Entries tagged with “Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Sep 05, 2019

After 32 Years on Death Row, Tennessee Prisoner’s Death Sentence is Vacated for Prosecutorial Misconduct

Thirty-two years after he was sen­tenced to death in a tri­al taint­ed by pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al mis­con­duct, Tennessee death-row pris­on­er Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman (pic­tured) has been resen­tenced to life in prison. On August 30, 2019, Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins approved a plea deal reached between Abdur’Rahman and Nashville pros­e­cu­tors, vacat­ed Abdur’Rahman’s death sen­tence, and in its place imposed three con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences. Abdur’Rahman, who faced an April 16, 2020 exe­cu­tion date, had sought a new tri­al alleg­ing that pros­e­cu­tor John Zimmerman had dis­crim­i­na­to­ri­ly exclud­ed black prospec­tive jurors from serv­ing in…

Policy Issues

Race

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Nov 11, 2021

Citing Race Discrimination, Nashville Judge Reverses Conviction of Tennessee Death-Row Prisoner Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman, Approves Plea Deal for Life Sentence

A Nashville judge has for a sec­ond time approved a plea deal that would remove Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman from Tennessees death row and resen­tence him to life with­out pos­si­bil­i­ty of parole. On November 9, 2021, Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins entered an order over­turn­ing Abdur’Rahman’s 1987 con­vic­tion based on for­mer Davidson County Assistant District Attorney General John Zimmerman’s uncon­sti­tu­tion­al use of dis­cre­tionary strikes to remove African Americans from the jury. The court then accept­ed a nego­ti­at­ed plea agree­ment between local pros­e­cu­tors and the defense that with­drew the death penalty…

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Aug 21, 2020

Commentary: Tennessee’s Commitment to Racial Justice Tested as Attorney General Continues to Push for Execution in Case Rife with Racial Bias

Declaring that “[r]acism still exists and has no place in soci­ety,” the Tennessee Supreme Court on June 25, 2020 direct­ed its Access to Justice Commission (AJC) to cre­ate a new ini­tia­tive to iden­ti­fy and elim­i­nate bar­ri­ers to racial and eth­nic fair­ness and jus­tice.” The court’s pro­nounce­ment, at the height of the racial jus­tice protests that swept the nation fol­low­ing the mur­der of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police offi­cer, was meant to sig­nal its con­cern about racial bias in the legal system.

Policy Issues

Race

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Upcoming Executions

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Sep 27, 2019

Tennessee Attorney General Asks State Supreme Court to Schedule Nine Executions and Undo Plea Deal that Took a Tenth Prisoner off Death Row

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery (pic­tured) has asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to set exe­cu­tion dates for an unprece­dent­ed nine death-row pris­on­ers, the largest exe­cu­tion request in the mod­ern his­to­ry of Tennessee’s death penal­ty. On the same day, September 20, 2019, Slatery attempt­ed to inter­vene in the case of death-row pris­on­er Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman to reac­ti­vate his death war­rant and undo a court-approved plea deal with Nashville pros­e­cu­tors that would over­turn his death sen­tence and replace it with three con­sec­u­tive life sentences.

Policy Issues

Intellectual Disability

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Nov 17, 2022

Tennessee Attorney General’s Office Continues to Oppose Local Prosecutors Who Concede that Death-Row Prisoner Is Intellectually Disabled

The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office attempt­ed to pre­serve a tri­al court rul­ing deny­ing Byron Blacks intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty claim, argu­ing before the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) on November 8. Black’s attor­neys argue that a new law enti­tles him to relief from his death sen­tence because of his intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty, and the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office agrees. However, a tri­al judge denied Black’s claim because it had been pre­vi­ous­ly raised when Tennessee was apply­ing uncon­sti­tu­tion­al stan­dards to deter­mine intel­lec­tu­al disability.

Policy Issues

Intellectual Disability

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Jun 08, 2022

Tennessee Death-Row Prisoner Appeals Ruling Denying Him Relief Despite Agreement by District Attorney that He is Intellectually Disabled

A Tennessee death-row pris­on­er who coun­ty pros­e­cu­tors agree is intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled is appeal­ing a tri­al judge’s refusal to vacate his death sen­tence under a law designed to pro­vide con­demned pris­on­ers a mech­a­nism to enforce the con­sti­tu­tion­al pro­hi­bi­tion against exe­cut­ing indi­vid­u­als with intel­lec­tu­al disability.

Jun 26, 2003

UPCOMING EXECUTION: Amnesty Report Examines Juror Sentencing Concerns in Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman Case

A new Amnesty International report exam­ines the case of Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman, a Tennessee death row inmate sched­uled for exe­cu­tion on June 18. His case involves ques­tions of inad­e­quate defense and pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al mis­con­duct. The report notes that after learn­ing of excul­pa­to­ry and mit­i­gat­ing evi­dence that was kept from the jury at Abdur’Rahman’s tri­al, eight of the orig­i­nal tri­al jurors said that they no longer have con­fi­dence in their sen­tenc­ing ver­dict. In addi­tion, a Tennessee Supreme Court judge has point­ed out that none of the judges who have reviewed this case has…