Incarceration Nation

A Crack in the Wall Of Death

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

The State of Florida, as of 2017, held over 383 souls on its Death Row.

In America, it was the second largest Death Row, after California, which held over 700 men and women awaiting death at the hands of the State.

Similarly, Florida’s prison population, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2012, was over 100,000 people, the third highest number in America.

Several days ago, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the state courts ordered resentencing hearings or life sentences for some 100 people on Florida’s Death Row. That’s because Florida law allowed a judge to override a jury’s decision.  For example, if a death-qualified jury couldn’t agree on a death sentence, say if it voted 8-to-4 for life, a judge could simply disagree, and impose a death sentence.

Florida courts have known since 2002, under the Ring v. Nevada decision, that such a process was unconstitutional, yet they kept over a hundred people on Death Row—for 15 years (!)—before granting any relief.

How many people went insane during that period?

How many committed suicide?

How many, with incompetent lawyers, went to their deaths by an unconstitutional execution?

We don’t know. We may never know.

But for now, 100 people in Florida have hope, for life—after death.

Write to:

Mumia Abu-Jamal AM-8335


301 Morea Road

Frackville, PA 17932