PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A convicted cop killer is hoping for another chance to appeal his case. As Mumia Abu-Jamal gets ready for another court hearing, some are worried about the outcome.
In the 36 years since Abu-Jamal’s conviction, this will be the first hearing with Larry Krasner as district attorney.
Krasner is taking a new approach to Philadelphia’s justice system. Since taking office in January, Krasner told Eyewitness News he’s seen prison populations decline and he’d like to keep it that way.
That’s why some are worried about the outcome of Monday’s hearing.
Abu-Jamal is serving life in prison for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
The 64-year-old convicted killer has petitioned Krasner to vacate his previous failed attempts at appeals, which would allow him to re-appeal his case.
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.
“I look back on everything we’ve done to keep this man behind bars for murdering Danny, and they keep finding loopholes to get him out of prison, it makes the family more and more distraught,” said Maureen Faulkner, Officer Faulkner’s widow.
In a sit down interview with Eyewitness News ahead of the hearing, Faulkner says she wants the district attorney, a former defense attorney, to remember the pain she’s endured for more than 37 years.
“In my heart I hope he changes his ways and that he realizes he is the district attorney now and he’s out to protect the survivors of crime, violent crime, and put the people that have harmed them in prison,” said Faulkner.
Krasner spoke out to CBS3 ahead of Abu-Jamal’s hearing.
“There is going to be a position on Monday and our position will be announced at that point,” said Krasner.
Abu-Jamal has maintained his innocence and has become a symbol for groups seeking criminal justice reform.
“I have belief that with constant pressure, consistent pressure, that those running this system are going to have to back off Mumia and release him and acknowledge his innocence,” said Romona Africa, an Abu-Jamal supporter.
“I’m hoping the judge tomorrow will do the right thing and dismiss this case,” said Faulkner.
Abu-Jamal had previously been sentenced to death, but that has since been changed to life in prison without parole.