“Expert and well-reasoned commentary on the justice system. . . . His writings are dangerous.”— The Village Voice
In Jailhouse Lawyers , award-winning journalist and death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal presents the stories and reflections of fellow prisoners-turned-advocates who have learned to use the court system to represent other prisoners—many uneducated or illiterate—and, in some cases, to win their freedom. In Abu-Jamal’s words, “This is the story of law learned, not in the ivory towers of multi-billion-dollar endowed universities [but] in the bowels of the slave-ship, in the dank dungeons of America.”
Includes an introduction by Angela Y. Davis.
Mumia Abu-Jamal ’s books include Live From Death Row and Death Blossoms.
|Publisher:||City Lights Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist and former Black Panther Party member, whose books include Live From Death Row, Death Blossoms: Reflections from a Prisoner of Conscience, All Things Censored, We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party and Faith of Our Fathers. He has been living on death row in a Pennsylvania prison since 1982. Internationally renowned public speaker, author, activist, scholar and symbol of 1970s black power, Davis was the third woman to appear on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list and has authored eight books.
Table of Contents
Foreword Angela Y. Davis 13
Note from the U.K. Publisher 21
1 Learning the Law 35
2 What "the Law" Is 51
3 When Jailhouse Lawyers "Represent" 73
4 What about Street Lawyers? 117
5 The Jailhouse Lawyering of Mayberry 151
6 A Woman's Work in State Hell 167
7 The Ruiz Effect: How One Jailhouse Lawyer Made Change in Texas 185
8 From "Social Prisoner" to Jailhouse Lawyers to Revolutionary: Ed Mead's Journey 191
9 Jailhouse Lawyers on Jailhouse Lawyers 205
10 The Best of the Best 217
11 The Worst of the Worst 233
12 The Social Role of Jailhouse Lawyers 243
Appendix A 255
Appendix B 260
About the Authors 288
What People are Saying About This
"Mumia Abu-Jamal's 27 years on Death Row for a murder he did not commit would have turned almost anyone else into an embittered, defeated man. Instead, he has remained what he always was, "the voice of the voiceless," as he demonstrates yet again in his most recent book . . . Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A. opens a tightly shut door into the operations of the U.S. penal system by chronicling the exploits of dozens of jailhouse lawyers - both men and women - who have fought the injustices the courts and the prisons have dealt them and their fellow prisoners. Their accomplishments, against all odds, have been incredible. Their story is a story never before told."
"More than a book about prisoners defending prisoners in what the author justly calls 'the Prisonhouse of Nations,' Mumia Abu-Jamal's Jailhouse Lawyers has the potential to jump-start the prison reform movement in the US. In addition to telling the individual stories of the best (and worst) jailhouse lawyers defending themselves and their fellow prisoners in the face of official hostility and, in many instances personal danger, and presenting a lively history of jailhouse lawyering in modern America, Abu-Jamal clearly exposes the political and racial bias of the US criminal justice system and explores the role of jailhouse lawyers in the jungle of American law."--(Richard Vogel, Op-Ed News)