When was the last time you heard Mumia Abu-Jamal's name in the mainstream media? Probably not since the mid-1990s. In 1982, the former radio journalist/activist/Black Panther was convicted of murder for the shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer, though he (and supporters) insist he is innocent. Ever since, his case has been an international lightening rod for anti-death penalty and social-justice advocates who say the evidence against him was unreliable, and in 1999, another man named Arthur Beverly came forward and insisted that he was the police officer's killer. Despite appeals and requests for a new trial, Abu-Jamal has remained on death row and has been called "the world's most famous death row inmate."
Nearly 30 years after his conviction, Philadelphia prosecutors have dropped their attempt to see Abu-Jamal put to death after a federal court judge declared his death-penalty sentence unconstitutional.
Abu-Jumal is now looking at life in prison; supporters are still calling for his release from prison and are holding a protest at Constitution Center in Philly on Dec. 9.