Brian Terrell

posted Dec 9, 2015, 11:34 AM by GFADP staff   [ updated Dec 10, 2015, 1:16 PM by Kathryn Hamoudah ]


I’m reeling after this morning’s execution of Brian Terrell. It is simply horrifying that the state of Georgia went forward with this execution at 12:52 AM,  despite serious doubts about his guilt. The United States Supreme Court denied Brian’s final appeal around 11 PM, but it took an hour for the nurse to get IVs inserted into both of his arms. Brian’s execution marks the fifth carried out by Georgia this year and highlights the compounded tragedy of a death penalty system that prioritizes finality over fairness. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Brian’s request to stop the execution, but expressed frustration with Georgia’s lethal injection secrecy law. One of the judges said a condemned person should not have to wait for “a botched execution, or other mishap,” before being able to access information about the lethal injection process. 

We extend our deepest gratitude to Brian’s legal team, Bo King, Susan Casey and Melanie Goodwill, who left no stone unturned fighting for Brian, and to Mawuli Davis and his team at Davis Bozeman Law Firm for their incredible leadership in highlighting the police and prosecutorial misconduct that plagued Brian’s case. Our hearts are with Brian’s family and friends, and with Brian’s lawyer who witnessed his execution. Thank you to each and every one of you who signed a letter, attended the press conference, and went to a vigil. While incredibly heartbreaking, it is vital that we have a visible presence on execution nights. We must continue to reject the notion that these executions are being done in our names.   

Georgia is responsible for a fifth of all executions this year, when 98% of US counties have abandoned the practice. We are expecting eight additional execution dates in the coming months. This system is barbaric and cruel that makes us neither safer nor more whole. If you are outraged, we need you.

Here are a few things you can do to highlight the brutality of this system.

·        Take action TODAY on behalf of Kenny Fults. Kenny is a Black man who has an IQ that places him in the bottom 3% of the population. After Kenny’s trial at which he was sentenced to death, it came out that at least one juror and Kenny’s own defense attorneys had used racial slurs against him, including calling him “a little n____.” This racism violated Kenny's constitutional right to a fair trial and an impartial jury. Despite this documented racism and the unconstitutionality of Kenny's jury, Georgia still intends to kill Kenny next Spring. Please support efforts to stop Kenny’s execution. Visit and sign his clemency petition. Please share far and wide.

·       Join us for Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty's Lobby Day, on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.There, we will talk to our legislators about the many problems with capital punishment in our state. Your participation is key because it's important that Georgia legislators know that the movement to end the death penalty is growing in this state and that it will continue to grow until this cruel and inhumane punishment is no longer used. The lobby training will begin promptly at 9 am at Central Presbyterian Church.  The address is 201 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303. This is a great training to get the basics on the topics we will be addressing; tips on speaking with your legislators and the legislative processWe will then meet with legislators across the street at the Capitol from 10 am to 11:45 am We will conclude the day with a press conference at at 12 pm (Noon) in the Capitol Rotunda. Please join us for all or part of the day as you are able. For more information and to RSVP please register, here. Please make sure to RSVP so we can get an accurate count of how many people will be joining us. 

After days like today, it is sometimes hard to see the bright spots. And yet, we are in a moment when we can see a near future in which the death penalty no longer exists in this country.

Thank you for all that you do each and every day to bring this futile and brutal practice to an end. It is an honor to be in this struggle with you all. 

In solidarity,

Kathryn Hamoudah on behalf of GFADP