disfavor the defendant and the accused. Certainly, there are exceptions, but that’s the undeniable trend, the expansion of state power and police power in the retractions of prisoners’ rights.

The struggle continues, the same old forces are still at work. Look what happened when I called into [Pacifica radio] WBAI. I was literally pulled off the air a few weeks ago. The recent Phillip Block debacle reflects too how desperate the state is, and their desperation is really an acknowledgement that none of them believed Phil’s “confession” story to begin with.

Still, we can’t forget the old saying that the truth shall set you free. I still believe that. I’d be a fool not to.


From Death Row, Mumia Abu-Jamal,

Oct. 4, 1999

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