Execution Scheduled

posted Jun 7, 2011, 7:59 AM by Kathryn Hamoudah   [ updated Aug 31, 2012, 8:29 AM by GFADP staff ]


It is with sadness that I write to inform you that the State of Georgia set a second execution date for Roy Blankenship. He is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, June 23, 2011.  I’ve included an article from the AJC below.

Please download a sample Letter to Board of Pardons and Paroles

Edit to include your name and address at the bottom, then print, sign, and fax them to:

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles
Floyd Veterans Memorial Building
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30334-4909
Fax: 404-651-6670

On June 23rd, GFADP members will mobilize to stand vigil in protest of the state's brutal and dehumanizing action and in solidarity with Roy Blankenship.  We urge everyone to join us. 

We will continue to keep you posted on any new developments.

Thank you for all that you do to end the death penalty in Georgia.

Georgia sets June 23 execution date for Blankenship

By Bill Rankin

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

10:26 a.m. Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Now that Georgia has obtained a new supply of a key lethal-injections drug, the Department of Corrections has set a June 23 execution date for a man on death row for killing a Savannah woman 33 years ago.

State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kristen Stancil on Monday said the agency had received a supply of the barbiturate pentobarbital, which will be used as one of three drugs in the state's new lethal-injection process.

Executions in Georgia have been on hold since March when the Drug Enforcement Administration seized the state's supply of sodium thiopental. Lawyers for a death-row inmate had questioned whether the state illegally obtained its stockpile of that drug, which is no longer made in the U.S., from a pharmaceutical company in London last year.

Corrections recently announced it is substituting pentobarbital for sodium thiopental. Pentobarbital, used as a sedative, will be used as the first of three lethal-injection drugs, followed by pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxer that stops breathing, and potassium chloride, which causes cardiac arrest.

The agency disclosed its recent purchase of pentobarbital after Chatham County Superior Court Judge Michael Karpf ordered the execution of Roy Willard Blankenship, who sits on death row for the March 2, 1978, burglary, rape and murder of Sarah Mims Bowen, 78.

The state Board of Pardons and Paroles had stayed Blankenship's execution in February to allow for DNA testing. After the tests proved inconclusive, Karpf signed the order, directing Blankenship's execution to be carried out between June 23 and June 30. Corrections then scheduled the execution for June 23 at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

In a May 31 letter to Blankenship's lawyer, a Boise State University professor who is an expert on DNA testing noted that tests conducted by the GBI and a private laboratory, Bode Technologies, could not identify any one individual as Bowen's assailant.

But Greg Hampikian noted that "Mr. Blankenship cannot be excluded as a possible contributor to the partial profiles, so the statistical statements of exclusion probabilities should be carefully considered." He also added that "hundreds and even thousands of men in the Savannah area could have contributed DNA to the samples that were found at the crime scene in this case."

Other orders are expected to be signed soon, setting execution dates for inmates such as Troy Anthony Davis, sentenced to death for killing an off-duty Savannah police officer in 1989, and Andrew Grant DeYoung, condemned to die for killing his parents and 14-year-old sister at their Cobb County home in 1993.

On Jan. 25, Emmanuel Hammond, who killed Atlanta preschool teacher Julie Love in 1988, was the last Georgia inmate put to death by lethal injection.