Today was historic.
Mumia Abu-Jamal testified to a packed courtroom on the critical need for life-saving hepatitis C treatment.
In opening arguments, the Department of Corrections' (DOC) legal counsel, Laura Neal, requested that today's hearing be dismissed.
She claimed that Mumia had not exhausted all of the requirements for the grievance procedures, and that he hadn't specifically asked for hepatitis C treatment in his grievance.
Federal Judge Robert Mariani responded that it would have been impossible for Mumia to cite hepatitis C as he had not received a proper diagnosis to determine his hepatitis C was the cause of his conditions. Mariani then said to Neal, "That's a tortured view of what is required of an inmate in a grievance."
Notably, Mariani was dismissive of the DOC's attempts to further delay relief by dismissing the trial. He sated that the DOC had "in May of 2015 all the information at your fingertips in terms of his health issues".
By mid-day, Judge Mariani ruled that Mumia had exhausted his grievance process in full, and ruled from the bench against the motion to dismiss today's hearing. Our preliminary injunction moved forward.
Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center and Robert Boyle presented a comprehensive and extraordinarily well-prepared case for why the First Amended Complaint, Mumia's original grievance for medical care, and the Preliminary Injunction should be granted.
Bret conducted Mumia's interview through video. Attorneys Ashley Henderson and Nikki Grant of the Amistad Law Project advised Mumia throughout the day from SCI Mahanoy.
"On April 2nd, I had just spent three days in the ICU near death, and back at SCI Mahanoy I was in the infirmary unable to walk one step. I could not lift my arms, I was too weak to pull myself up off the floor .... I have received no treatment for active Hepatitis C, which has caused my diabetic shock, extra hepatic skin lesions, and my continuing exposure to organ damage",
Mumia said to Federal Judge Robert Mariani and the courtroom through video.
Robert Boyle then conducted the medical expert testimony from Dr. Joseph Harris, who noted that the standard of care for Mumia's present condition is the new antiviral drug for hepatitis C which has a 95% cure rate.
The hearing will continue on Tuesday with cross examination of Dr. Harris, and witness testimony from Dr. Johanna Fernandez and Dr. Suzanne Ross on how Mumia's condition has deteriorated over the course of this year.
Then the DOC will offer Dr. Jay Cowan to testify for their defense.
on Tuesday where we'll be reporting live from the courtroom.