Supreme Court Won't Hear Mumia's Appeal

Abu-Jamal says was convicted by biased jury in 1981 cop death
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 6, 2009 10:18 AM CDT
A member of the Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipe and Drum Band salutes beneath a projection of slain Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in this Dec. 8, 2006 file photo.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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(Newser) – Mumia Abu-Jamal has lost his bid for a new trial in the 1981 killing of a police officer, the AP reports. The Supreme Court said today it won’t take up Abu-Jamal's claims that prosecutors improperly excluded blacks from the jury that convicted him of murdering a Philadelphia policeman. The case has sparked international attention over Abu-Jamal’s claims that he was victimized by a racist justice system.

A US appeals court in Philadelphia upheld Abu-Jamal's conviction, but held his death sentence invalid. That court said it wouldn’t second-guess state court rulings rejecting Abu-Jamal's claims of bias in the composition of the jury. The Supreme Court considered only the conviction. The state has separately asked the court to reinstate the death sentence, but the justices have not acted on that request.