RT has become the first TV channel in the world to speak to former journalist and Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal since he was removed from death row in January. Abu-Jamal will spend his life behind bars for killing a police officer in 1981.
Considered by many to be a flagrant miscarriage of justice, the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal has gained much attention worldwide. The defense claimed Abu-Jamal is innocent of the charges as the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses was not reliable. For decades, supporters have rallied behind him.
After spending almost 30 years on death row, Abu-Jamal told RT’s Anastasia Churkina that “The truth is I spent most of my living years in my lifetime, on death row. So, in many ways, even to this day, in my own mind, if not in fact, I’m still on death row.”
On whether the US justice system can still be called free and fair, Mumia Abu-Jamal said “there are more than 300,000 prisoners in California alone”.
“You can literally talk about millions of people incarcerated by the prisoner-industrial complex today: men, women and children. And that level of mass incarceration has to have an immense impact in effect on the outer community, an inculcation of fear among generations,” he said.
As a member of the Black Panther organization, Abu-Jamal had the FBI keeping an eye on him since he was 14. Since the introduction of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allows American officials to watch, detain and hold people in the US, Big Brother is all but becoming a reality.
“The so-called Patriot Act has made everything that was illegal back in the 1950s-1970s – they have legalized it. They legalized the very things that the FBI agents and administrative knew was criminal back then. That means they can look in your mail, tap your phone – they do all of that. What we’re living today is a national security state where Big Brother is legalized and rationalized.”