Mumia Abu-Jamal is back in prison after being hospitalized this week for treatment of diabetes.
Abu-Jamal, 60, who is serving a life sentence for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981, returned to State Correctional Institution-Mahanoy on Wednesday night after two days in intensive care, said Johanna Fernandez, one of his supporters.
His blood-sugar level remains high; Fernandez said it was 336 on Friday afternoon when he was last tested at the prison’s infirmary. Any reading above 186 is considered dangerous.
He was transported to Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville on Monday after passing out. At the time of his hospitalization, his blood sugar level was 779, his family said.
“He’s not well,” Fernandez, of the New York Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, said Friday. “His spirit is high, but he told us that he couldn’t get up yesterday. He’s lost 80 pounds since I last saw him three months ago.”Fernandez, along with Abu-Jamal’s brother and other supporters, visited him at the prison Friday, where they said he was in a wheelchair receiving medication through an IV.
Abu-Jamal was convicted in the killing of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. He was sentenced to death, but his sentence was reduced to life in prison without parole after a high-profile, decades-long appeals process.
In recent months, Abu-Jamal was in the news after giving a recorded commencement speech to graduates of a Vermont college last fall.
After the speech, Pennsylvania legislators passed a “mental anguish” law that lets crime victims seek injunctions against such speeches. Lawyers for Abu-Jamal are challenging the law in federal court, arguing that it infringes on free-speech rights.