Alabama court voids death sentence, citing mental disability

State / Regional
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Alabama’s Supreme Court is overturning the death sentence of a Birmingham man convicted in a 2009 robbery and shooting.
    
Friday’s 5-4 ruling directs a lower court to sentence Anthony Lane to life without possibility of parole.
    
The ruling came after the U.S. Supreme Court had ordered Alabama’s courts to reconsider the death sentence in 2015, citing cases that say states can’t execute people with mental disabilities. However, even after that, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals had reaffirmed that Lane should get the death penalty.
    
The Alabama attorney general’s office conceded in the case that the trial court shouldn’t have sentenced Lane to death.
    
Two dissenters say the majority was acting prematurely because the state hadn’t filed its motion in a procedurally proper way.
    
 

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