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Crenshaw seeks spot on appeals court

Greenville native Clay Crenshaw recently announced his candidacy for the Alabama Court of Appeals, citing a growing concern over the length it takes in bringing a final resolution to capital murder cases.

Crenshaw said for the victims' families, watching the appeals process in a capital murder case drag on long after an initial conviction is frustrating.

&#8220The families of these murder victims expect a court to rule,” he said. &#8220That's not to say that every case can't be looked at thoroughly. My pledge is to try and spark a conversation on these death penalty cases.”

Crenshaw, in his position as Chief of the Capital Case Division of the Alabama Attorney General's Office, has served as counsel on approximately 100 death penalty cases. He referred to the case of John Peoples, a Talladega County man convicted of murdering three individuals in 1983.

Peoples was executed in September of this year.

&#8220That is just too long between sentencing and when the death penalty was carried out,” he said.

Crenshaw also pledged to decide every appeal assigned to him within six months, should he be elected. Considering the court receives somewhere between 500 and 600 cases a year, said Crenshaw, that pledge should represent a significant commitment on his part in seeing justice through.

&#8220It's something that should be fair to everybody,” he said.

Crenshaw, a Republican, seeks the seat being vacated by Democrat Sue Bell Cobb. The Republican Party Primary Election is being held on June 6, 2006. Crenshaw will face Julia Elizabeth &#8220Beth” Kellum, currently a senior attorney with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

Crenshaw graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1988 and immediately started work at the Attorney General's office.

He is a 1978 graduate of Fort Dale Academy.

&#8220I have great memories of Greenville,” he said. &#8220I still come back and play golf and visit my mother. In fact, my wife and I sometimes talk about moving back to Greenville.”

Crenshaw, 45, is married to the former Jane Parsons of Montgomery. They have two children, Clayton, 11, and Elizabeth, 7. The family attends First United Methodist Church of Montgomery.