US legal authorities said Wednesday they would cease pursuing the death penalty against former Black Panther militant Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing a white police officer in 1981. Abu Jamal will spend the rest of his life in jail.
AFP - Philadelphia prosecutors on Wednesday dropped a decades-old quest to get the death penalty against Mumia Abu Jamal, a former Black Panther militant convicted of killing a police officer in 1981.
District Attorney Seth Williams made the announcement, which was welcomed by Abu Jamal's defense team.
"The district attorney did the right thing," John Payton said. "After three long decades, it was time to bring the quest for a death sentence for Mr Abu Jamal to an end."
Jamal, a former member of the separatist Black Panther Party and former radio journalist, will instead spend the rest of his life in prison for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, who was white.
He is being represented by lawyers from the legal fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and law professor Judith Ritter in the racially charged case.
Ritter said that justice had been "served when a death sentence from a misinformed jury is overturned."
Date created : 2011-12-07