updated 10/6/2008 8:32:26 PM ET 2008-10-07T00:32:26

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal for a new trial for death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted in the 1981 killing of a police officer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The justices did not comment on their action Monday, which leaves in place a state Supreme Court ruling upholding Abu-Jamal's murder conviction.

Separately, a federal appeals court also has upheld the conviction, but ordered a new sentencing hearing.

Officer Daniel Faulkner was shot to death after pulling over Abu-Jamal's brother in an overnight traffic stop.

The case has drawn worldwide attention.

Prosecutors say Faulkner, 25, shot Abu-Jamal during the confrontation. A wounded Abu-Jamal, his own gun lying nearby, was still at the scene when police arrived, and authorities consider the evidence against him overwhelming.

Abu-Jamal, born Wesley Cook, has argued in numerous appeals that racism by the judge and prosecutors corrupted his 1982 conviction at the hands of a mostly white jury. Prosecutors, meanwhile, had appealed a federal judge's 2001 decision to grant Abu-Jamal a new sentencing hearing because of flawed jury instructions.

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