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Federal appeals court stays Abdur'Rahman execution.

Monday, June 09, 2003

  • Associated Press

Federal appeals court stays Abdur'Rahman execution

The Associated Press

NASHVILLE - The June 18 execution of condemned murderer Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman was stayed today by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals so it can
decide whether to allow the inmate to present claims of prosecutorial misconduct.

The order grants Abdur'Rahman - sentenced to die for the 1986 stabbing death of a Nashville drug dealer - a rehearing on the claims by the entire 12-member court. In March, his bid to the court was rejected by a three-judge panel.

"We're extremely excited, and we're hopeful that finally after all of these years of dealing with procedural issues we'll eventually be able to present all of our claims to a single court," said Abdur'Rahman's attorney, Bradley MacLean.

MacLean and Abdur'Rahman's other attorneys argue that prosecutors acted improperly during their client's murder trial by not turning over evidence, making
misleading statements and improperly preparing witnesses.

There is no time frame as of yet for the rehearing, MacLean said, with the order saying only that the court will schedule oral arguments "at a later date." MacLean said Friday afternoon he hadn't yet spoken with his client personally, but was working to get word to Abdur'Rahman of the stay.

Abdur'Rahman was on parole for another slaying when he killed Patrick Daniels and critically injured Norma Jean Norman. The couple were bound with duct tape and stabbed repeatedly with a butcher knife at Norman's home while her young daughters were there.

Abdur'Rahman, known as James Lee Jones at the time, said he was trying to cleanse the Nashville community of drug dealers who sold to children.

Earlier this week in a prison interview with The Associated Press, Abdur'Rahman said he "felt confident the right decision" would be made by the appeals court.

"All the people who've surrounded me, they've sent out prayers, energy and physical labor that I believe will strike the gentlemen in Ohio," said Abdur'Rahman, referring to the court, which is located in Cincinnati.

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