One thing is clear: Abu-Jamal is a talented writer. His reputation as a journalist was deserved. Just before his scheduled execution in 1995, he published . It is an eloquent series of essays, especially being written from death row. As in Dennis’s case, writing from prison is considered a crime in the minds that often run our prison systems, particularly when the writing does not flatter the jailers or judicial system. Abu-Jamal was served with a misconduct report for writing the book. In 1997, Abu Jamal published another book, .

Mumia Abu Jamal - Home | Facebook
Photo provided by Flickr

One agonizing issue regarding executing a journalist is that America is about the world’s only "free" nation with a death penalty, and one of six nations that executed juveniles in the 1990’s, and today is the only nation that will officially execute children. We are the world's leader in executing people for crimes they committed as children. The issue of Abu Jamal is illustrative of our nation's barbarity.

Mumia Abu-Jamal (@MumiaAbuJamal) | Twitter

Mumia Abu-Jamal is one of today's most well known political prisoners
Photo provided by Flickr

Therein lies a mystery. Abu-Jamal survived and the policeman died. The official record is clear on the matter: Abu-Jamal was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death on charges of first-degree murder. The two main witnesses who convicted Abu-Jamal were both under Philadelphia police influence because of their criminal records. Compelling evidence exists that their testimonies were fabricated. Several other witnesses to the crime had testimony supporting Abu Jamal's innocence, and their testimony was suppressed. Similarly, the police fabricated a "confession" by Abu Jamal, months after Jamal supposedly made it. The bullet removed from the policeman could not be matched to Abu Jamal's pistol (he had it because he was moonlighting as a cab driver in inner city Philadelphia, an understandable situation). Abu-Jamal had been on death row since his conviction. There were many irregularities with his trial and conviction. The judge who sentenced him to death sentenced more black men to death than any other active judge in the United States. They used to call judges like him “hanging judges.” Six former prosecutors have gone on the record, stating from experience that no accused person had a chance at a fair trial in that judge's court.