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Court throws out conviction in controversial death sentence


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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Louisiana Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction and death sentence of a man whose case drew national attention to the state's use of the death penalty.

In a decision Wednesday, the Supreme Court said it was sending the case of Rodricus Crawford back to a lower court for a new trial.

Crawford was convicted of murdering his 1-year-old son.

Crawford told authorities he'd been sleeping next to his son and woke up to find him unresponsive. Prosecutors argued that Crawford smothered the boy. But the defense argued that the boy had pneumonia and could have died from natural causes.

Defense attorneys also challenged the prosecution's exclusion of certain African-American jurors and in the end the judges threw out the case on that issue.

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REBECCA SANTANA

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