Mumia Abu-Jamal was awarded a new sentencing hearing today by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, but an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court appears likely by the district attorney.
In the 32-page decision issued by the court, it accepted defense arguments that the jury instructions at his original 1982 trial were unclear.
Abu-Jamal remains on death row at the state prison in Waynesburg in southwest Pennsylvania for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.
The decision does not give him a new trial on the murder charge; his conviction remains in effect.
But Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams issued a statement that, "granting this new sentencing hearing is contrary to clearly established precedent of the United States Supreme Court, and we are now considering whether to seek further review of today's decision in the Supreme Court."