Mike Africa from the Move Move released after 40 years innocent in jail !

Nieuws, gepost door: nn op 24/10/2018 10:10:00

Wanneer: 24/10/2018 - 20:57

P O W E R F O R F R E E D O M !

Earlier today, MOVE member Mike Africa was released from prison after 40 years of incarceration. Mike was released on parole from SCI Phoenix in Skippak Township this morning.

Mike was imprisoned since August 8, 1978, following an altercation between the Philadelphia police and the MOVE Organization. Mike is one of 9 MOVE members, collectively known as the “MOVE 9,” who were convicted and sentenced to 30-100 years in prison following the altercation.

Mike’s wife Debbie Africa was also one of the MOVE 9. Debbie was eight months pregnant at the time of the incident and gave birth in jail to their son, Mike Africa Jr. Mike Sr. has been incarcerated for his son’s entire life and today was the first opportunity for the father and son to spend time together outside of prison.

Mike Sr. and his wife Debbie maintained their relationship despite both being incarcerated and separated from one other for 40 years. In June of this year, Debbie became the first member of the MOVE 9 to be released from prison. Today marks the first time that Mike Sr., Debbie and their son Mike Jr. have ever spent time all together.

“After being born in jail and never being with my parents, I’m happy to be with my mom and dad at home for the first time ever in forty years,” said Mike Africa, Jr. He continued “But this struggle isn’t over. There are still MOVE members behind bars who deserve to be reunited with their families and loved ones, just like my mom and dad can now be with me and the rest of their family.”

Mike Sr. has been eligible for parole since 2008 and went before the Pennsylvania Board or Probation and Parole (PBPP) for the tenth time in September of this year. Mike’s legal team submitted a packet in support of his parole petition, detailing Mike’s exemplary prison record, his educational accomplishments in prison and over 75 letters in support of parole. These included letters from religious leaders, retired DOC staff who knew him personally and former prisoners who described the positive influence Mike had on them. Mike also received recommendations for parole from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), Corrections expert and former DOC Secretary Martin Horn, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

One of Mike’s lawyers, Brad Thomson, of the Chicago-based People’s Law Office, said, “Mike’s record in prison was exceptional and demonstrated that he was an excellent candidate for parole. With this decision, the Parole Board recognizes that Mike, like Debbie, and the rest of the MOVE 9, poses absolutely no threat to the community.” Thomson went on to say, “This victory would not have been possible without the decades of organizing and advocacy spearheaded by the MOVE organization and their supporters.”

Bret Grote, of Abolitionist Law Center, another lawyer for the MOVE 9, stated, “This historic release of Mike Africa renders the Parole Board’s decision to deny the rest of the MOVE 9 all the more incomprehensible. For example, Janet and Janine Africa have both maintained DOC records that are as exemplary as Mike’s and essentially identical to that of Debbie, yet they were inexplicably denied parole this past May.” Grote and Thomson recently filed petitions for habeas corpus on behalf of Janet and Janine in federal court, challenging their parole denials.

In addition to Janet and Janine, three other members of the MOVE 9 remain incarcerated, as two (Merle Africa and Phil Africa) died in custody. All five surviving members of the MOVE 9 (Janet, Janine, Chuck, Eddie and Delbert Africa) have been eligible for parole since 2008 and have been repeatedly denied parole when appearing before the PBPP.

During the August 8, 1978, altercation, a Philadelphia police officer was killed and following a highly politicized and controversial trial, the MOVE 9 were convicted of third-degree homicide. All nine were sentenced to 30-100 years in prison.


Brad Thomson, bradjaythomson[at]gmail.com ,773-297-9689

Mike Africa Jr., MikeAfricaJr@gmail.com,


In just one week Mumia Abu-Jamal’s appeal will be back in court in
Philadelphia for yet another hearing. This will be the seventh hearing
since April 2017, and the fifth since DA Larry Krasner took office. We
are appealing to Mumia supporters and justice seekers everywhere to step
up to the plate and demand that Krasner do the right thing. The Judge
and DA keep searching for proof former DA Ron Castille violated Mumia’s
right to appeal his wrongful conviction but the evidence is there.
Dragging out yet more boxes, and hiring yet more staff to do a search is
in effect a smokescreen to cover their heal dragging.

Please take action now! Email the letter below and call DA Krasner (see
info below). Come to a press conference on Thurs. Oct. 25. Pack the
court on Monday, Oct. 29 at 8:00AM, in the Criminal Justice Building,
corner of 13th & Filbert Sts in Philly. Keep the heat on Krasner.
Press Conference – Thursday Oct. 25, 11am-1pm, DA’s office, 3 S. Penn Square
The Judge and DA Larry Krasner keep searching for proof former DA Ron
Castille violated Mumia’s rights to appeal his wrongful conviction but
the evidence already exists. Just days before Mumia’s court proceeding
on Oct 29, attend a Press Conference outside the DA’s office which will
feature speakers demanding the DA stop acting in the interest of the FOP.


Dear District Attorney Larry Krasner,

You were elected on your claims of being a “progressive DA” and that you
would “end mass incarceration.” You stated that you would investigate
and overturn wrongful convictions. However, in the case of Mumia
Abu-Jamal you have to date shown yourself to be in tandem with the
Fraternal Order of Police. This is despite the history of the evidence
of Mumia’s innocence and the police, prosecution, and judicial
misconduct that permeates his case.

In a letter sent to you in January 2018, Pam Africa and international
representatives of the movement to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal requested a
meeting to discuss his case with the objective of obtaining a dismissal
of the charges against him and his release from prison. We also asked as
a first step that you join in or at least not oppose Mumia’s pending
petition for new appeals based on the precedent of Williams v. PA. Over
the past months after first agreeing to that meeting, you then refused,
but later met with Maureen Faulkner. Since April 30 you have submitted
legal arguments to Judge Leon Tucker that deny the relevance of the
evidence from prosecution files of Ronald Castille’s significant
involvement in Mumia Abu-Jamal’s prosecution and death sentence. You
have called for Mumia’s petition to be dismissed. Documents show that DA
Castille tracked the status of capital cases and that he sent a letter
to former Governor Casey that “urged” him to sign execution warrants to
“send a message” to all ”police killers.”

Ronald Castille’s very public and vocifierous support of capital
punishment and the Fraternal Order of Police combined with the evidence
to date disclosed from the prosecution files meets the test of Williams
v. PA. Judge Castille should have recused himself from Mumia Abu-Jamal’s
appeals. Since Castille refused to do that, Mumia Abu-Jamal should, at
least, be granted new appeal rights. So far, your handling of Mumia’s
case has been very much in line with the wishes of the Fraternal Order
of Police and you seem to show no interest in opening up a case that has
been denounced around the world as reflecting the worst of a racist and
classist judicial system that finds poor people, and especially people
of color (and even more so dissenters) guilty and sentences them to the
most extreme sentences: for Mumia, he was initially sentenced to death,
but in 2011 was resentenced to life in prison without parole, that is
without the possibility of ever getting out.

We call on you to release all the police and DA files relevant to
Mumia’s case, to stop fighting to close this opening in the case by
insisting that there is no evidence of Castille’s significant
involvement in Mumia’s case, when that is clearly not the reality. The
world is watching you out of its concern for Mumia and for justice.

Krasner's email address is: justice@phila.gov

DA’s office number to call is: 001 - 215-686-8000 – Tell him to stop the
coverup & release all DA & police files on Mumia.

Click on this link for an important article by Linn Washington with more
background on this case.


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