- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Supreme Court has given attorneys for death row inmate Charles Ray Crawford until Friday to file briefs supporting his appeal of a 1994 rape conviction.

In declining to set an execution date for Crawford in March in a separate capital murder case, the Supreme Court said it decide the appeal of previous rape conviction first. That conviction was cited as an aggravating factor by prosecutors in justifying the death sentence Crawford received in 1994 in the slaying of a junior college student.

Prosecutors will have 30 days to respond after Crawford’s lawyers file.

If the Supreme Court upholds Crawford’s rape conviction, prosecutors could again petition the court to set an execution date.

Crawford has argued if the rape conviction is reversed, his death sentence should be tossed.

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