Workers Vanguard No. 884
19 January 2007
Habeas Corpus Appeal Filed
Free Jamal Hart!
On December 20, Jamal Hart filed a habeas corpus petition in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania that could set the stage for his release from prison. Hart, son of death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, was sentenced in 1998 to 15 1/2 years on bogus firearms possession charges, framed up for his prominent activism in the campaign to free his father. Although Hart was initially charged under Pennsylvania laws, which would have meant a probationary sentence, Clintons Justice Department intervened to have him thrown into prison under federal laws.
In a January 15 letter to the Partisan Defense Committee, Hart, who was recently transferred to the federal penitentiary at Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, explained, The state of Pennsylvania labeled me as an armed career criminal due to 3 felony charges I was convicted of. However, after thorough research by prison officials here at FCI Schuylkill, it has been revealed that an assault conviction I was accused of in 1995 DOES NOT EXIST and should not have counted in the first place. Due to this blatant miscarriage of justice, I should have been sentenced to the original sentence range of 6 years 5 months to 8 years instead of the dreadful 15 years to life.
From the outset, the PDC has condemned the prosecution of Jamal Hart as a racist political frame-up. Hart should never have spent one day in jail. He has already been locked up for eight years. If Harts habeas corpus petition is granted, it would mean a reduction of his sentence, and he would finally be released for time served.
Hart has requested that letters be sent to the court demanding that his petition be granted and that he be released. Write to: Judge Edwin M. Kosik, U.S. District Court, 235 N. Washington Ave., P.O. Box 1148, Scranton, PA 18501. Free Jamal Hart now!
In Free Jamal Hart! (WV No. 884, 19 January), we wrote that Hart had already been locked up for eight years, framed up in retaliation for his prominent activism to free his father, death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. While Hart was sentenced in 1998, he was in fact initially arrested by Philadelphia police in October 1996 and then released without bail. When he appeared for his trial on 30 January 1997, he was dragged off to jail by federal marshals and has been imprisoned ever since. He is now beginning his eleventh year of incarceration. (From WV No. 885, 2 February 2007.)