(Raw Story) – Mumia Abu-Jamal, the journalist and former Black Panther convicted for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, had his death sentence reduced to life in prison without parole in 2011, due to faulty instructions to the jury. Now in general population in a Pennsylvania prison, Abu-Jamal, 60, could find himself close to death once again. But this time it may be through medical neglect instead of execution.
On March 30th, Abu-Jamal was taken to the ICU of the Schuylkill Medical Center, after having collapsed from diabetic shock. The prison did not notify friends and family or allow visitors, initially. After pressure from social media and grassroots organizers, the prison relented and allowed some visitors, including Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history at Baruch College, a friend of Abu-Jamal and a coordinator of The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.
I spoke to Fernandez on WBAI’s The Morning Show on April 6th as she drove to Pennsylvania to visit Abu-Jamal again. According to Fernandez, when Abu-Jamal arrived at the hospital his blood sugar was at 779, very close to diabetic coma, which registers at 800. On Wednesday, Abu-Jamal was returned to prison despite the fact that he had still not seen a diabetes specialist. Fernandez said, “Part of what is happening is that the state failed to execute Mumia in the 1990s…..And now it appears that the state is attempting execution through medical neglect. Diabetes in not rocket science. For three months he was lethargic, falling asleep.”