Crime Victims Stand with Alabama AG in Dispute with DA's

Alabama Attorney General Troy King

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Attorney General Troy King had a murder victim's family by his side Wednesday as he accused district attorneys across the state of turning their backs on crime victims.

King says there will be no coddling of criminals by his administration.

King's news conference was the latest event in a weeklong dispute with the Alabama District Attorneys Association. It stems from King taking a double homicide case from Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens and accusing Owens of shirking his duties.

King took the case after Owens advocated changing the death sentence for one defendant to life in prison without parole because the triggerman in the double homicide go his death sentence reduced by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Owens says the case would have become the rallying point for anti-death penalty advocates if he had not advocated equal sentences.

But the son of one of the slaying victims, Kasey Burleson of Birmingham, said he never expect the DA to turn his back on the victims. Burleson says his family appreciates King's help in trying to maintain a death sentence.

Burleson was joined at the news conference Wednesday by his mother, sister and wife.

His father, John Burleson, was one of the two victims in the robbery of a Shelby County pawn shop in 1996.

Owens says it was shameful for King to bring the Burleson family into the dispute.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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