Alabama appeals court upholds 2 death penalties


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld two capital murder cases from Jefferson and Colbert counties.

In a ruling Friday, the court rejected for the second time an argument by Anthony Ray Hinton that his trial attorney was ineffective for not hiring a qualified firearms identification expert. Hinton was sentenced to death for the fatal shootings of John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vason during fast-food restaurant robberies in Birmingham in 1985.

In another ruling Friday, the appeals court agreed that a judge had sufficient reasons to sentence Anthony Lee Stanley to death despite a jury recommending life in prison without parole. It marked the third time the court reviewed the case. Stanley was convicted of the beating death of Henry Earl Smith during a 2005 robbery in Colbert County.

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