NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — A Tennessee judge has resentenced a death row inmate to life in prison for the second time in two years after finding that his trial was marred by racism during jury selection.
The trial court judge on Tuesday resentenced Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman to three consecutive life sentences. If the resentencing is not challenged, he will spend the rest of his life in prison but without the threat of execution.
Abdur'Rahman was convicted in 1987 for the stabbing death of Patrick Daniels and the stabbing of Norma Jean Norman, who survived. He was originally scheduled for execution in April of 2020.
In August of 2019, Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk agreed to convert his death sentence to life in prison following claims that the prosecutor in his original trial, John Zimmerman, illegally excluded African Americans from the jury pool. In light of the deal, Abdur'Rahman, who is Black, agreed to drop his request for an entirely new trial.
Judge Monte Watkins approved the deal, resentencing Abdur’Rahman for the first time.
That resentencing order was thrown out when an appeals court found the judge did not follow the proper procedure, setting the stage for Tuesday's do-over.