PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An attorney representing the widow of a slain police officer is speaking out following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to investigate alleged conflicts of interest in the Mumia Abu-Jamal case. The Supreme Court announced it will assume jurisdiction of the case and will appoint a special master to launch an investigation.
In what experts say is an extraordinary move, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered an investigation of alleged conflicts of interest within the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.READ MORE: SEPTA Workers Voted To Authorize Strike If New Contract Isn't Reached
It concerns the prosecution of Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. In filings, the DA’s office has called those allegations baseless.
“First of all, it almost never happens,” attorney George Buchetto said.
But Buchetto, who filed the matter on behalf of Maureen Faulkner, Officer Faulkner’s widow, contends the Supreme Court’s involvement is “very telling.”
“So for the Supreme Court to step in and say, ‘OK, now we will examine on our own, with our investigator, how you’re carrying out your functions,’ is extraordinary,” Buchetto said.
The FOP has stood by Maureen Faulkner and her public efforts to have the Philadelphia DA’s Office removed.READ MORE: 39-Year-Old Found Dead Inside Burning Seaford Home With Gunshot Wound, Troopers Say
“I think it’s big,” FOP President John McNesby said.
McNesby says the time and energy spent opposing Abu-Jamal’s appeals has taken a toll.
“She’s been going through this for 39 years now. It’s not a good thing for her, her family, to constantly open these wounds up,” McNesby said.
But Abu-Jamal supporters, among other things, are troubled by decisions of a former DA who later sat on the Supreme Court and heard his final appeal.
The high court has halted all pending appeal efforts for the time being.MORE NEWS: Butterfly Basket 5K Raises Money, Awareness For Pregnancy And Infant Loss
A spokesperson for the DA’s office says they do not comment on litigation. Eyewitness News also reached out to attorneys for Abu-Jamal, but did not hear back.