Mumia given extension to file for trial

May 27, 2008 6:08:42 PM PDT
A federal appeals court says lawyers for Mumia Abu-Jamal have an extra two weeks to file papers requesting a rehearing on his effort to get a new trial. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the new deadline is June 10.

Abu-Jamal was convicted in 1982 of first-degree murder for the 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner. He was sentenced to death. Since then, courts have upheld his conviction but ordered that he must have a new sentencing hearing to be executed. Both sides are appealing.

Abu-Jamal was a political activist before Faulkner's slaying. While jailed, he has maintained he is the victim of a racist justice system.

Prosecutors say the evidence against him is overwhelming.