Prosecutor explains challenge to Mumia Abu-Jamal hearing

Posted at 6:10 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 18:10:02-05

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia prosecutors say they're fighting an order that gives prison activist Mumia Abu-Jamal a new court hearing because the ruling is so broad it could undo countless other cases.

District Attorney Larry Krasner filed a motion Friday outlining his challenge. The issue is now with the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

The 64-year-old Abu-Jamal is serving a life sentence for a 1981 police officer's slaying.

A Philadelphia judge recently granted him a chance at a new appeal because a judge who heard his initial appeal had a passing involvement in the case as Philadelphia district attorney. Krasner says the U.S. Supreme Court has granted new hearings only when there's a more direct conflict.

Abu-Jamal's lawyer, Judith Ritter, says the city judge's ruling was not as broad as Krasner maintains and found clear bias against her client.