October 27, 2018
The incidents described in this piece give context to the historical and contemporary art of abuse, inflicted on prisoners from the torturous isolation chambers of the Eastern State Penitentiary during the 1820s to the 1971 Attica rebellion and beyond. The documentation of the past and present grieved events of prison-controlled torture blaze a paper trail that shows abuse by guards is a lot deeper than being inadvertent or isolated events.
December 31, 2014
Assigned to the Mental Health Crisis Bed (MHCB) unit, I found 80-plus patients suffering torture, sexual abuse and neglect. President Obama would recognize it as torture. The vast majority of victims were Black or Hispanic, all the abusers White. Cold, dark cells hold captives in isolated sensory deprivation – drugged, sick and in pain. Nurses prevented death only to prolong torment, sometimes for years. The number of patients suffering preventable deaths during “medical treatment” in CDCR facilities may exceed all legal executions nationwide.
October 13, 2014
Pennsylvania legislators are trying to stop prisoners from speaking about their ideas and experiences. Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Vereb introduced a bill, HB2533, called the “Revictimization Relief Act,” which would allow victims, district attorneys and the attorney general to sue people who have been convicted of “personal injury” crimes for speaking out publicly if it causes the victim of the crime “mental anguish.” The bill was written in response to political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal’s commencement speech at Goddard College and is a clear attempt to silence Mumia and other prisoners and formerly incarcerated people.
July 25, 2012
According to multiple witness accounts, staff at Pennsylvania’s SCI Rockview killed John Carter, a 32-year-old man from Pittsburgh, during a cell extraction in the prison’s solitary confinement unit on April 26, 2012. One witness, esteemed writer André Jacobs, reports: “The murder was in retaliation for Carter protesting what began as guards denying him his dinner meal. … During the collection of our food tray, guard Sherman said to me, “Your buddy’s going down tonight,” while smiling.”
December 16, 2011
After nearly three decades on Pennsylvania’s death row, former Black Panther Party member and world-renowned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was moved off Death Row on Dec. 11, following an announcement by Philadelphia DA Seth Williams that he would no longer seek Abu-Jamal’s execution. “On Thursday, Dec. 8, I attended the Fraternal Order of Police rally, a shocking display of naked calls for harm to Mumia,” said Noelle Hanrahan. “What a dramatic contrast to the defense rally the next night at the Constitution Center. One was all about love, the other all about hate.”
April 23, 2010
At its core, the death penalty derives from, and thus replaces, lynch law. States in the former confederacy established the convict lease system, where prisoners worked, without pay, for the state. Both Black men and women became “slaves of the state.”
December 1, 2008
Protest to free Mumia and Troy Davis, two innocent men facing execution, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 4:30pm, at the Federal Courthouse, 7th & Mission, San Francisco. Mumia and Troy are challenging the “law of the land” that says, “Innocence is no defense.” Pennsylvania and
Georgia seek their execution. We demand their freedom.