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Death Penalty Foes Boo Pennsylvania Governor

By Paul Wright

Robert Casey is the governor of Pennsylvania. He claims to be "pro-life" because he opposes a woman's right to choose abortion and has signed into law one of the more restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. (which was recently affirmed by the Supreme Court). Like most of the "pro-life" crowd Casey is also an avid fan of the death penalty. Pennsylvania now has more than 100 prisoners sitting on death row, the majority of them black. Casey claims to be concerned about life before it's born but that after that people are on their own.

Casey wasn't allowed to speak at the Democratic Party's recent convention in New York because of his anti-abortion stance. To remedy this some "liberals" in New York decided to have Casey as a speaker on the topic of being a "pro-life liberal."

Mumia Abu Jamal is a former Black Panther now on death row in Pennsylvania, convicted of killing a cop despite evidence proving his innocence. He is the only political prisoner on death row in the U.S. [See PLN , Vol. 2, No. 5] and his case has brought widespread attention from human rights and legal groups. The Ad Hoc Committee to Save Mumia Abu Jamal was present at the conference and according to the Village Voice shouted Casey down and out of the hall.

Casey tried to tell the crowd he knew nothing about Abu Jamal's case which is hard to believe considering that Abu Jamal's lawyers had met with Casey's counsel less than two weeks before. After the Los Angeles rebellion the cry of "No Justice, No Peace" rang through the streets again. For too long now politicians have made cheap political points by advocating massive applications of the death penalty, imprisonment, harsher sentences, punitive prison conditions, etc. This has been a sideshow compared with the wholesale attack on women's rights, both to equal employment, right to abortion, day care for children, the attack on minorities, gays and the poor. It's time the public let the types like Casey know that they don't support legal lynchings, they don't support the subjugation of women, they don't support official racism, etc. For more information on Mumia's case contact:

New Afrikan Network in Defense of Political Prisoners, P.O. Box 90604, Washington D.C. 20090.

Partisan Defense Committee, P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013.

Governor Casey's address is:

Main Capitol Building Rm. 225, Harrisburg, PA 17120 for those who wish to protest Mumia's death sentence.

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