Five judges mulling fate of death-row inmate claiming ineffective counsel 

State prosecutors are willing to give a death-row inmate another chance before a jury. But the inmate would rather let five judges decide his fate.

Keary Lamar Littlejohn was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2002 murder of 22-year-old Gregory L. Rogers II, shot at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Northwest Oklahoma City.

Prosecutors charged Littlejohn and three other men for robbery and murder. Two were found guilty, while a third, Vernon King Jr., pleaded guilty and received life in prison in exchange for his testimony. However, King did not testify in Littlejohn's trial.

APPEAL
Only Littlejohn was given a death sentence. In his appeal to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, Littlejohn's main argument to reverse his sentence is ineffective counsel. Littlejohn contends his attorney at the time of the trial failed to provide an adequate defense because of a substance abuse problem.

The attorney, John Albert, admitted his addiction to the Oklahoma Bar Association and had his law license suspended for a year. He was reinstated to practice law in Oklahoma back in May.

RECOMMENDATION
Littlejohn's current attorney, David Autry, asked the appeals court to go beyond ordering a new sentencing hearing.

"The court could decide to modify the case to life without parole or life (with a possibility of parole)," Autry told the five-judge panel. "We would recommend the court do that."

During the Jan. 8 hearing in the state Capitol appeals courtroom, some of the judges seemed open to Autry's suggestion.

"This is the worst record of a lawyer defending a client," said Judge David Lewis. "Scott Cooper

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