LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Casey White’s attorneys have filed a motion to bar the death penalty in his upcoming capital murder trial.
The filing argues that a death sentence would infringe on White’s Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Current Alabama law states the jury makes the final decision on a death sentence. However, the 2015 killing of Connie Ridgeway, which White is charged with, happened before the law ending the so-called “judicial override” went into effect in 2017. Under the former system, a jury’s vote on whether a defendant should get the death penalty was only considered a recommendation, the judge would get the final decision. Because of the date of the Ridgeway killing White’s case is take place under the former law, with the judge determining the sentence.
According to court records filed Thursday, White’s attorneys asked the court to bar the death penalty in White’s case or delay his trial until the Alabama legislature “enacts a statute that conforms to constitutional requirements.”
The filing argues the U.S. Supreme Court has found that all fact-finding about a death sentence must be determined by a jury, not a judge.
A hearing is set for October 11, 2022, at 9 a.m. at the Lauderdale County Courthouse to hear the motion.
White, who became nationally known for escaping the Lauderdale County Jail alongside late corrections officer Vicky White in April, confessed to the 2015 murder, according to investigators. He was charged with capital murder in 2020 and was already serving a 75-year prison sentence for other crimes.
White’s capital murder trial is set to begin on December 2, 2022.