PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The man convicted of killing Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner wants a new trial. However, Mumia Abu-Jamal will have to wait a little longer before learning if he can appeal his case.
Dozens gathered at the Criminal Justice Center on Monday morning, waiting for the outcome of a hearing which could lead to a new trial for the convicted cop killer.
“It’s exhausting,” said Maureen Faulkner, the officer’s widow. “It’s been 37 years.”
Committed is how some would describe Faulkner.
“Mumia Abu-Jama will not, will not ever be free. He’s going to be behind bars for the rest of his life,” she said.
A jury convicted Abu-Jamal of killing Officer Faulkner in 1981. The former Black Panther spent 29 years on death row following his conviction, but his sentence was reduced to life without parole in 2011.
“He had a biased judiciary in his appeal,” said Judith Ritter, Abu-Jamal’s attorney.
Ritter is trying to land Abu-Jamal a new trial, saying his constitutional rights were violated when former state Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille did not recuse himself during prior appeals. Castille also served as Philadelphia’s former district attorney and he fought to uphold Abu-Jamal’s prior sentence.
Ritter says there are documents which can prove the bias, but a spokesperson for District Attorney Larry Krasner says those documents don’t exist and this appeal has no foundation.
“From the perspective of the DA Office, there is no violation of due process and we are opposed for motion of relief at this time,” said spokesperson Ben Waxman.
A deposition has been scheduled for July 9 and they return to court on Aug. 30.