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These Three Presidential Pardons Are Long Overdue

As Muslims, part of our belief system includes standing against oppression and standing against injustices. Here are three cases of injustice that you should be aware of, as well as some ways that you can help advocate for justice for these individuals.

Imam Jamil

The ongoing work to free Imam Jamil continues.  The movement to free him includes the website: and the students for Imam Jamil group:

Imam Jamil was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit and is in poor health serving a prison sentence.  Another man has confessed to the murder, and it is clear to people who are familiar with the evidence that Imam Jamil’s conviction was connected to persecution for his work in the civil rights movement and is partially politically motivated.

It would be easy for Biden to hear the fact that SOMEONE ELSE HAS CONFESSED TO THE CRIME and that he should be immediately released.

Leonard Peltier

The story of Leonard Peltier is the familiar story of an activist who was jailed for a crime he did not commit. He has been in jail now for 46 years.  Now in his late 70’s, Peltier was wrongfully convicted according to the website Who Is Leonard Peltier based on manufactured evidence, evidence obtained under torture, and other civil and human rights violations.  Additionally, he has been serving this sentence for killing one man, which, pardon me for saying makes the whole situation that much sicker as the history of the Americas is a story of mass genocide.  Not only is he innocent, but were he guilty, the extreme sentence he received far surpasses any justice that could ever have been served in this case.  Activists are working for his freedom, and calling for his release.  The National Congress of American Indians representative of over 500 Indian nations in the US unanimously passed a resolution in late 2011 calling for his immediate release.  This long overdue travesty of justice should be addressed immediately by a presidential pardon, which would be very easy for Biden to do.

Mumia Abu Jamal

The website reports on the third case covered here, another high profile story of wrongful conviction.  The work to free Mumia has been ongoing for years, and his work in prison has been some of the most important work from inside prisons in the world, with his book Live from Death Row and his work on The case is currently being reconsidered, and all public pressure can help. Biden can help. If you look at the people that Trump pardoned — can we see that Biden can easily take action to elevate the standing of presidential pardons to be a tool for justice?

Learn more here:

It is our duty to fight for our freedom.

It is our duty to win.

We must love and support each other.

We have nothing to lose but our chains.

-Assata Shakur

Sarah is a social worker and certified alcohol and drug counselor in the San Francisco Bay Area, the traditional land of the Ohlone people. She likes to paint, drum, sing, and spend quality time with her family and God.