Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook in 1954) is a Black convicted murderer, convicted in 1982 of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
A Black activist and writer involved with the Black Panther and MOVE, he has been supported by many leftists, claiming he was wrongly convicted. About 25 cities, including Montreal, Palermo, and Paris, have made him an honorary citizen.
The Faulkner family, public authorities, police organizations, and conservative groups believe that Abu-Jamal's trial was fair, his guilt undeniable, and his death sentence appropriate. Various appeals have been rejected, but these caused the legal proceedings to continue for decades.
In 2011, prosecutors announced that, with the support of the victim's family, they would no longer seek the death penalty for Abu-Jamal and would accept a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. After the press conference on the sentence, widow Maureen Faulkner said that she did not want to relive the trauma of another trial. She understood that it would be extremely difficult to present the case against Abu-Jamal again, after the passage of 30 years and the deaths of several key witnesses. She also said: "I would like to say that I believe the lowest dimension of hell has been reserved for child molesters and unrepentant murderers, like Mumia Abu-Jamal. After thirty years of waiting, the time remaining before Abu-Jamal stands before his ultimate judge. It doesn't seem so far off as it once did when I was younger. I look forward to that day so I can finally close the chapter of my life and live with the gratification and assurance that Mumia Abu-Jamal will finally receive the punishment he deserves, for all eternity."