PHILADELPHIA — The latest appeal filed by Mumia Abu-Jamal and a related suit brought by the widow of the Philadelphia police officer he’s convicted of killing will now go before Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court.
The state Superior Court ruled Thursday that it lacked jurisdiction to hear Abu-Jamal’s latest challenge of his conviction and life sentence for the 1981 traffic stop death of Officer Daniel Faulkner. The panel also found the state's top court is the better venue for addressing a plea by Maureen Faulkner to intervene in the case in opposition to Jamal’s bid for freedom.
Neither side opposed the transfer to the Supreme Court, the panel noted.
The ruling comes less than six months after the state Supreme Court rejected Maureen Faulkner's bid to disqualify the city district attorney’s office from continuing to work on the matter. She sought to have the attorney general’s office appointed to take over the prosecution.
Maureen Faulkner has argued that District Attorney Larry Krasner and his aides have links to Abu-Jamal’s case that should have disqualified them and that the office has not handled the case with due vigor. Krasner, a Democrat, has denied any substantial conflict exists.
The 67-year-old Abu-Jamal is arguing that his convictions must be reconsidered, especially in light of the discovery by a DA’s office of previously undisclosed boxes of material in its files on his case. He is serving a life sentence and, in the intervening decades, his claims of being unfairly convicted have drawn fervent supporters, both in the United States and internationally.