Mar 4 6:22 PM

DOJ nominee faces opposition for defending Mumia Abu-Jamal

Debo Adegbile talks to reporters outside of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer could potentially derail the confirmation of Debo Adegbile, the Obama administration's pick to head the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.

Adegbile, whose tenure as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's director of litigation has been criticized by lawmakers and police unions, has cleared procedural hurdles and now faces a confirmation vote on Wednesday, March 5.

Under Adegbile's direction, the Legal Defense Fund participated in the series of appeals that achieved a commutation of Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence, which critics say should disqualify him from becoming an assistant attorney general. 

Proponents of Adegbile, pictured below, say focus on the Abu-Jamal case represents a misunderstanding of the role of a defense attorney, which is to provide a quality defense no matter the crime or client. 

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