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Friday, 28 August 2015

Murder on the IDS Express.

Murder on the IDS Express. “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” ― Voltaire
 #democracy, #justice, #kanjintor, #mikesevier, #whiteroseclub Sam Wallander's tracks

United Nations Probing UK Over 'Grave' Human Rights Violations Of Disabled


Dying benefits claimant says 'suicide is easier' in heartbreaking call to radio station 

Emotional cancer patient Jeff, who was in work for nearly 50 years, said: 'Iain Duncan Smith, I know he's worth so much, he's just not in the real world'


Unrepentant IDS will persecute the sick no matter what the death statistics say



Death has become a part of Britain’s benefits system

More than 80 people a month are now dying after being declared ‘fit for work’. The safety net that used to be there for the most vulnerable is being torn to shreds


If Terry Pratchett had written about Iain Duncan Smith we'd say it was black magic

We've stopped helping those who need it, and changed the definition of "decent human being" to "being the greatest thundering buggerchunt possible"



Thousands dying in welfare reform Britain, pint of water aids weight loss and goths more likely to self harm


How we all became Thatcherites

Even on the left, Conservative values are subtly entrenched. To change this will require a decade of defiance

 The Biscuit Fund - Home to You

Thursday, 27 August 2015

El Paso County District Attorney Tries to Block Wrongly Convicted Colorado Springs Man From Receiving Restitution

Source: A Just Cause

A Just Cause 
August 27, 2015 10:24 ET

El Paso County District Attorney Tries to Block Wrongly Convicted Colorado Springs Man From Receiving Restitution

Wrongly Convicted Colorado Springs Man and His Family Disappointed at the Response of the El Paso County DA Dan May Regarding His Petition to Receive Compensation for a Seven Year Wrongful Incarceration

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - August 27, 2015) - June 2013 marked the month and year that Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law which compensates those who have been exonerated after a wrongful conviction.
The first man to benefit from the new law was Robert Dewey. Dewey spent 16 years in prison before being freed in 2012 after new DNA evidence exonerated him of the 1994 murder and sexual assault of a Palisade woman. The new evidence led to the arrest of another man with no connection to Dewey. (http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22742847/)
"This bill recognizes that there are injustices in our justice system and that your civil rights can be wronged," said Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, bill co-sponsor. This bill, sponsored by Colorado State Senator Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, creates a program that provides $70,000 for each year incarcerated, plus an additional $25,000 for each year he or she served on parole and $50,000 for each year he or she was incarcerated and awaited execution. It also provides tuition waivers at state colleges if the person served at least three years in prison (http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22742847/).
The case of Lamont Banks is another wrongful conviction story in the state of Colorado for which petition for compensation is sought. Banks was convicted in 2005 of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and sexual exploitation of a child. According to court documents, on appeal, the court of appeals reversed the conviction on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct. The court held that the prosecutor's improper questioning of Banks affected his substantial rights and undermined the fundamental fairness of the trial. The case was remanded for a new trial. According to court records, the new trial resulted in a conviction of sexual exploitation of a child (People v Banks, No 07CA0082, Aug. 4, 2011). On appeal of the follow up trial, the court of appeals Vacated the Conviction and Sentence (13CA1321 Peo v Banks 05-07-2015, Court of Appeals No. 13CA1321, El Paso County District Court No. 05CR3016, Honorable David A. Gilbert, Judge).
In the Banks case, an excerpt from the court of appeals order reads, "Because there was insufficient evidence on which a jury could find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Banks knowingly possessed or controlled the video, Banks' conviction for sexual exploitation of a child cannot stand." The Conclusion of the Order reads, "The judgment of conviction and sentence are vacated," (13CA1321 Peo v Banks 05-07-2015, Court of Appeals No. 13CA1321, El Paso County District Court No. 05CR3016, Honorable David A. Gilbert, Judge).
FindLaw.com states, "In general, to vacate a conviction means to set aside the verdict. In other words, it will appear as if the first trial and conviction never happened," (http://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/2013/01/how-do-you-get-a-conviction-vacated.html).
Court records show that Banks subsequently filed a petition for restitution in accordance with Colorado statutes 13-65-101 and 13-65-102, which provides $70,000 for each year of wrongful incarceration. El Paso County (Colorado) District Attorney Dan May joined in with Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Hoffman in filing a motion to dismiss Banks' petition on the grounds that the conditions of 13-65-101 had not been met (Case No. 15CV031588, District Court, El Paso County, Colorado).
"The bottom line is that I was the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice," exclaims Banks. "I was found 'Not Guilty' by a jury of 12 people in my new trial, where the evidence was so strong I didn't even have to take the stand in my own defense," asserts Banks.
"By definition,'vacate', means there is no conviction in the case brought against me by Donna Billek and the DA's office. The jury of 12 declared me 'Not Guilty'. If that's not actual innocence, I don't know what is in this country," says Banks. "For all practical purposes, the Constitution protects me as 'innocent until proven guilty'. When the Court of Appeals vacated my conviction and sentence, it placed me in a category of 'actual innocence'... as if the conviction never happened," declares Banks.
The verbiage in the Appeals Order clearly vacates the conviction and sentencing of Lamont Banks, the fact that El Paso County DA Dan May and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Hoffman move to dismiss his petition for restitution on the Colorado law extended to the wrongly convicted for the time they have served is unconscionable.
"I am deeply hurt by the actions of DA Dan May," explains Rose Banks, mother of Lamont Banks and Pastor of the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church. "I have worked with DA May on the 'Let's Talk Community Forum' that we sponsored through our church. The 'Let's Talk Community Forum' was a unique opportunity for our church, which is predominantly African American, to reach out to the law enforcement officers in our community amidst the angst that had gripped our nation with police departments and violent confrontations with African American communities that sparked protests. Our goal with 'Let's Talk' was to provide a forum of open dialogue and break down barriers between law enforcement and our community. In addition, our church sponsored breakfast and lunch for the officers in the community on at least three occasions to express thanks and gratitude for the sacrifices they make to keep our community safe," adds Pastor Banks. Pastor Banks was personally invited by DA May to keynote his quarterly meeting, speaking to over 80 attorneys in his charge.
Ahead of this meeting, Pastor Banks sat down with DA May, the Colorado Springs Chief of Police and a representative from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in a private meeting to share what her family had gone through as a result of the justice system. "I have three children that have been wrongly convicted, whose lives have been devastated by the system. I wanted to give DA May, the Chief, and the Sheriff Department representative first-hand knowledge of the wrongful convictions in advance of our 'Let's Talk Community Forums' and provide full disclosure to DA May, who had invited me to speak to his attorneys," explains Pastor Banks. "I was very candid with DA May, who had personally invited me to speak, as I was unsure if he would still want me to speak after knowing the information about my family's negative experiences with the legal system," add Pastor Banks. DA May assured Pastor Banks that he had no concerns and, in fact, gave her license to discuss the cases and any other topics of her choosing for the June 2015 forum with his attorneys.
"DA May seemed open to his attorneys hearing the different wrongful conviction stories my family had experienced in the raw and I wanted to be sure I left every attorney present with a message they would never forget... to make 100% sure, without a doubt, that the people they lock up are guilty. I also wanted them to see the pain and aftermath of wrongful convictions, how the extended families are impacted, how life is just never the same after this happens," declares Pastor Banks.
"DA May knew the facts of my son, Lamont's, wrongful conviction first hand and volunteered to look into his case during the private meeting with the Chief and Sheriff Department representatives. I am greatly disappointed that he would deny Lamont the restitution owed to him, by law, in the state of Colorado for the time that was wrongly taken from him. It is time he will never get back," Pastor Banks lamented. "In no way do I expect favors or preferential treatment, but the facts in Lamont's case are very clear. DA May knew that one of his deputies committed misconduct and Lamont was granted a new trial which vacated his conviction and sentence of eight years to life," notes Pastor Banks.
This ruling was enough to release Lamont from prison, but the State of Colorado is arguing baseless technicalities to withhold restitution. "As a mother, it saddens me to see all that my son has lost and how the State won't hold to their own laws to right the wrong against him. No restitution can repay the time he has lost, the horrible things he experienced in prison, or the resultant health problems, but it's the very least the State can do to help Lamont get back on his feet," says Pastor Banks. "DA May's denial seems so beneath the man I have come to know and worked with in the community," concludes Pastor Banks.
Lamont's petition was "barred because those convictions were reversed due to prosecutorial misconduct, which is a legal error unrelated to Petitioner's actual innocence" (Case No. 15CV031588, District Court, El Paso County, Colorado). According to USLegal.com, "prosecutorial misconduct is conduct which violates court rules or ethical standards of law practice" (http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/prosecutorial-misconduct). "This begs the question: Why is the DAs office prosecuting people who haven't done anything wrong, but failing to prosecute its own attorneys, like Donna Billek, who commit prosecutorial misconduct in Lamont's case? He was punished for something he did not do, yet Attorney Donna Billek, in the DA's office, who wrongly prosecuted him, was never punished. In fact, she was promoted in the ranks of the DA's office, in spite of her misconduct," exclaims Lynette Campbell, A Just Cause.
"At the time of questioning, the alleged victim, who is now 19 and has since recanted her accusations, stated that she felt threatened and intimidated at the age of 8 with Donna Billek's words. Attorney Billek told the girl during questioning that she was not telling her what she wanted to hear," says Lamont Banks.
"My heart aches when I see the injustice and inequities in the justice system. I understand the anger and outrage across the nation. It's due to the injustice, which must be fixed so lives are continually destroyed. How many people is Attorney Donna Billek going to put away using the same crooked methods? If she did it to my son without any consequences, she has free reign to inflict pain in the lives of others. The DA's office needs to be held accountable," says Pastor Banks.
"I find myself at times crawling on the floor in excruciating pain due to degenerative disks in my back as a result of prison sleeping conditions during my wrongful incarceration. Two months after being found not guilty, I was in the battle of my life in ICU for 6 days, fighting for my life and not expected to live with a blood glucose level of 1500. I should have died from a diabetic coma. The horrible diet and non-caring attitude of the medical people who worked in prison caused me to develop Type 2 diabetes in addition to my degenerated disks in my back. I am a casualty of corruption, a wrongful conviction, and prosecutorial misconduct. It is not only the time I spent in prison, but the effects of wrongful conviction will haunt me for the rest of my life. I am only seeking the restitution allowed under the law," concludes Lamont Banks.
"Do feel that I should receive restitution for seven years of my life being taken away? ...Absolutely!" exclaims Banks. "I have been fortunate that I have the support of friends and family, but that still doesn't dismiss the obligation of the State of Colorado for the wrong that was done to me," Banks adds.
"I have to agree with what Robert Dewey said during an interview when he stated, 'He was not pointing fingers or blaming anyone, he was just trying to move on with his life. I'm thankful that Dewey will be compensated. As for me, I will continue to fight for restitution. Because of what happened to me and the injustice I saw first-hand, I'll spend the rest of my life, until my dying breath, fighting for others who have been done wrong by a crooked justice system," Banks concluded.

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

National Advocates for Justice Question Probable Cause in IRP6 Wrongful Conviction Case

SOURCE: A Just Cause
A Just Cause
August 26, 2015 08:00 ET

National Advocates for Justice Question Probable Cause in IRP6 Wrongful Conviction Case

Legal Professionals Agree That There Was No Probable Cause to Investigate and Prosecute the IRP6
DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - August 26, 2015) - Justice advocacy group, A Just Cause, continues to seek intervention from the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in the 2011 wrongful conviction of six IT executives known as the IRP6.
The IRP6 case concerns a Colorado-based company (IRP Solutions Corporation) that developed the Case Investigative Life Cycle (CILC) criminal investigations software for federal, state, and local law enforcement. The business was raided in February 2005 based on accusations of wrongdoing. A Just Cause argues that the IRP6 (Kendrick Barnes, Gary L Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A Stewart, David A Zirpolo and David A Banks) were wrongly convicted in 2011 after being accused of mail and wire fraud. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA).
"A Just Cause has been fighting for the IRP6 for over 3 years seeking their exoneration," says Sam Thurman, A Just Cause. "As one considers the evidence and how the case unfolded, everything points to a wrongful conviction."
"As A Just Cause reviews the analysis and comments made by multiple legal professionals who have reviewed the IRP6 case, the end result is the same; the IRP6 are six executives who should not be in prison," says Lamont Banks, A Just Cause Executive Director. "We have had folks review this case from front to back including the search warrant, discovery, the theory of the prosecution, and the court proceedings. Everyone comes to the same conclusion -- this should have never happened," adds Banks.
"When you look at the IRP6 case the question of 'probable cause' and 'intent' comes into play," asserts Thurman. "First and foremost, there was no probable cause for the FBI to raid the offices of IRP Solutions back in 2005," Thurman adds.
Court records show that FBI Special Agent John W. Smith obtained an Affidavit for Search Warrant and Seizure on February 7, 2005 stating that IRP was a "purported" software development company and that it was a front set up to "scam" staffing companies.
"The problem with Agent Smith's warrant is that it was bogus right from the start," says Cliff Stewart, A Just Cause. "Court records show where Smith obtained sworn affidavits from retired federal agents who worked at IRP Solutions as consultants stating that IRP was a legitimate company, developing viable software for local state and federal law enforcement agencies. One of the retired agents was Gary Hillberry, who affirmed that IRP was working on law enforcement software and that the company had legitimate customers. So without looking at anything else, for Agent Smith to get Judge Shaffer to sign off on a warrant when he knew that there was no wrongdoing is in and of itself a violation of the law and a gross waste of government resources and taxpayer dollars," concludes Stewart.
"For any agency to move forward in an investigation or an arrest, there must be 'probable cause,'" argues Thurman. "And the lack of probable cause was ignored in this case."
Probable cause is a requirement found in the Fourth Amendment that must usually be met before police make an arrest, conduct a search, or receive a warrant. Courts usually find probable cause when there is a reasonable basis for believing that a crime may have been committed (for an arrest) or when evidence of the crime is present in the place to be searched (for a search). (https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/probable_cause)
In Illinois v. Gates, the Court favored a flexible approach, viewing probable cause as a "practical, non-technical" standard that calls upon the "factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men [...] act." (https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/probable_cause)
"Taking the court's view on 'probable cause', 'reasonable and prudent men' can look at the IRP6 case and see that there was no wrongdoing and the IRP6 should not have been investigated and there should have never been a trial," says Thurman. "In addition to what the courts and the constitution say about 'probable cause,' even the FBI supposedly has strict guidelines for executing warrants and searches, but that didn't seem to matter in the IRP6 case," adds Thurman.
According to the FBI, "The FBI's collection authorities are also controlled by the federal courts. Under the USA PATRIOT Act, a federal judge must still approve search warrants and wiretaps for counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations. Agents must still prove probable cause in order to obtain a warrant authorizing searches and wiretaps. The FBI only collects and disseminates intelligence under guidelines designed specifically to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens, and we are committed to using our authorities and resources responsibly." (https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/intelligence/liberties)
"There is far too much evidence in the IRP6 case to support their innocence, so why are they incarcerated?" ponders Banks. "If you examine just a few points raised by other professionals, it becomes clear that this is a case of wrongful conviction," concludes Banks.
In January 2005, Gary Hillberry, a retired thirty-year veteran of Immigration and Customs Enforcement who was hired to work as an independent contractor providing subject matter expertise at IRP Solutions, sent FBI Agent John Smith a letter stating: "We decided that IRP Solutions had a viable law enforcement product and appeared to be moving forward to acquire state and federal law enforcement contracts for their product." Court documents also show that Hillberry and two other retired FBI agents, John Epke and Dwayne Fuselier, signed independent contractor agreements to be paid upon the sale of IRP's software. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA).
In 2013, Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director of Friends of Justice, conducted a six month investigation into the IRP6 case and after reviewing the allegations and evidence, Bean released a report titled "Money for Nothing: how racial bias destroyed six lives, stymied a Black owned business and outraged an entire congregation." In the report, Bean characterized the government's "contract theory" as "Bogus," stated that "the government's case can't stand up to scrutiny," and said, "the fraud alleged in the federal indictment is a mirage." (https://friendsofjustice.wordpress.com/free-the-irp6/)
Court records show that the government empanelled two grand juries to get an indictment against the IRP6. The 2007 grand jury determined that it was a corporate debt collection case and that no wrongdoing had occurred. "The government used a second grand jury when the first grand jury recognized that debt was not a crime and refused to indict the IRP6," affirms Banks. "A highlight of the first grand jury was a question asked by one of the grand jurors: "But if I don't pay somebody for work they've done, that's not a federal crime," one grand juror pointed out. "The government changed the approach, withheld information critical to determining 'probable cause,' empaneled a second grand jury and got the indictment," says Banks.
During a January 2014 interview on A Just Cause (AJC) Radio, staffing industry expert Andrew Albarelle (Principal Executive Officer, REMY Corporation) shared his expert opinion about the IRP6 case. Court records show that Mr. Albarelle had nearly 20 years experience in the staffing industry at the time of the case and had participated in other government investigations to expose fraud in the staffing industry (Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA, Oct 6, 2011, and Albarelle Letter to U.S. Attorney John Walsh, July 18, 2011). "There is no difference in what IRP did (normal business practices) than other companies when it comes to debt," asserts Albarelle during the January 2014 radio interview. Court records further show that Mr. Albarelle was not allowed to testify during the October 2011 trial of the IRP6.
"Although the primary charge was that the [IRP6] defendants had misrepresented their success and prospects to certain staffing companies, the case was presented to the jury on the basis that the software program developed by the defendants was a phony and a scam," says Judge H. Lee Sarokin, retired Federal District and Appellate Judge. "The defendants had formed a software company to develop a program to aid law enforcement in sharing information. They worked for years on the project, spent their time and money, entered into a substantial lease, hired former law enforcement personnel to work on the project, engaged law firms and travelled the country demonstrating the program to potential customers such as Homeland Security, the FBI, the N.Y. Police Department, etc. As interest increased, they engaged staffing companies to provide programmers. A former Assistant U.S. Attorney [Greg Goldberg] sent a letter to the current U.S. Attorney claiming that these individuals had committed fraud -- had lied about their prospects to staffing companies -- a claim consistently denied. Whom the letter writer represented was not disclosed," shared Judge Sarokin.
"It is difficult to reconcile the charge with the time and money devoted to the project by the [IRP6] defendants and the unanswerable questions: Why would scammers pick law enforcement as their target?" Judge Sarokin questions, and "why would they personally guarantee the obligations to staffing companies? How could they possibly make any money unless the [CILC software] were a success and contracts obtained? Who pushed so hard for the indictments?" Judge Sarokin ruminates.
"Another key point to note is that during the trial the IRP6 impeached several government witnesses, yet the jury was never instructed by Judge Arguello as to the meaning of impeachment," argues Stewart. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA). Impeachment may refer to different legal concepts. One meaning in the law refers to discrediting a witness by showing that he or she is not telling the truth or does not have a reliable basis for their testimony. (http://definitions.uslegal.com/i/impeachment/).
“In addition to the jury not being informed on the ramifications of witness impeachment, the IRP6 were not allowed to demonstrate for the jury the unreliable testimony of other government witnesses like Eileen Bergman who tried to discredit IRP Solutions to NYPD; an attempt that was unsuccessful by Bergman,” adds Stewart.
Prior to the IRP6 going on trial, IRP Solutions software (Case Investigative Lifecycle software) was reviewed/examined by Don Vilfer of Califorensics in 2010. Califorensics is a computer forensics firm. Mr. Vilfer is retired FBI, Supervisory Special Agent for the White Collar Crime and Computer Crime Squad. Mr. Vilfer is also a Certified Fraud Examiner and an Attorney. Califorensics reported: "The CILC software did not appear to be 'vaporware' but included a large amount of complex coding that would have required significant development (software development). The CILC software was functional at the time of the search warrant (making reference to the February 2005 raid on the IRP Solutions offices). The software contained many notable features, making it a functional product for the intended consumer. There is a market for the functionality that CILC software offers and it (CILC) would undoubtedly be of interest to many law enforcement agencies."
"Countless professionals have looked at the IRP software and spoke of its functionality and viability to law enforcement," says Thurman. "Others have viewed the IRP6 case and are amazed at how this case got this far. And then there were numerous articles in professional law enforcement trade publications that spoke highly of IRP and the Case Investigative Lifecycle software (CILC). Business engagements by IRP executives included, but are not limited to the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (FICMS Program), The Federal BOP, Rocky Mountain HIDTA, DOJ Chief Information Officer Van Hitch, Colorado Bureau of Investigation (Agent Colin Reese), Philadelphia PD/Office of Inspector General, Royal Bahamas Police Force (Commissioner Ellison Edroy Greenslade), National Police of Colombia (Major Monica Briceno), Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (now retired Commander of Police Reserves, Lyle Alexander) and many other small, medium and large agencies. The list of publications and references includes, but is not limited to Law Enforcement Technology Magazine, Police Magazine, Criminal Investigation textbook by Bennett and Hess, letter of reference by Colorado Springs former City Manager Lorne Kramer, letter of reference by Canon City Chief of Police Daniel Shull, reference by former NYPD Officer and part of technology team John Shannon and the IRP executives met with lawmakers like former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (who encouraged the men to pursue support from federal agencies)," Thurman recalls.
"With this level of activity, one has to ask several questions," Thurman ponders. "How could a search warrant be executed when there was no proof of wrongdoing -- in fact there was proof from retired agents to support the legitimacy of IRP Solutions and its executives? Why didn't the judge verify that there was probable cause -- or do judges just sign off on warrants without asking questions? Why was the company raided -- the company had debt, which is not a crime? Why did the FBI claim IRP as a 'purported' software development company when there was absolute proof to the contrary? Why were there two grand juries? Why wasn't expert witness testimony allowed? Why did the government change their theory from 'a purported software development company,' to 'money laundering,' to 'scamming staffing companies?'" These questions are only the tip of the iceberg when you look at the IRP6 case and ponder 'How did this happen,' 'How could this happen?'", asks Thurman.
"A Just Cause is seeking justice in the case of the IRP6," asserts Banks. "This type of travesty should not have occurred and that's why we are seeking the exoneration of the IRP6. Additionally, we are asking the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this case. The investigation should probe into the actions by the FBI (Agent John Smith), the U.S. Attorney's office (Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kirsch) and the 10th Circuit (Judge Christine Arguello). This case is filled with anomalies and if they go unchecked, it will continue," Banks concludes.
For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org.
Related press releases: http://www.a-justcause.com/#!2015-press-releases/cl69

Contact Information

(855) 529-4252 extension 703

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Legal Team Files for Immediate Treatment & Injunctive Relief

August 25, 2015                                                 Press Release:

Medical Neglect nearly killed Abu-Jamal in March; Now the DOC refuses lifesaving treatment
August 24, 2015: Attorneys for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal filed a motion for preliminary injunction in Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes” today with Judge Robert Mariani in the Middle District of Pennsylvania seeking a federal court order to ensure that prison medical staff provide immediate life- saving hepatitis C treatment to Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal is incarcerated at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville PA. Please see today’s filings here as well as the first amended complaint here.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) medical staff and DOC counsel have refused Abu-Jamal’s demand for treatment and denied letters from his lawyers and independent doctors documenting the critical need for immediate treatment. Medically necessary treatment for hepatitis C consists of new antiviral drugs that have a 95% cure rate, and consists of one pill per day over the course of 12 weeks with minimal side effects.

Blood tests for the hepatitis C viral load done in July at the insistence of Abu-Jamal, his lawyers, and consulting doctors have confirmed that Abu-Jamal has active hepatitis C, which is most likely the underlying cause of his year-long, escalating health crisis.

Mumia Abu-Jamal remains weak and sick in the prison infirmary. He is currently not receiving treatment for a persistent and debilitating skin condition that is itchy and painful. Mr. Abu-Jamal has already suffered two hospitalizations, one a near fatal episode after SCI Mahanoys medical staff refused to treat or even monitor his dramatic and dangerously excessive blood glucose level, leading to diabetic shock. Every day that medically indicated treatment is denied carries the significant risk of continued and irreversible injury.

On March 30, 2015, Abu-Jamal was rushed to the hospital after losing consciousness and going into diabetic shock. Although prison medical staff was aware that Abu-Jamal had a dangerously high blood glucose level of 419 on March 6, they failed to treat, monitor, or even inform Abu-Jamal of his condition. Glucose levels like those that Abu-Jamal had can result in diabetic shock, diabetic coma, and death.

Abu-Jamal’s diabetic shock came in the midst of an escalating year-long health crisis that began with a rash in August 2014. The skin condition grew in intensity over the course of the next several months, eventually covering most of his body with a painful, severe rash that is resistant to conventional treatments. The skin condition is abnormal in its duration and intensity, and has led to lesions, open wounds, and swelling.

Hepatitis C:

Advances in Hepatitis C treatment in recent years have revolutionized the way the disease is treated, with new direct-acting anti-viral medications that have had over 95% success rates in curing the illness in clinical trials. The medications, however, are extraordinarily expensive in the United States due to monopoly pricing practices by the pharmaceutical companies that have patented them.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has yet to promulgate a new protocol for treating Hepatitis C with the new medications, meaning that the estimated 10,000-plus people in DOC custody who have Hepatitis C are not receiving any treatment.

This issue is the subject of a  class action lawsuit  filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal court in June 2015. Please see the 1st amended complaint Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes here.

Abu-Jamal is represented by Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center and Robert J. Boyle of New York

City. Legal Director Bret Grote  412-654-9070 bretgrote@abolitionistlawcenter.org

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