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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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