The Washington Post

Death penalty dropped against Mumia Abu-Jamal

Philadelphia prosecutors on Wednesday dropped their 30-year push for the death penalty for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther whose case became well known because it was so racially charged.

Death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former radio reporter convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, is led to court in Philadelphia's City Hall on July 14, 1995. (Steven M. Falk/Associated Press)

While the decision follows decades of protests and public appeals, Wednesday's decision appears not to be a result of activist or lawyer action. Instead, the widow of slain officer Daniel Faulkner has reportedly persuaded prosecutors to stop pushing for the death penalty, saying she was tired of the constant reminders of her husband’s death.

Free Mumia activists, including many celebrities, have long said that Jamal was railroaded when he was convicted of shooting Faulkner during a traffic stop.

There were mixed reactions to the news:


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