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Alabama woman fights jury plan in girl's death

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 9, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.

An Alabama woman facing a possible death sentence in the running death of her 9-year-old granddaughter is asking a judge to bar lawyers from eliminating potential jurors who oppose capital punishment.

Joyce Garrard's attorneys contend that culling death penalty opponents from the jury is unconstitutional since it would result in jurors more likely to vote for conviction.

Prosecutors haven't responded. But a judge says he will consider Garrard's arguments during a hearing Aug. 18.

The 49-year-old Garrard is scheduled for trial Sept. 22 in the death of Savannah Hardin.

Prosecutors claim Garrard made the child run until she collapsed as punishment for a lie.

Garrard says she's innocent, and the defense blames the girl's 2012 death on other health problems.

The child's stepmother also is charged with murder.

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