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Circuit Court Suspends Oklahoma Inmate's Appeal

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A federal appeals court has suspended the appeal of an Oklahoma death row inmate while it awaits a legal ruling in the case from the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals took the action Thursday in the case of 47-year-old Johnny Dale Black. Black was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to die for the Jan. 4, 1998, stabbing death of 54-year-old Bill Pogue, a prominent horse trainer from Ringling.

Black appealed his conviction and sentence in federal court after the state appeals court dismissed his second petition for post-conviction relief on a procedural issue. Black maintains his claims should not be procedurally barred.

The federal appeals court sent that portion of the case back to the state court to resolve the issue.

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