Mumia Abu-jamal Death Penalty – The death penalty is off the table for Mumia Abu-jamal. Philadelphia prosecutors have dropped their pursuit against the convicted killer. The former Black Panther member, who was convicted of fatally shooting a police officer nearly three decades ago, will now serve a life sentence in prison.
Abu-jamal had been sentenced to death forÂ the 1981 killing of Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
In April a federal appeals court declared the death sentence unconstitutional. They ruled that the jury’s instructions at Mumia’s original 1982 murder trial were unclear.
The April appeals court ruling does not grant Abu-Jamal a new trial, so his conviction of murder stands. However, he escaped his prior penalty.
The state Supreme Court rejected a request from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to overturn the federal appeals court decision last month.
According to witnesses Mumia shot Faulkner in the back and head after the officer pulled his brother over during a late-night traffic stop.
The jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict after three hours of deliberations. The penalty did not appear to fit the crime according to the activist’s followers.
Since 2000, the City of Philadelphia has memorialized Faulkner with a street designation and a commemorative plaque.