The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office on Friday appealed a judge’s ruling that convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal should be allowed to reargue his appeal before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The decision is the latest development in the long-running post-conviction saga of Abu-Jamal, 64, a former Black Panther and sometime radio reporter serving a life sentence for the Dec. 9, 1981, shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, 25, at 13th and Locust Streets.
The District Attorney’s Office did not comment beyond filing its notice of appeal.
Judith Ritter, an attorney for Abu-Jamal, said in an email that she was “very disappointed” by District Attorney Larry Krasner’s decision.
“Krasner’s appeal only risks delaying our opportunity to make our case to an appellate court untainted by bias,” Ritter said.
Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker ruled last month that Abu-Jamal could reargue his appeal before the high court because former Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille — who previously served as Philadelphia’s district attorney — did not recuse himself when Abu-Jamal’s case came before the court.
Tucker denied for lack of evidence an argument by Abu-Jamal that Castille had “personal involvement” in the prosecution.
Abu-Jamal’s case has moved slowly through the appeals process, which has frustrated Faulkner’s widow.
John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia police officers' union and a frequent Krasner critic, said Friday that the district attorney’s decision to appeal was “the right thing to do.”
“Good," he said when told of the decision. "I applaud them for doing that.”