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Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the USA Paperback – March 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872864693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872864696
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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." --J. Patrick O'Connor

"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." --J. Patrick O'Connor

"Mumia Abu-Jamal points out in his latest book, his sixth from Death Row in Pennsylvania, that unfortunately jailhouse lawyers--prisoners who learn the law in the joint and help other prisoners with appeals and legal problems--have a reputation of freeing others while they squat. 'It's the bane of jailhouse lawyers. They seem to be able to help everybody but themselves.' That truth hit home earlier this month when the U.S. Supreme Court refused, without comment, to hear the former Black Panther's appeal for a new trial based on the prosecution's consistent exclusion of blacks from his 1982 jury pool. He turns 55 Friday, which means he has officially spent more than half his life in jail. Unless further appeals work, a new Philadelphia jury will eventually be composed, and it will give him life imprisonment or re-institute his death sentence for the 1981 murder of Daniel Faulkner, a white Philadelphia police officer. Then the state of Pennsylvania will try to kill him again."--Todd S. Burroughs --Whosemedia.com

"Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection April 6 of Abu-Jamal's appeal for a new trial, he continues to fight for his freedom. This would not have been possible without the support of millions worldwide. He reminds the reader of the more than two million Americans behind bars in similar situations to himself, and that those in the free world have a responsibility to those trapped 'in the bowels of the slave ship, in the hidden dank dungeons of America.'" --Indypendent

"Mumia chronicles numerous stories surrounding the experiences of those who faced incarceration, but narrowly escaped with the power of the pen, and the tongue of one (or more) like-minded individuals possessing self-invented legal minds. Like-minded individuals who were immensely unafraid, to divinely deter the injustices they faced in prison. . . Mumia deconstructs the entire corruptive constructs rooted in the contradictive, confusing force that is historically known as American Law. Its callous vulture-culture continues to clash its claws upon the working poor, and the poor in general." -- Marlon Crump, Poor Magazine --Marlon Crump, Poor Magazine

"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

"From his unique vantage point (he has been incarcerated for more than a quarter of a century, most of that on death row), Abu-Jamal aptly humanizes the individuals toiling behind bars to bring cases against enormous institutional, societal, and legal obstacles. . . . [The book] testifies to the character of many jailhouse lawyers, who, when treated with disdain or worse, quietly persist in reading, analyzing, writing, and fighting to do what is right -- doing justice." --Heidi Boghosian, The Federal Lawyer

"Journalist, activist, and author Abu-Jamal writes a startling expose' on otherwise shrouded subject matter, thusly inaugurating this book unto an exemplary class by itself. Indeed, the power of his truth upholds the long-neglected promise of transformation awaiting the domains of justice." --Mischa Geracoulis --The Black House Blog

"To borrow from an old African-American proverb, Mumia Abu-Jamal 'speaks truth to power' in his latest book on jailhouse lawyering, the American legal system, and the prison-industrial complex. . . . Abu-Jamal writes with incisive equanimity while presenting penetratingly disturbing facts, little known in mainstream society."--Mischa Geracouli --Z Magazine

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.

More About the Author

Mumia Abu-Jamal is author of many books, including Live From Death Row, Death Blossoms, All Things Censored, and We Want Freedom. He has been living on death row in a Pennsylvania prison since 1982.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mark E. Smith on May 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most people lack the strength of character to retain their sanity when the system they have always believed in betrays them. Mumia Abu Jamal's book explains more about our just-us system than many would like to know. But as the nation with the greatest number of prisoners on earth, many of them framed for crimes they didn't commit as part of COINTELPRO or similar programs, it would behoove the average American to learn the truth BEFORE it whacks them upside the head. Because sooner or later, it will.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carl A. Root on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Mumia gives a glimpse at some lesser known stories of American law, from an insider's perspective. Eloquent and revealing, simultaneously a breath of fresh air and a whiff of dank injustice. Highly recommended for anyone interested in our criminal justice system and those affected by it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Bailey on July 19, 2011
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Excellent read for anyone actually practicing law, or just an interested reader wanting to make a difference. Jailhouse Lawyers delivers insight into the horribly corrupt American "justice" system and the many attrocities inflicted on its victims.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Umesh Heendeniya on June 21, 2010
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This book, by a long time victim of the Racist American Criminal Justice System, is long overdue. Thank you Mumia for giving recognition and due respect to the hundreds of unsung heroes ("jail house lawyers") who have fought and continue to fight the uphill battle for justice, in the vicious and unjust American Criminal "Justice" System. Mumia, may God protect you and other jail house lawyers, who face overwhelming odds on being able to receive fair hearings before "impartial judges/justices" (for a non-white criminal defendant or prisoner, the concept of an 'impartial judge' sounds like an oxymoron), while being subject to harassment and/or brutality by the prison/CJS officials. You and other jail house lawyers like you, continue to inspire me.
Umesh Heendeniya
[...]
Marlborough, MA, USA.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bufford D. Moore on July 22, 2009
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I was fascinated to read Jailhouse Lawyers. The situation of prisoners in America is rather extraordinary. In a country that prides itself on freedom, this subgroup finds itself with increasingly restricted access. The fact that they are forced to depend on other prisoners for expertise is a statement in itself. A recommended read, but a warning- I really didn't ( and I guess don't) have a background which lends itself to really understanding what is being said. You may not either, but worthwhile in any case.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Moffatt on October 24, 2013
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Besides being a novel eye-opening indictment of the justice system in the USA, this book is beautifully written with amazing sensitivity and insight, and a great pleasure to read. I am loving it, and find it an absolute must-read for law students and professionals worldwide as well as the layman like me.
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