Abu-Jamal case could return to spotlight if appeal reargued

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 28, 2018 6:02 PM

FILE PHOTO: In this July 12, 1995 file photo, Mumia Abu-Jamal leaves Philadelphia's City Hall after a hearing. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner, File)

(Philadelphia) -- A court ruling that could reignite the police murder case of a former Black Panther puts the 1982 trial back in the spotlight years after it drew the attention of Hollywood celebrities and death-penalty opponents worldwide.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has emerged over four decades in prison as a vocal critic of racial bias in the American justice system.

His writings and commentaries have earned him acclaim from some scholars and activists, and disdain from police unions and others.

Philadelphia Judge Leon Tucker's ruling Thursday could give Abu-Jamal a chance to reargue his 1998 appeal because because a Supreme Court justice on the panel had been the city district attorney during his initial appeal.

Former Chief Justice Ronald Castille says the defense never asked him to step aside.

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