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Court throws out ruling favorable to suspect

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2010/01/19 16:42

The Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a court ruling that invalidated a former Black Panther's death sentence for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.

The move was the latest twist in Mumia Abu-Jamal's racially tinged case that has drawn international attention.

The justices ordered the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to take another look at Abu-Jamal's claim that the jury weighing his punishment was given flawed instructions.

The high court acted on Pennsylvania's appeal of the 3rd Circuit ruling following a decision last week in a capital case from Ohio that turned on a similar issue. The 3rd Circuit could order a federal trial court to consider Abu-Jamal's case anew, including other claims he has raised that have yet to be decided.

A Philadelphia jury convicted Abu-Jamal of killing white Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981 after the patrolman pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother in an overnight traffic stop.


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