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(en) Governor Ridge - and what you can do!

From "Oscar Huenchunao" <oscar.h@pemail.net>
Date Sat, 21 Nov 1998 04:54:14 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Originally from Noelle Hanrahan <radioqc@sirius.com>
Below is what the governor of PA has sent to at least one Mumia
supporter, a *very detailed* response which entails time limits and
reiterates the outrageous clause which permits the Comm. of
Corrections to schedule an execution without a signed warrant!
Ridge also discusses how he wants to "accelerate the entire process"
meaning that more and more people who cannot afford good legal
help, or to pay detectives or specialists, etc. in order to mount a
thorough defense, will be denied that due to lack of monies and
be murdered quicker, resulting in the certain death of more innocent
people due to the rush to kill in bloodthirsty PA.


November 13, 1998

Thank you for your recent letter regarding capital punishment in the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  I am always pleased to hear the
views and concerns of my constituents.

Pennsylvanians have become outraged - with good cause - at the
number of violent crimes which are committed against the Commonwealth's
families and communities.  To stem the rising tide of violence and
lawlessness on our streets and in our neighborhoods criminals must
know that, in Pennsylvania, harsh crimes have harsh punishments.
Expeditiously using the death penalty is one way we can get this
message across.

The amount of time which passes between sentencing criminals to
death row and their actual execution is far too long.  This time lapse
between conviction and execution generally results from the
inmates exhaustion of legal challenges.  Since no death penalty is
fulfilled in Pennsylvania until the Governor signs the convicted's death
warrant, many inmates wait until their warrant is signed before
commencing any legal challenges.  This further delays the process,
costing taxpayers more money and robbing the victim's family and
friends of peace of mind.  A swift death warrant signing accelerates
the entire process.

When I decided to seek the Commonwealth's chief executive position,
I was well aware of the Governor's responsibility to sign death
warrants.  It is an important duty that had gone unfulfilled for years
which created a backlog of inmates on the Commonwealth's death
row.  I am committed to performing all of the chief executive's
duties -- including signing death warrants.  To demonstrate this
unyielding commitment, Act Four of the Special Session on crime
has been signed into law.  This charges the Governor with the
responsibility to act on a death warrant within 90 days after
its sentence is affirmed by the state Supreme Court.  It also
stipulates that the execution shall occur within 30 days of the
warrant's signing.  If the Governor fails to act within the allotted time,
the Commissioner of Corrections is required to schedule an
execution without a signed warrant.

Exercising the Commonwealth's death penalty statute is not
a part of being Governor that I relish, but it is my duty to
enforce and uphold the law.  We must send a message to
criminals that the death penalty is a reality in Pennsylvania.
A reality that will come to bear much quicker than in the past.

(signed) Tom Ridge

Ten Things you can do

1. Contact International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 19709, Philadelphia, PA 19143, Tel (215) 476-8812, Fax (215)
476-7551 E-mail: Mumia@aol.com, http://www.Mumia.org

2. Contribute to Mumia Abu-Jamal's Legal Defense Fund.  Send a check or
money order payable Black United Fund/Mumia Abu-Jamal/LDF and mail to Black
United Fund, 2227 N. Broad St., Philadelphia PA 19132 4502

3. Organize public events - hip hop shows, discussions, or film showings of
the brilliant fast paced film "Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for Reasonable
Doubt?" available at your local video store distributed by Fox Lorber. Also
available from Prison Radio/Quixote radioqc@sirius.com. 415-648-4505.  Try
to reach the broadest audience possible.

4. Write Mumia and let him know that you care and you will struggle with
him for justice.  Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, 1040 East Roy Furman Hwy,
Waynesburg, PA 15370.

5. Counter media white-out by confronting the networks, writers, and
broadcasters who publish lies and police propaganda.  Read and listen to
Mumia's books and radio essays: ALL THINGS CENSORED VOL. 1 (CD's & Tapes);
Death Blossoms; and Race for Justice. Pressure your local radio stations to
play his commentaries.  These CD's and tapes will soon be for sale in your
local record stores and are also available from Prison Radio/Quixote
radioqc@sirius.com. 415-648-4505.

6.  Take to the streets to demand justice with demonstrations and direct
action and civil disobedience

7. . Organize campaigns to besiege your senators, Bill Clinton and the
Justice Department to demand a new trialPresident Clinton - The White House
- 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW - Washington DC 20500   phone  202 456 1414  fax
202 456 2461 or 202 456 2886 Attorney General - Janet Reno - U.S.  Dept of
Justice  950 Pennsylvania Ave
NW Washington DC 20530 0001

8. Lobby the Black Congressional Caucus to pass a resolution to demand a
fair trial and to pressure Clinton to intervene.

9. Bring your churches, organization, clubs or whatever out to knock on
doors in your community to let people know about his case and what they can

10. Call 1-800-VISIT-PA to say you won't visit Pennsylvania or support
Pennsylvania corporations until Mumia has received a new trial and all
executions are halted. Here are two more. Tourism Board of Philly 1 800 537
7676, Convention and Visitors Board of Philly 1 800  225 5745

resent by:
Prison Radio (a project of the Quixote Center) challenges mass
and racism by airing the voices of men and women in prison.  Our
materials serve as a catalyst for public activism.

P.S.: In order to be on the ZAP alert e-mail list send your email address
radioqc@sirius.com.  In order to be on the mailing list send us a
contribution of $25 or more. Prison Radio/Quixote P.O. Box 5206
MD 20782

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