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Mississippi Supreme Court lets stand death row inmate's conviction in rape case

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JACKS0N, Mississippi — The Mississippi Supreme Court has declined to throw out the rape conviction of a death row inmate.

Charles Ray Crawford has argued the 1994 rape conviction should be tossed because he received poor legal representation at his trial. Crawford says his trial lawyer failed to challenge jury instructions and failed to object to inadmissible testimony and prejudicial prosecutorial comments.

Crawford, now 49, is on death row for the 1992 slaying of Kristy Ray in the Chalybeate (kuh-LEE-be-ut) community in Tippah County. Crawford argues he received ineffective defense counsel to fight the rape charge, which was later used by prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors argued Crawford got a fair trial and that if there was any error, it was Crawford's for waiting 20 years to file an appeal.

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