Widow OKs no death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal

By KATHY MATHESON | December 8, 2011 | 2:35 AM EST

FILE - In this July 12, 1995 file photo, Mumia Abu-Jamal leaves Philadelphia's City Hall after a hearing. District Attorney Seth Williams announced Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 that prosecutors will no longer pursue the death penalty against the former Black Panther, meaning he will spend the rest of his life in prison for gunning down a white police officer nearly 30 years ago. Abu-Jamal, who has been incarcerated in a western Pennsylvania prison, has garnered worldwide support from those who believe he was the victim of a biased justice system. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Maureen Faulkner has waited nearly 30 years for her husband's murderer to be executed. But following a seemingly endless cycle of legal appeals, she says she realizes it will never happen.

On Wednesday, Faulkner approved the decision by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to stop pursuing the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The 58-year-old former Black Panther will now spend the rest of his life in prison for gunning down white police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.

Williams, the city's first black district attorney, says that continuing to seek capital punishment in the racially charged case could lead to even more years of appeals.

Faulkner says the case has taken an unimaginable physical and emotional toll on her and the officer's family.