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VOL. 43 | NO. 39 | Friday, September 27, 2019

AG turns to TN Supreme Court in death sentence appeal

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's attorney general is asking the state Supreme Court to fast-track his office's appeal of a black inmate's commuted death sentence.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery says the Tennessee Supreme Court should take over the case rather than a lower court because it is "of unusual public importance."

Slatery filed his appeal last week, arguing that the recent decision of a Davidson County judge to reduce inmate Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman's (ah-BOO'-ah-LEE') (AHB'-dur-RAK'-mahn) death sentence circumvented certain legal procedures.

Abdur'Rahman was within eight months of his scheduled execution when he signed an agreement with prosecutors on Aug. 28 to change his sentence.

The agreement came after Abdur'Rahman, who is black, petitioned to reopen his case. He presented evidence that prosecutors at his trial treated black potential jurors differently from white potential jurors.

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