NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Attorneys representing a Tennessee inmate whose death sentence was converted to life in prison say the state attorney general has no authority to challenge the agreement.
Abu-Ali Abudur’Rahman was within eight months of his scheduled execution when he signed an agreement with Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk on Aug. 28 to change his sentence.
The agreement came after Abur’Rahman, who is black, raised claims that racism tainted the jury selection process.
Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed an appeal last month, claiming Funk had no right to alter Abdur’Rahman’s sentence.
In a response filed Monday, the inmate’s attorneys argue Slatery’s action threatens the division of power between the attorney general and local prosecutors. They argue that Funk does not require Slatery’s approval nor can Slatery veto Funk’s decisions.