ATLANTA -- Eddie Albert Crawford is scheduled to die today for kidnapping, raping and murdering his 2-year-old niece.

Crawford, 57, would be executed by injection after sitting 20 years on death row for the 1983 killing of Leslie Michelle English in Griffin.

Prosecutors argued at trial he sneaked into the house and kidnapped the girl after her mother -- his sister-in-law -- refused to have sex with him.

"You go, 'Gosh, there are people like that? There are people that demented that would do this to a 2 1/2-year-old child?"' said Angela Ledford, the girl's cousin. "I'm sorry, but he doesn't deserve to breathe the same air I'm breathing."

But several defense attorneys have lined up to appeal Crawford's case. They've been seeking DNA testing of two newly discovered hairs found on the girl's body and clothing to determine if they belong to Crawford or someone else.

Similar pleas caused the Georgia Supreme Court to delay Crawford's execution just three hours before he was originally scheduled to be killed last December. The state parole board denied those requests Friday, and the only recourse left are the state's and nation's highest courts.

Crawford's attorney at his first trial, Tamara Jacobs, said she still has doubts that someone else perhaps committed the crime.

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