ACLU joins fight over Pa. law restricting inmates’ speech

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union has joined a legal fight over a Pennsylvania law it says silences convicts.

The organization challenged the law in federal court Thursday, saying it stifles advocacy and debate on prison issues.

The law allows violent-crime victims to take legal action when they feel an offender’s conduct is perpetuating the effect of the crime.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed the law in October after Mumia Abu-Jamal made a recorded speech to a Vermont commencement.

Corbett says the state wanted to curb the “obscene celebrity” cultivated by convicts like Abu-Jamal.

Abu-Jamal and prisoner-rights groups have also sued.

Abu-Jamal is serving a life sentence for the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer.

He has drawn international support for claims he’s the victim of a racist justice system.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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