Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fla. death-row inmate loses appeal bid

The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- A Florida inmate convicted of killing a prison guard while awaiting the death penalty for two previous murders has lost a bid to appeal his sentence.

A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied an application for a certificate of appealability for Askari Abdullah Muhammad, formerly known as Thomas Knight.

Knight, who has been on death row for more than 30 years, acted as his own lawyer when he was convicted of the fatal stabbing of Richard Burke with the sharpened end of a spoon in 1980.

Issues he wanted to appeal involved his competency and insanity defense.

Knight received two death sentences for the 1974 murders of Sidney and Lillian Gans of Miami Beach.

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