From [HERE] The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office on Friday appealed a judge’s ruling that convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal should be allowed to reargue his appeal before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The decision is the latest development in the long-running post-conviction saga of Abu-Jamal, 64, a former Black Panther and sometime radio reporter serving a life sentence for the Dec. 9, 1981, shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, 25, at 13th and Locust Streets.
The District Attorney’s Office did not comment beyond filing its notice of appeal.
Judith Ritter, an attorney for Abu-Jamal, said in an email that she was “very disappointed” by District Attorney Larry Krasner’s decision.
“Krasner’s appeal only risks delaying our opportunity to make our case to an appellate court untainted by bias,” Ritter said.
Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker ruled last month that Abu-Jamal could reargue his appeal before the high court because former Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille — who previously served as Philadelphia’s district attorney — did not recuse himself when Abu-Jamal’s case came before the court.
The court held that Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal can reargue an appeal before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court because then-Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille [in photo] did not recuse himself from the case despite his prior role as the Philadelphia district attorney. Philadelphia Judge Leon Tucker ruled that Castille should have recused himself because of statements he made as a prosecutor about police killers that suggest a potential bias. They include campaign speeches and letters advocating the issuance of death warrants in such cases. The ruling gives Abu-Jamal the chance to reargue his appeal. However, Judge Tucker denied Abu-Jamal’s claim that Castille had “personal significant involvement” in his case due to lack of evidence.
“Judge Tucker recognized the unconstitutional bias,” said Judith L. Ritter, an attorney for Abu-Jamal, in a statement. “This was a straightforward application of federal and Pennsylvania law requiring cases to be decided by judges whose impartiality cannot reasonably be questioned.”Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, is currently serving a life sentence for the 1981 death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. [MORE]
Abu-Jamal’s case has moved slowly through the appeals process, which has frustrated Faulkner’s widow.
Racist suspect John McNesby [in photo above], president of the Philadelphia police officers' union and a frequent Krasner critic, said Friday that the district attorney’s decision to appeal was “the right thing to do.”
“Good," he said when told of the decision. "I applaud them for doing that.”