Mumia still not free … but no longer on death row

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Prosecutors have dropped their decades-long push to execute Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther convicted of killing white police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.

The cop killer, who spent decades claiming he was railroaded by a racist system and developed an international following in the process, will instead spend the rest of his life in prison.

Philadelphia prosecutors explained Wednesday that their decision was based on the fact that continuing to seek the death penalty would take years, and would be complicated by the fact that some witnesses have died or have “become unavailable,” the Associated Press reported.

“There’s never been any doubt in my mind that Mumia Abu-Jamal shot and killed Officer Faulkner. I believe that the appropriate sentence was handed down by a jury of his peers in 1982,” Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, the city’s first black district attorney, said just two days shy of the thirtieth anniversary of Faulkner’s murder. “While Abu-Jamal will no longer be facing the death penalty, he will remain behind bars for the rest of his life, and that is where he belongs.”

The decision came with the blessing of Faulkner’s widow, who added that she will fight against any special treatment for Abu-Jamal in prison.

“I will not stand by and see him coddled, as he has been in the past,” Faulkner said. “And I am heartened that he will be taken from the protective cloister he has been living in all these years and begin living among his own kind — the thugs and common criminals that infest our prisons.”

On Friday evening, Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West, civil rights activists Michelle Alexander, Columbia University professor and “Our World with Black Enterprise” host Mark Lamont Hill, Algeria’s Workers’ Party Head Louisa Hanoune and others will host a “Historic Event for Mumia” at the National Constitution Center to mark the thirtieth year of his incarceration.

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