Thanks to the aid of prosecutors, protestors and more, the 30-year fight for former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom has gained positive traction. Prosecutors abandoned their fight against Jamal’s death penalty conviction, instead opting for him to receive a life sentence.

A one-time journalist and political activist now turned political prisoner, Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal, now 58 was sentenced to death 30 years ago over what he deemed a racially motivated legal system. He’s received support from thousands thanks to the “Free Mumia” movement who support only gained in the years following his conviction and subsequent denial of appeals.

A breakthrough occurred in 2008 when a federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing on the grounds that the instructions given to the jury were potentially misleading. Once the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, prosecutors were left with two options: pursue the death penalty again or accept a new life sentence without parole.