Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of an Alabama death row inmate he says could be "very likely actually innocent."

Meese filed a brief saying "basic notions of fairness" require a review of the conviction of Bill Kuenzel, who was convicted of killing convenience store clerk Linda Jean Offord in 1987.

Kuenzel's roommate, who had a spot of blood on his pants after the murder, testified against him.

Kuenzel argues prosecutors withheld evidence that would have raised doubts at trial. His lawyers said they discovered in 2010 that a witness had initially told a grand jury that she wasn't certain it was Kuenzel she saw at the store.

Alabama says the defense missed a deadline for raising the issue.