PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — As a federal appeals court began hearing arguments on Tuesday concerning the sentence of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, hundreds of Abu-Jamal supporters gathered outside the federal courthouse to protest various aspects of his trial and/or sentencing.

mumia kurtz dscn1806 Mumia Abu Jamal Backers Gather Outside US Courthouse

The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday over instructions given during Abu-Jamal’s 1982 murder trial.  The US Supreme Court this year ordered the court to reconsider its decision granting Abu-Jamal a new sentencing hearing in the 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner (see related story).

Some of the demonstrators were local, others came from as far away as Germany and France.  The mass gathering outside the federal courthouse, at Sixth and Market Streets in center city Philadelphia, lasted more than 3½ hours.

mumia kurtz dscn1805 Mumia Abu Jamal Backers Gather Outside US Courthouse

Inside the courtroom, Faulkner’s widow sat with wives and family members of other fallen officers. Maureen Faulkner noted that Monday would have been the couple’s 31st wedding anniversary.

Abu-Jamal has become an international cause celebre among death penalty opponents.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060.

Photos by Paul Kurtz

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