|Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist who, in the years leading up to his arrest, actively exposed corruption and racism in Philadelphia. He was convicted in 1982 of killing a policeman in a trial drenched in racism: while Philadelphia was 43% Black, only two jurors were African-American. Throughout almost three decades on death row, Mumia Abu-Jamal has consistently fought against injustice and for his freedom.|
A new book from death row
PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V THE USA
Foreword by Angela Y. Davis
Published by Crossroads Books
From death row, award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal introduces us to fellow prisoners who litigate against their jailers, risking punishment or even death, to win justice for themselves and other prisoners.
“This is the story,” he writes, “of law learned not in the ivory towers of multi-billion-dollar endowed universities [but] in the hidden, dank dungeons of America – the Prisonhouse of Nations.”
Selma James’s Introduction presents the parallel universe of UK jailhouse lawyers who, like their US counterparts, are leading a justice movement inside prisons.
UK prisoners, denied the vote, are campaigning for this fundamental right. A legal challenge brought by a jailhouse lawyer supported by a dedicated legal team won a European Court ruling in 2004 that a blanket ban on votes for prisoners violates their human rights. Yet the government, in opposing votes for prisoners, acts as if those of us who are prisoners are less human, and deny that prisons and what goes on in them also frame the kind of society we all inhabit.
The UK publication of Jailhouse Lawyers is an opportunity for prisoners’ campaign for the vote and other efforts for fundamental reforms to be more widely known and supported.
Report from book launch in the House of Lords
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