After almost three decades of protests and hearings, the Philadelphia District attorney has announced that the state of Pennsylvaniawill no longer pursue the death penalty against Mumia Abu Jamal. The former journalist and icon for justice system equality will now be ordered to serve life in prison.
Jamal was convicted of murdering a police officer in 1981 under racially charged conditions and his advocates have argued not only for his innocence in the shooting, but also against the general use of capital punishment. The “Free Mumia,” campaign has been a popular cause on college campuses, within the hip-hop community, and even an international symbol of the American system as racist and dysfunctional.
Today’s decision is a huge win for anti-death penalty advocates, whose cause suffered the crushing blow of Troy Davis’ execution in September, 2011. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Mumia’s advocates will continue to agitate for his release on the grounds that his trail was unjust.
Read more from The Associated Press.