Prosecutors, defense attorneys ask judge to rescind Mumia Abu-Jamal's appeal

Kristen Johanson
January 23, 2019 - 5:46 pm
Former Black Panther and convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, seen in this undated file photo, will be spared the death penalty, the Philadelphia district attorney announced on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, bringing a quiet end to a racially charged case

April Saul/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT/Sipa USA

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In an unusual move, Philadelphia prosecutors and defense lawyers for Mumia Abu-Jamal have asked a city judge to rescind his recent order reinstating Abu-Jamal's appellate rights.  

The now 64-year-old was convicted more than three decades ago of shooting and killing Philadelphia Police Officer Danny Faulkner in Center City. 

The letter filed by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office asks Judge Leon Tucker to repeal his order from last month granting Abu-Jamal's appeal, until the defense has enough time to look through six boxes found inside a storage closet at the DA's office and determine if they want to alter any of their arguments.

RELATED: Judge who opened door for partial appeal in Mumia Abu-Jamal case retaining jurisdiction

The recent court proceedings stem from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says former state Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille should have recused himself in another case because he had been a prosecutor in that case.

The defense likens that ruling to Abu-Jamal's case. 

But prosecutors say nothing found in the six boxes show Castille had any prejudice when he ruled in Abu-Jamal's original appeal as a state Supreme Court justice.

A spokesman for the district attorney's office said they are still deciding whether to appeal Tucker's original ruling.