PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is one of the highest profile cases ever heard in the city of Philadelphia as Mumia Abu-Jamal had a court hearing Monday in hopes to overturn appeals that were previously denied.
Abu-Jamal is serving a life sentence for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
Demonstrators have been outside the Criminal Justice Center and inside the courtroom all morning as the hearing has wrapped up.
The hearing is a new post-conviction relief act petition, which is essentially an indirect appeal of his 1982 murder conviction. All of Abu-Jamal’s appeals have been exhausted.
Demonstrators are hoping the hearing will result in a court overturning all of that state Supreme Court decisions from 1995 through 2008.
“This is the first time that one of his appeals his actually being heard in a proper sense,” said demonstrator Zayid Muhammad.
The post-conviction relief act petition cites bias and conflict of interest.
The judge who denied Abu-Jamal’s appeals was the senior assistant district attorney during his trial.
Demonstrators are hoping the court rules in Abu-Jamal’s favor so his case could eventually be retried.
“Our long term goal is for him to be released and brought back to his family,” said one demonstrator.
After hearing arguments from both sides, a judge said he will give his decision at a later unscheduled time.