Death Penalty Off the Table
- Prosecutors on Wednesday abandoned their 30-year pursuit of the execution of convicted police killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther whose claim that he was the victim of a racist legal system made him an international cause celebre.
Abu-Jamal, 58, will instead spend the rest of his life in prison. His writings and radio broadcasts from death row had put him at the center of an international debate over capital punishment.
Flanked by Officer Daniel Faulkner's widow, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced his decision two days short of the 30th anniversary of the white policeman's killing.
He said continuing to seek the death penalty could lead to "an unknowable number of years" of appeals, and that some witnesses have died or are unreliable after nearly three decades.