by C. Clark Kissinger | November 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
The Pennsylvania legislature has passed a new law that gives judges in Pennsylvania the power to prohibit any activity by any person convicted of a personal injury crime that "perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim ... includ[ing] conduct that causes a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish." In the name of "victims' rights," this new law was passed in direct response to Mumia Abu-Jamal delivering a well-received commencement address by phone at Goddard College, a school which he attended as a youth.
Mumia, one of this country's most well-known political prisoners, was fraudulently convicted of killing a police officer in 1982. He spent a quarter of a century in solitary confinement on death row until courts reduced his death sentence to life in prison. But Mumia's voice has never been silenced for a day as he continues denouncing the crimes against humanity perpetrated by this system in both audio and written commentaries.
This new law allows the Fraternal Order of Police or the slain officer's wife to get a court order to bar any future activities by Mumia that would give publicity to his fight for justice. This sweeping new law would allow the prior censorship of speech and it applies to all "offenders" in Pennsylvania, including those who have finished their sentences and have been released.
To drive home the point that the law was directed at Mumia, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett went to Philadelphia to sign the so-called "Revictimization Relief Act" into law at the street corner where Mumia was shot down by police and a police officer was killed. His attempted press conference was drowned out by 50 chanting Mumia supporters.