Philly DA refutes claims that he can't be impartial in Abu-Jamal case

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Photo credit Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Weeks after the widow of slain Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner pleaded to the state’s highest court to have the district attorney removed from her husband’s case, the DA has responded, and so has the state’s attorney general.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner refuted each of Maureen Faulkner’s claims to the state Supreme Court when she asked that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office be removed from further involvement in appeals by the man convicted of killing her husband nearly 40 years ago.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has filed several appeals. The most recent one was not contested by the DA, a point made by Faulkner in her filing.

But Krasner said it was a strategic move and was in the best interest of the Faulkner family, so as to have the seemingly endless appeals stop.

He also went point by point on Faulkner’s many alleged conflicts of interest claims. One of them, for instance, argued that a supervisor of the Appeals Unit, Paul George, had signed an appeal motion one time for Abu-Jamal.

Krasner said George has no involvement with the case, and has been shut out of decisions. 

Krasner also said there is no conflict of interest that his wife worked in the same office with George at the time George defended Abu-Jamal.

He also denied that a DA's office employee, Jody Dodd, was ever part of Abu-Jamal’s support group. He said she merely helped the group with their right to protest.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a motion with the high court, supporting Faulkner’s right to be heard and saying she has the right to question conflict of interest claims.       

"The voices of victims, in this case Maureen Faulkner, have the right to be heard on matters in which their justice is on the line," Shapiro said.