Mumia's Wife, Lawyer Seek Access to Him in Hospital

Attorneys representing former death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal say they have filed suit in federal court seeking access to their client, who they say is being treated at a central Pennsylvania hospital.

The Abolitionist Law Center said on its website that attorneys are seeking court orders allowing Abu-Jamal's wife and attorneys to visit him at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, where officials said he was taken May 12 from the prison infirmary for treatment.

Supporters said Monday that Abu-Jamal had been able to call his wife, who reported that he "sounded very good" and was undergoing tests.

In March, family members and supporters said Abu-Jamal had been rushed to a different hospital to be treated for complications from diabetes.

Geisinger said in a statement that their visitation policy is consistent with a commitment to a safe environment, but there is a provision "for visitation for critically ill patients/prisoners with approval by the Department of Corrections."

Corrections Department representatives didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

Abu-Jamal, 60, is a former Black Panther serving life in prison for the 1981 murder of white Philadelphia Officer Daniel Faulkner. His conviction was upheld through years of appeals, but he has gained international support for his claim that he's the victim of a racist justice system.

A federal appeals court threw out his death sentence in 2008, citing flawed jury instructions.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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