Mumia Abu-Jamal moved to general population

    Former death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal has been moved to the general prison population for the first time since his murder conviction three decades ago. Until recently, Abu-Jamal had been on Pennsylvania’s death row for killing a Philadelphia police officer, Daniel Faulkner, back in 1981. After decades of appeals, Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was lifted in December when Philadelphia prosecutors agreed to a life term rather than participate in a new sentencing hearing ordered by a federal appeals court. Abu-Jamal’s supporters cheered his move out of solitary confinement, while maintaining his innocence. In a letter to supporters, Abu-Jamal’s attorney Judith Ritter expressed gratitude for their help in getting the former journalist off death row. “This is a very important moment for him, his family and all of his supporters,” wrote Ritter. A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections confirmed the move. Susan McNaughton says Abu-Jamal was transferred on Friday to the general prison population at SCI Mahanoy, in Frackville, Schuylkill County. Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case has generated international attention, protests, counter-protests, and book deals. The family and friends of murdered police officer Daniel Faulkner say they have no doubt Abu-Jamal is guilty of the 1981 killing. When Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams made the announcement withdrawing the death sentence last December, Faulkner’s widow Maureen said she would work to make sure Abu-Jamal did not receive any special treatment while serving the rest of his life in prison.

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