Imprisoned former death-row inmate addresses grads

PLAINFIELD, Vt. (AP) — A one-time death row inmate imprisoned for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer has praised the Vermont college where he earned a degree and encouraged graduates to transform the world.

Mumia Abu-Jamal spoke by video to 20 students receiving bachelor degrees Sunday from Goddard College in Plainfield.

He told the graduates to “think about the myriad of problems that beset this land and strive to make it better.”

Abu-Jamal said Goddard reawakened his love of learning and — in his mind — allowed him to leave death row and travel the world.

The decision to allow Abu-Jamal to speak angered police and others in Vermont and Pennsylvania. Abu-Jamal was initially sentenced to death in the killing of Officer Daniel Faulkner but resentenced to life in 2012.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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