Last Updated on September 6, 2022
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman nominated a self-described “friend” of cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal to serve on the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. Fetterman has referred to the office as his “bully pulpit for criminal justice reform.”
Fetterman tapped Celeste Trusty to serve as secretary of the board in January. The Board of Pardons is currently part of the lieutenant governor’s responsibilities as lieutenant governor, which he presents as a centerpiece of his senate campaign,
Trusty, who served as Fetterman’s campaign political director, is a longtime prison reform activist who has called for the police to be disarmed, according to a report from the Washington Free Beacon. She is also an enthusiastic supporter of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is currently serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
Trusty has referred to Abu-Jamal as a “friend” and “my buddy,” and has said that she keeps in touch with him. Far-left activists have taken an interest in Abu-Jamal’s case in recent years, arguing his conviction was unjust.
John Fetterman has presented his work on criminal justice reform as a centerpiece of his U.S. Senate campaign, vowing to reduce Pennsylvania prison populations at all costs. The senate hopeful has bragged about “transforming” the lieutenant governor position by leading “the fight to free the wrongfully convicted and give second chances to deserving longtime inmates.
Fetterman’s board record has been met with a fair amount of criticism, however. He has voted to free numerous murderers, often going against the wishes of families of victims. Last year, John Fetterman was the only member of the five-person board who voted to pardon Wayne Covington, who was convicted of first-degree murder after robbing and killing an 18-year-old in order to buy heroin.
Covington pleaded guilty to killing 18-year-old George Rudnycky to death while high as part of a plea agreement, which he took in order to avoid the death penalty. He has been in prison since 1970, but Fetterman believes he should be freed.
Fetterman, who has pointed to the Board of Pardons as one of the main reasons he ran for lieutenant governor, has worked with Celeste Trusty on numerous occasions over the years. Both of them attended a “Power of a Pardon” event last year and have called for an end to mandatory life sentences for second-degree murder convictions.
In addition, Trusty previously served on Fetterman’s campaign. The radical leftist worked on the campaign from March 2021 until January 2022, according to Federal Election Commission records.
While Trusty does not vote on individual pardon applications, she oversees the board’s daily operations, moderates its hearings and advises board members, the Washington Free Beacon reported. It is unclear whether Fetterman holds Trusty’s view on freeing Abu-Jamal.