A former Black Panther member who was convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphiapolice officer will get a chance at a new appeals hearing after a prosecutor dropped his opposition to it.
Mumia Abu-Jamal, 64, was sentenced to death for killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, who had pulled his brother over during an overnight traffic stop. He was tried in absentia after attempts to serve as his own lawyer.
District Attorney Larry Krasner dropped his argument against Abu-Jamal, giving him a fresh chance at a new appeal despite arguing it could affect a large number of other convictions. Krasner agreed that then-District Attorney Ronald Castille – who presided over the Abu-Jamal case – shouldn’t have worn “two hats.”
A 1990 note Castille sent to then Gov. Robert Casey said “police killers” should get death warrants to “send a clear and dramatic message to all police killers that the death penalty actually means something.
Maureen Faulkner, David’s widow, said Krasner broke a promise to tell her about his decision before announcing it.