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Tennessee appeals court vacates agreement to resentence Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee appeals court has ruled that a state trial court judge improperly reduced a Black inmate’s death sentence to life in prison last year.

In a 22-page decision Monday, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals said the judge didn't have the authority to modify Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman’s sentence based merely on an agreement between a district attorney and the defendant.

The ruling means the agreement will be vacated.

The trial court can once again review the petition but must follow procedures outlined in the appeals court’s decision.

Abdur’Rahman was sentenced to death for the 1986 slaying of Patrick Daniels. The judge resentenced him last fall based on claims that prosecutors had illegally excluded African Americans from the jury pool.

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