Prosecutors in Philadelphia announced Wednesday that they had dropped their attempts to execute Mumia Abu-Jamal, the death row inmate convicted of killing a police officer 30 years ago and whose subsequent legal case based on claims of innocence had received international attention.
Abu-Jamal will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole, said Seth Williams, the district attorney for Philadelphia.
“This has been a very, very difficult decision,” Williams said at a news conference, adding that he believed Abu-Jamal was guilty of the murder and should be executed. “The sentence was appropriate. That would have been the just sentence for this defendant.”
In April, a federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing for Abu-Jamal because instructions given to jurors during his 1982 trial had been potentially misleading. In October, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
Williams said the appeals court ruling — and others that have spared Abu-Jamal’s life over the years — had led him to think about dropping his pursuit of the death penalty. He said he made the decision after discussing it with Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Daniel Faulkner, the slain police officer.
Ms. Faulkner, who appeared at the news conference with Williams and other city officials, said she had agreed to give up her advocacy of Abu-Jamal’s execution because the case had dragged on for so long. Ms. Faulkner said the case had taken a toll on the health of her family members.
Abu-Jamal, who is black, was convicted of fatally shooting Faulkner, who was white, in Dec. 1981, after the police officer pulled over Abu-Jamal’s brother for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Through the years, Abu-Jamal’s execution was scheduled at least twice — in August 1995 and December 1999.
In a three-decade battle played out in court and the news media, the case was said to be either a miscarriage of justice based on racism, or a cut-and-dried murder of a law enforcement officer in which the issue of race prevented justice from being carried out.
In his long stay on death row, Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and radio reporter, became a vocal and — to some — convincing advocate of the “Free Mumia” movement. He wrote a book, conducted interviews and raised money for his defense; several fund-raisers in which prominent musicians performed were held on his behalf. His case generated protests around the world as well.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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