Court Says Mumia Death Sentence May Be Reviewed
A U.S. federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the murder conviction of black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal for killing a white policeman in 1981 but said his death sentence may be reviewed by a lower court.
Abu-Jamal, who has been on death row for 26 years, has become a prominent cause for the international anti-death penalty movement. His supporters, who include Amnesty International and South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, say his trial was tainted by racism on the part of the judge and prosecutors.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in a long-awaited ruling, said Pennsylvania can either commute Abu-Jamal's sentence to life imprisonment or else hold a new sentencing hearing within 180 days which could either affirm the death sentence or change it to life in prison.