Darrin Wood, Director.


On October 13th, Governor Thomas Ridge of Pennsylvania signed his 171 death warrant. It was the second death warrant against the journalist and anti-racist fighter Mumia Abu-Jamal, ex-Black Panther who openly critised the US Police Department's violence and racism from a radio in Philadelphia. Unless a common international action mediates, Mr Abu-Jamal will be executed on December 2nd with a lethal injection.

Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death in 1982, after an irregular process in which all the evidence pointed to his innocence. Key witnesses on the trial stated that they were pressed by the Police to give a false testimony. Even the European Parliament passed a resolution on December 17th last year, in which it was stated that Mr Abu-Jamal was found guilty in a biased trial and called on Mr Ridge to abstain from signing another death warrant containing the specific date for the execution. Besides, the European Parliament once again requested the review of the trial and the commutation of the capital punishment.

At present, there are 3 500 people awaiting in the death rows in the USA for their sentence to be finally accomplished. It does not seem a coincidence that more than 50% of the sentenced to death are Afro-American people if we have into account that this community is only 12% of the population. However, if we focus on the State of Pennsylvania, the data are clearer: the Afro-American people are 9% of the population and 61% of the sentenced to death.

Hence, this Parliament agrees on:

1. Demanding the commutation of this death warrant against Mumia Abu-Jamal.

2. Requesting the abolishment of the death penalty in the USA and in any other place of the world.

3. Asking for the trial to be reviewed with all the judicial guarantees.

4. Sending this statement to the following people and institutions: Mumia Abu-Jamal, Thomas Ridge, Governor of Pennsylvania; Bill Clinton, President of the USA; Leonard Weinglass, Mumia's attorney; European Parliament and Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission.