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Shabazz K. Milton-Berle is a death row inmate who befriends Huey Freeman through correspondence.


In the 1970s, Shabazz worked as an intern for the Black Panther Party and was doing some paperwork, when he heard a gunshot outside his window. Shabazz then heard a man named Eli Gorbinsky shout that he had murdered a cop named Gary Faulkner, identifying himself and dropping a gun at the scene (with his fingerprints clearly marked in chocolate frosting from the doughnut he had been eating, and with the registration tag attached). A court stenographer happened to be there to record this oddly specific confession, as well as Faulkner's last words, which also implicated Gorbinsky as the killer. An amateur home video of the act confirmed this as well. Despite all of the evidence pointing to Gorbinsky, Shabazz was instead arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for a crime that he had no role in committing.

In the present day, he befriends a young radical named Huey Freeman, who plans to break Shabazz out of prison before his scheduled execution. However Huey's plan fails because his granddad was unwilling to drive him there. Huey desperately prays to God to set things right; moments later, a bolt of lightning causes a blackout that cuts off power to the electric chair that was supposed to fry Shabazz. The Governor of Maryland, who worries that his secret homosexual affair will be revealed, commutes Shabazz's sentence to life imprisonment.


  • Shabazz K. Milton-Berle is based on Mumia Abu-Jamal, a real Black Panther who was controversially convicted of and imprisoned for killing a white Philadelphia cop named Daniel Faulkner. Mumia Abu-Jamal and his left-wing supporters claim that he is an innocent man who was framed for the murder. Shabazz is based on the fact that Abu-Jamal is innocent.