Mumia Abu-Jamal to Testify in Health Lawsuit

He says prison officials have denied him proper care.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is back in court again today, scheduled to testify in a lawsuit that attempts to improve the medical care he receives while in prison for killing a Philadelphia police officer.

He is expected to testify by video from the prison at Frackville, AP reports..

“Mumia has been getting better since he was almost killed by the prison system last April,” the Free Mumia website reported this week. “However, this is despite the scandalously inadequate healthcare provided of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.”

Abu-Jamal went into intensive care last spring, the result of diabetic shock, his supporters said. “Mumia has been complaining about being ill since January,” Johanna Fernandez, of the New York Campaign to Bring Mumia Home said at the time. “If he had gotten the proper care he needed originally, he would not be in this situation.”

In the suit, he says he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2012. He alleges the prison has withheld care, violating the constitution prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The state’s defense is technical — arguing that Abu-Jamal should exhausted non-judicial administrative remedies before resorting to the lawsuit.

Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 killing of Philadelphia Officer Daniel Faulkner. His death penalty sentence in the case was overturned in 2008.