Sadism in the Cell: Thanks to a Vindictive Prison System, Abu-Jamal is Still in 'The Hole'
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Those intent on tormenting now ex-death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal have done it again, this time perhaps even exceeding their past efforts to painfully harass this man widely perceived as a political prisoner.
The latest punitive slap involves Pennsylvania prison authorities throwing Abu-Jamal into “Administrative Custody,” more commonly known as ‘The Hole.’
The draconian constraints of AC placement surpass the harsh restrictions of the death row isolation Abu-Jamal has endured for over a quarter century.
A jury sentenced Abu-Jamal to death following a controversial July 1982 conviction for killing a Philadelphia policeman.
No surprise that this latest punitive assault against Abu-Jamal has his worldwide support movement in an uproar. Supporters see AC placement as retaliation by those incensed that Abu-Jamal is no longer facing execution.
Energizing supporters is the opposite of what Philadelphia’s District Attorney Seth Williams said he desired when he announced last month that his office would not seek reinstitution of Abu-Jamal’s death sentence. At the time, DA Williams said he hoped avoiding a rehearing on the death sentence would consign Abu-Jamal to obscurity.
Pennsylvania’s governor and the president of Philadelphia’s police union also used the word obscurity when voicing their hopes that the life sentence for Abu-Jamal would decimate his cause célèbre status among death penalty abolitions worldwide.
Prison authorities removed Abu-Jamal from death row mere hours after the Philadelphia DA’s December announcement, transferring him to an Administrative Custody cell block inside the same super-max Greene prison located more than 300-miles from Philadelphia in southwest Pennsylvania.
Prison officials rejected the standard procedure of placing Abu-Jamal in general population, the status for all inmates not sentenced to death.
Significantly, inmates in general population have full privileges to visitation (contact, not conjugal contact), telephone and commissary, along with access to all prison programs and services.
Administrative Custody restrictions, on the other hand, are punitive in nature, including a limited number of visits, no telephone calls (except legal or emergency) and limitations on access to legal materials needed for appeals...
For the rest of this article by LINN WASHINGTON, JR. in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1014