Alabama death row inmate petitioning for release

Apr 25, 2015

Lethal injection chamber at Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama

Another Alabama death row inmate is petitioning courts to order his release.

Donnis George Musgrove has been on death row for 27 years since being convicted of capital murder in February 1988. His request for release comes after two other men once on Alabama's death row are now enjoying freedom.

Musgrove was convicted for the 1986 killing of Coy Eugene Barron near Birmingham. The man was shot to death by intruders in his home during a robbery. His widow picked Musgrove out of a police lineup, but his defense says that identification was flawed. Musgrove's lawyers have pointed out several other problems with his trial, and are petitioning a federal judge to overturn his conviction.

Prosecutors haven't yet responded to the request, but they've previously upheld Musgrove's conviction multiple times, with Alabama's Supreme Court once overturning an appellate court decision that would have granted Musgrove's freedom.

Legal experts note Musgrove's case has several similarities to the case of Anthony Ray Hinton, who was freed from Alabama's death row earlier this month after new ballistics evidence contradicted prosecutors' only argument linking Hinton to the murders for which he was convicted.