Death Penalty

AL Prosecutor Rebuked By State AG

An Alabama prosecutor who testified in support of a convicted murderer in his successful appeal of his death sentence has been rebuked by the state attorney general.

Robert E. Owens, the Shelby County district attorney and the prosecutor in the case in which LaSamuel Gamble was convicted, testified that it would be unfair to put Gamble, now 29, to death when his co-defendant, Marcus Presley, who actually shot the victims, was not going to be executed, reports the New York Times. Presley originally was sentenced to death also, but his sentence was overturned because he was 16 at the time of the crime. Gamble was then 18.

A judge last week effectively commuted Gamble’s death sentence to life imprisonment, but the attorney general, Troy King, announced Wednesday that he would seek to reinstate the death penalty.

“It’s difficult for me,” says Owens. “I’ve been a career prosecutor. I don’t like taking a position that’s not what my victim would like to take, but I couldn’t lay my head on my pillow at night if I stood by and let a person who didn’t kill somebody be executed when the person who did kill somebody was not.”

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