Many citizens serving time in the American justice system are deprived of some of the most basic rights and services in this country. Fortunately, work is being done to slowly change this.
A huge moral victory came as a federal judge ruled that the state is required to see if Mumia Abu-Jamal is eligible for treatment for hepatitis C within 14 days.
Abu-Jamal is currently serving a life sentence without parole after being found guilty of the 1981 killing of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. He was initially sentenced to the death penalty, and sat on death row for 29 years before the ruling was overturned.
If Abu-Jamal is cleared by a medical professional, the state must provide him with a recently developed direct-acting antiviral medication, also known as DDA, according to Philly.com.
The battle over whether or not the state was required to spend the $84,000-90,000 required to treat Abu-Jamal began when he was hospitalized in 2015 when he fell into diabetic shock. That’s when it was discovered that he had hepatitis C.
The Department of Corrections was criticized for its current policy, which puts inmates who contract hepatitis C at risk of not being treated and falling victim to a series of resulting medical complications.
“The struggle is far from over: the DOC will no doubt appeal this ruling,” said Robert J. Boyle, a New York lawyer representing Abu-Jamal. “But a victory!”
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