Mississippi Death Row Inmate Seeks New Trial

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Jackson, Miss.

Death row inmate Charles Ray Crawford is asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to let him file a petition that he says will win him a new trial.

Crawford argues in a new motion that his previous attorneys did a poor job of handling his first petition for post-conviction relief.

Crawford says that if the court allows him to try again, he'll explain his arguments better. In a post-conviction petition, inmates argue they have found new evidence,or a possible constitutional issue, that could persuade a court to order a new trial.

Crawford is now 43 and was sentenced to death in 1994 for the murder and rape of Northeast Mississippi Community College student Kristy Ray in rural Tippah County.

Crawford also has an appeal pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.