US SUPREME COURT ASKED TO REVIEW BLACK PANTHER DEATH SENTENCE
October 20, 2008: The state of Pennsylvania has asked the US Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to overturn the death sentence of former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted for the 1981 murder of a police officer, judicial sources said.
The Supreme Court and Abu-Jamal's lawyer Robert Bryan confirmed today that the appeal was lodged in early October.
Since Abu-Jamal's conviction and death sentence, the case has become a focus for civil rights activists who contend racism was involved when he was found guilty by an overwhelmingly white jury for the 1981 shooting of Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner.
Abu-Jamal's death sentence was overturned in March by a federal court in Philadelphia, which found that the jury in the case had been incorrectly instructed. The judges voted two-to-one to uphold his conviction, however.
On October 6 the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Abu-Jamal that it hear arguments for holding a new trial in the murder case. (Sources: AFP, 20/10/2008)