Almost 30 years to the date since his arrest for allegedly shooting a police officer in Philly, political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is no longer on Death Row.
The Philadelphia district attorney said today he is dropping pursuit of death penalty against former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Associated Press reports.
The announcement comes two days before supporters of the former radio reporter, who was convicted in the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, will gather to mark the 30th anniversary of Abu-Jamal’s arrest, ThePhiladelphia Inquirer says.
Abu-Jamal, 58, is being held at the state prison in Greene County in Western Pennsylvania, where he has gained fame for his death-row writings. He will serve a life sentence.
Faulkner was on patrol in Center City on Dec. 9, 1981, when, according to testimony, he pulled over a car driven by Abu-Jamal’s brother, William Cook, at 13th and Locust Streets, the Inquirer says.
Abu-Jamal, moonlighting as a cabdriver, recognized his brother’s car, ran toward them, and shot Faulkner, witnesses testified. A gunfight ensued, and Abu-Jamal was struck by a bullet from Faulkner’s gun. Abu-Jamal was found slumped on a curb.
Witnesses said Abu-Jamal stood over the wounded officer and shot him in the face.
Neither Abu-Jamal nor Cook has testified about what happened that night. Abu-Jamal has denied shooting Faulkner.
After 30 years… Let’s see what this will mean for the rest of America’s political prisoners.