Mumia Abu-Jamal, born Wesley Cook, will get another chance to appeal his case before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The Philly Inquirer reports the city’s District Attorney Larry Krasner has dropped his opposition to the appeal:
The long-running appeals battle has gained renewed attention in recent years, as Abu-Jamal’s lawyers contend he deserves another shot before the high court due to a recusal issue involving former Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille.
Before he was a judge, Castille was Philadelphia’s District Attorney. This was after Abu-Jamal’s 1982 conviction for murder, but it was during the time he was appealing his case. By the time Abu-Jamal’s case came before the state’s Supreme Court, Castille was a judge on the court but did not recuse himself from the case. Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker said that because Castille didn’t recuse himself, Abu-Jamal should get another chance to plead his case before the state Supreme Court. Krasner challenged that decision in court but has now decided to drop that challenge.
A separate piece published by the Inquirer argues that this decision by Krasner was a mistake, one which plays into the idea he’s a victim:
What’s especially galling about Krasner’s refusal to stop Abu-Jamal from victimizing Maureen Faulkner with the agony of yet another appeals process is the fact that his actions perpetuate the myth that Abu-Jamal is a victim of the system — despite thousands of pages of transcripts, hours of eyewitness testimony, appeal after appeal, and court ruling after court ruling proving otherwise.
Abu-Jamal is not a victim. Jamal is the darling of social justice warriors who see in him a chance to attack the establishment. More importantly, he and his lawyers have never provided legitimate proof that his conviction was tainted. His legal team has nothing more than bullhorns and grievance in their arsenal. Four decades of fact-finders and legal minds have echoed the same word: guilty.
Here’s how the LA Times’ Steve Lopez described the Abu-Jamal case back in 2001:
Mumia Abu-Jamal is guiltier than O.J.
On Dec. 9, 1981, Officer Faulkner made a traffic stop on Abu-Jamal’s brother, Billy Cook, who put up a fight. Abu-Jamal happened upon the scene, and shooting began. Faulkner ended up dead, and Abu-Jamal was shot in the chest.
A gun registered to Abu-Jamal, with five chambers empty, was on the sidewalk. Four witnesses who saw all or part of the shooting implicated Abu-Jamal. One witness said that after Faulkner went down, Abu-Jamal stood over him and sealed the deal with a bullet through the head…
It’s true that the 1982 trial was a circus, but that’s because Abu-Jamal wanted it to be. His own attorney told me that Abu-Jamal, a Black Panther, considered himself a revolutionary and didn’t want a legal defense. He wanted to make a political statement. At times, Abu-Jamal was removed from the courtroom because of his outbursts…
But here’s the topper:
For 20 years, Abu-Jamal’s own brother Billy, who was at the scene of the crime, never uttered a word in his defense. What kind of sap buys into Abu-Jamal’s innocence when his own flesh and blood lets him stew on death row?
Despite the strong evidence against him, it looks like he’ll get one more chance to change the outcome.