Abu-Jamal supporters applaud DA's decision not to move forward with appeal

Cherri Gregg
April 18, 2019 - 3:12 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) — Supporters for Mumia Abu-Jamal are applauding Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner's decision not to appeal a ruling opens the door for Abu-Jamal to get his case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. 

Related: Philly DA will not pursue appeal in Mumia Abu-Jamal legal saga

At a rally Thursday outside City Hall, Pam Africa, chair of the International Concerned Family and Friends for Mumia Abu-Jamal, called the decision a victory.

"A partial victory," she said, "for the entire movement."

Africa said Abu-Jamal supporters are reinvigorated after Krasner dropped his appeal of a decision by Judge Leon Tucker to allow the convicted cop killer to reargue his appeal.  

Abu-Jamal was convicted for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulker. His supporters say filings — and a push for a new hearing — could take years.

"The charges should be dismissed, not simply get a new trial," said Rachel Wolkenstein, a former attorney for Abu-Jamal during his appeals.

She claims evidence of judicial and police misconduct are plentiful, and they plan to up the pressure on Krasner for more.

"No less than Mumia be freed, released from prison now," she spoke at the rally.

Lawyers argue that former Chief Justice Ron Castile should have recused himself from ruling on Abu-Jamal's appeal since he was the district attorney during his original murder trial.  

The Fraternal Order of Police, as well as Faulker's widow, Maureen Faulkner, both issued statements saying they are disappointed by Krasner's decision not to appeal the latest ruling.