WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says an Alabama death row inmate can use a new argument to try to keep from being executed for shooting a county sheriff.

The high court on Thursday said Billy Joe Magwood can argue that Alabama retroactively changed the law to make his crime qualify for the death penalty.

Magwood has been sentenced to die twice for the shooting death of Coffee County Sheriff Neil Grantham in 1979. He says he should be able to make a new argument because his second death sentence was a new sentence.

But the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Magwood should have complained about the change in Alabama state law in his first round of appeals. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling.