Archive

Kelly Gissendaner


Kelly Gissendaner was executed September 30, 2015.

Warren Hill


Warren Hill was executed January 27, 2015.
On July 3, 2012, the Lee County Superior Court ordered the execution of Warren Lee Hill, Jr. Commissioner Brian Owens set the date for July 18, 2012 at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson at 7:00 p.m.
On July 16, 2012, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency for Warren Hill. His attorney's filed a Motion for a Stay of Execution. You can read it here. Warren Hill's execution has been postponed until Monday, July 23, due to a switch in lethal injection protocol by the Georgia Department of Corrections.Warren Hill's attorneys filed for a stay of execution in Butts County Superior Court. On July 19, Judge Wilson denied the motion on the merits. You can read the order here.
On July 20, attorneys for Warren Hill filed a motion for a stay of execution in the Georgia Supreme Court. You can read it here.
On July 23, just 2 hours before Warren Hill was scheduled to be executed, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision staying the execution stating that they intend to consider whether the proper procedure took place when the Georgia Department of Corrections changed their lethal injection procedure last week. On February 4, 2013, the Georgia Supreme Court in an unanimous decision ruled that the Department of Corrections was not subject to the Administrative Procedures Act when they changed their execution protocol the day before the state planned to execute Warren Hill.
On February 5, 2013, a warrant was issued for Warren Hill for Feb. 19-Feb. 28.
On February 18, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of execution.
On April 23, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Warren Hill's petition for relief in a 2-1 vote.
On July 18, Judge Gail Tusan of the Fulton County Superior Court indefinitely stayed the execution of Warren Hill to consider the merits of his lethal injection challenge. On October 7, the US Supreme Court denied both of Warren Hill's appeals. The Court's denial represents Mr. Hill's last opportunity to have his case heard on the merits. This is the case because of Georgia's uniquely stringent burden of proof - the strictest in the nation - which requires defendants to prove mental retardation "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Andrew Brannan

On Jan 13, 2015, Andrew Brannan was executed by the State of Georgia.
This execution compounds tragedy. Andrew Brannan sacrificed everything by going to war and returned an ill man whose actions were the direct consequence of severe PTSD. It is disgraceful that the State of Georgia disregarded his sacrifice and illness and plowed forward with this unnecessary execution.Many people have contacted us expressing their disgust and outrage. They are rightfully outraged. We all should be outraged.We must continue to fight and bring attention to this shameful system and put an end to it once and for all.
Please join the GFADP contingent as we march on MLK Day, January 19, for the end to the death penalty and criminal justice practices that target, disenfranchise, marginalize, and criminalize people of color and the poor. We'll meet at 12:30 at the corner of Peachtree St and Ellis St. The march will commence at 1:15pm.We are so grateful to all of you who refuse to remain silent and refuse to accept the notion that executing people is done in our names. I've included an article from The Intercept, entitled, A Vietnam Veteran with PTSD is the First US Execution of 2015. I've also included it below.​In solidarity,
Kathryn on behalf of GFADP

Robert Holsey

The Morgan County Superior Court has ordered the execution of Robert Wayne Holsey. Commissioner Brian Owens has set the date for Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at the Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison in Jackson at 7pm.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency for Robert Holsey on December 8, 2014.

Andrew Cook


On February 5, 2013, an execution warrant was issued for Andrew Cook for Feb. 21-Feb. 28.

Andrew DeYoung


Andrew DeYoung was executed by the state of Georgia on July 21, 2011. He was pronounced dead at 8:04pm.
On July 7, 2011, the Cobb County Superior Court ordered the execution of Andrew Grant DeYoung. Commissioner Brian Owens set the date for July 20, 2011 at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson at 7:00 p.m.
On July 20, 2011 the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections delayed the scheduled execution of Mr. Blankenship until July 21, 2011.

Brandon Rhode


Brandon Rhode was executed by the state of Georgia on September 27, 2010. He was pronounced dead at 10:16 pm.
On September 7, 2010, the Superior Court of Jones County filed an order and an execution date has been set for September 21, 2010 for Brandon Rhode. A Clemency Hearing at the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole will likely be planned for the previous days.
On September 17, 2010 a Clemency Hearing was held at the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole. The board denied clemency. His execution will proceed on September 21.
On Tuesday, September 21, Brandon Rhode was hospitalized after a suicide attempt. The Georgia Supreme Court granted Mr. Rhode a stay of execution effective until 2:00pm Thursday, September 23.
On Friday, September 24, Brandon Rhode received a stay of execution from the Georgia Supreme Court until 4pm on Tuesday, September 27.

Curtis Osborne


Curtis Osborne was executed by the state of Georgia on June 4, 2008.
Case Background:
Before his 1991 murder trial, Mr. Osborne’s court-appointed attorney, the late Johnny Mostiler, more than once referred to Mr. Osborne as a “little nigger” who “deserved to die.” When challenged in open court, in an unrelated case with another African-American client, Mr. Mostiler admitted that he sometimes uses that language.
Mr. Mostiler’s racism clearly impacted Mr. Osborne’s right to a fair trial. Mr. Mostiler failed to hire expert witnesses or seek expert assistance of any sort, preventing a wealth of mitigating circumstances from being heard in court.
More Information from Amnesty International:
Curtis Osborne was sentenced to death in August 1991 for two murders in August 1990. The bodies of Linda Seaborne and Arthur Jones were found in the front of a car in Griffin, Georgia, on 7 August 1990. Both had been shot, apparently from the back seat of the vehicle. Curtis Osborne was arrested and subsequently told police that he had shot Jones, to whom he owed money, because Jones had threatened to beat him and was reaching for a weapon. On 14 August 1991, a jury convicted Osborne on two counts of murder, finding that Seaborne’s murder was committed in the course of Jones’s murder, an aggravating circumstance that made the crime eligible for the death penalty. The trial moved into the sentencing phase at which a number of witnesses, including Osborne's stepfather, sister, girlfriend, former employer and acquaintances testified to his good character and their experience of him as a hardworking and non-violent person. Curtis Osborne also testified on his own behalf: "There were certain circumstances that took place that night [of the crime], and sometimes things happen out of emotion and not just deliberation. Just things sometimes happen in certain ways. I want to say I’m sorry and I just ask you people to have mercy on me." On 15 August 1991, the jury recommended that Curtis Osborne be sentenced to death.
Among the issues raised on appeal has been the claim that Curtis Osborne was denied effective legal representation at the sentencing phase because the trial lawyer failed to present expert mental health evidence in mitigation. Osborne’s federal appeal lawyer has presented evidence to the courts that Curtis Osborne suffered from major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and that the trial lawyer could have hired mental health experts to present such evidence to the jury in arguing for a sentence of less than death. The courts have rejected the claim of inadequate assistance of counsel. At the 30 May clemency hearing, Curtis Osborne’s lawyers will present the testimony of a psychiatrist, Dr George Woods, who has interviewed Osborne and family members and reviewed relevant medical records. He says that "none of this was done at the time of trial, except for a brief interview of Mr Osborne". Dr Woods states that medical health testimony would have been important at trial to help to explain a crime that was "so out of character with the previous person that Mr Osborne had been for many, many years." Dr Woods found that Osborne comes from a "family of significant physical abuse, emotional abuse as well," and that his childhood was "profoundly isolated and abusive." He has also concluded that Curtis Osborne’s family has a "significant history of psychiatric disease" going back at least three generations, and that Osborne himself suffered from a major depressive disorder. From 1989, after losing his job, his mental health deteriorated and, according to Dr Woods, Osborne began to self-medicate with cocaine. Dr Woods suggests that the combination of Osborne’s drug use and his mental health problems would have led to a “magnification of the paranoia, of the hyper-vigilance, of the hyper-reactivity, and of the misperception of reality,” and “impaired his ability to conform his behaviour to the law”. Such evidence, Dr Woods suggests, could have helped to explain to the jury the "tremendous change" in the defendant leading up to the crime.
Curtis Osborne’s federal appeal lawyer has also claimed that the trial lawyer’s failure to do an adequate investigation of his client by hiring expert witnesses was born of that white lawyer’s racial animosity towards his African-American client. The appeal lawyer obtained a sworn affidavit from a white man, Gerald Huey, who had been in jail with Osborne before Osborne’s trial and who shared the same trial lawyer, Johnny Mostiler. The affidavit states: "The first time I recall Mr Mostiler saying anything about Curtis Osborne’s case was when he said, 'the little nigger deserves the death penalty.' I was shocked because I knew that Mr Osborne had not gone to trial yet… That wasn’t the only time Mr Mostiler said something like that though. I recall Mr Mostiler telling me that I wouldn’t believe the amount of money he was going to spend on my case. He said he was going to hire a private investigator and get expert witnesses. He said the money he would spend on me was going to be a lot more than he would spend on Mr Osborne because 'that little nigger deserves the [electric] chair.' Mr Mostiler made similar comments to me both before and after Mr Osborne’s trial."
Another lawyer has recalled a case from around 1992 in which another African-American client of Johnny Mostiler, Derek Middlbrooks, stated in open court that Mostiler had referred to him as “one dumb nigger” for not accepting the plea bargain offered by the state. Questioned by the court, Mostiler reportedly replied that he could “not recall” whether or not he had said this. Curtis Osborne’s lawyer has recently obtained the transcript of proceedings in the Middlbrooks case, in which the defendant seeks a new lawyer because of Mostiler’s alleged use of this racial epithet. According to the transcript, Middlbrooks says that Mostiler "indicated to me that he wouldn’t, he couldn’t go up there around those niggers because them niggers would kill me." Middlbrooks subsequently states: "I find it kind of hard, you know, kind of hard to have an attorney to represent me when he uses those types of words; it doesn’t help my confidence in my attorney, you know." Questioned by the court, Johnny Mostiler responded that he could not remember if he had used this epithet, and also that he did not "use those terms out in public."

Emanuel Hammond


Emanuel Hammond was executed by the state of Georgia on January 25, 2011. He was pronounced dead at 11:39 pm.
On January 13, 2011, the Fulton County Superior Court ordered the execution of Emmanuel Fitzgerald Hammond and set the date for January 25, 2011 at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson at 7:00 p.m.
On January 20, 2011 at 11:15 am, the Southern Center for Human Rights filed an Emergency Injunction on behalf of Mr. Hammond seeking an expedited hearing or stay of execution and full access to public records pertaining to the expenditure of public funds, purchases, inventory and expiration dates for drugs utilized in the lethal injection procedure in Georgia. Information contained in these records are not exempt from public disclosure and are critical to addressing whether the State of Georgia is executing convicted persons by lethal injection, in a manner permitted by the constitution and in compliance with accepted medical and ethical standards.
On January 21, 2011 at 1:00pm Judge Michael D. Johnson will hold a hearing at the Fulton County Courthouse, Courtroom 8B, 136 Pryor Street, SW Atlanta, GA 30303.
On January 24, 2011, Judge Johnson ordered the GDOC to turn over the full and unredacted record, finding that the GDOC did fail to comply with the Open Records Act. Judge Johnson declined to halt Tuesday’s scheduled execution.
On January 25, 2011, The Georgia Supreme Court denied Hammond's appeal.
On January 25, 2011, Judge Johnson held a hearing on the lethal injection lawsuit.
The United States Supreme Court issued a halt, which delayed the execution for 3 hours. The halt was lifted at 11:30 pm.

Jack Alderman


Jack Alderman was executed by the state of Georgia on September 16, 2008. Case Background: Jack Alderman, the longest serving death row prisoner in United States history, was given an execution date of September 16, 2008. On September 12, Alderman's attorneys filed a civil lawsuit at the Fulton County Superior Court, challenging the fact that the Parole Board denied him clemency without conducting a hearing. On September 15, Judge Westmoreland of the Fulton County Superior Court granted Alderman a stay of execution saying that his execution cannot go forward without a "meaningful" opportunity to present his case to the Parole Board. The Parole Board scheduled a clemency hearing for September 16, 2008 at 9 am. They denied his request later that afternoon, and the execution went forward as planned on September 16.

Marcus Ray Johnson


Marcus Ray Johnson was executed at 10:10pm on Thursday, November 19.
Mr. Johnson has maintained his innocence from the day of his arrest until now and was convicted on the basis of unreliable eyewitness testimony from people who did not see Mr. Johnson commit any crime. Yesterday, Mr. Johnson’s attorneys appealed to the Parole Board for clemency based on actual innocence. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that our criminal justice system is not devoid of error, and we now know that 155 individuals have been released from death rows across the United States, most often due to mistaken witness identification, since 1976.
Mr. Johnson’s lawyers will present to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Wednesday, November 18 at 9:00 am. The Parole Board is the entity in Georgia that has the sole authority to grant or deny clemency (either to commute, or reduce, a death sentence to life without parole.) Only after a person has exhausted all appeals and other avenues of relief will the Parole Board consider granting clemency.

Marcus Wellons


Marcus Wellons was executed on June 17, 2014. On May 28, 2014, the Cobb County Superior Court ordered the execution of Marcus Wellons. The Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens set the date for Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at the Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison in Jackson at 7:00 pm. On Monday, June 16, 2014, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole denied clemency for Marcus.


Media Coverage


The Atlanta Journal Constitution: Parole board holds firm on Wellons execution

Mark McClain


Mark McClain was executed by the state of Georgia on October 20, 2009. He was pronounced dead at 7:42 pm. Case Background: Mark McClain, who has no record of violence with the exception of the crime for which he now faces execution, grew up in a household dominated by an abusive father who regularly beat and whipped his children. The saving grace in the McClain family was Mark’s mother, who suffered a lengthy struggle with cancer and finally passed away when Mark was a young teenager. Mark’s family was shattered by her death, and Mark and his brother Tim both succumbed to heavy drug abuse. Drugs and alcohol were ways Mark self-medicated the depression and despair stemming from the abuse and the death of his mother. On the night of the crime, Mark, after having attempted to straighten out his life, succumbed to drugs and alcohol. At trial, Mark admitted and took responsibility for his crime. The physical evidence in this case is consistent with Mark’s stated lack of premeditation and intention not to kill in the course of the robbery. Since his incarceration on death row, Mark has made a genuine change in his life, including a sincere religious conversion. He has accepted responsibility for negative conduct throughout his life, including the death of Kevin Brown, and shown remorse. He has made a positive adjustment to prison and poses no threat to anyone. Furthermore, the crime in this case, while tragic, merits the merciful intervention of the Board. The imposition of Mark’s death sentence is an aberration in Georgia – akin to a lightning strike. In 2007, the Atlanta Journal Constitution conducted a study of a decade’s worth of such cases in Georgia, and found that Mark was one of only 8 cases involving such a crime – armed robbery of a business involving no torture, maiming, murder for hire, or murder of a police officer - where death was imposed from the start of 1995 to the end of 2004. Another 432 such cases resulted in life sentences. Many of those cases, while they did not involve the specific aggravating factors cited above, were nevertheless more aggravated than Mark’s crime, involving evidence of premeditation and cold-heartedness. In 1995, when Mark was sentenced, he was the only one of 55 defendants convicted of such armed robbery murders who received a death sentence. In 16 of those cases, prosecutors had sought death. Mark’s was the only case in which death was imposed. Over the ten year span of the study, prosecutor’s sought death in approximately one out of every six such cases, totaling 440 cases. But, again, only eight men received death sentences. Some circuits never sought death for such crimes, including Fulton County, which had 79 convictions for armed robbery homicides. The Journal Constitution’s research through 2007 further showed that Georgia juries clearly rank such crimes as undeserving of the death penalty. From late 1998 to late 2007, Georgia juries imposed death only once for armed robbery murder with similar circumstances, even though prosecutors sought it in at least nine cases. By comparison, in cases involving the torture or maiming of victims, jurors in the same period imposed death in about half the cases where it was sought. The history of Georgia capital cases shows that Georgia law enforcement authorities and juries almost never find death appropriate for the kind of crime for which Mark was convicted. Mark’s death sentence goes against Georgia values.

Mark Mize

William Mark Mize was executed by the state of Georgia on April 29, 2009. He was pronounced dead at 7:28 pm. 4/29/09: Stay of execution lifted, Mr. Mize is scheduled to be executed at 7 pm on Wednesday, April 29. Vigils rescheduled accordingly. 4/28/09: The Georgia Supreme Court has granted Mr. Mize a 24 hour stay, vigils on Tuesday have been cancelled. The stay expires April 29th at 4 pm.

Melbert Ray Ford


Melbert Ray Ford was executed by the state of Georgia on June 9, 2010. He was pronounced dead at 7:27 pm.
On June 4, 2010 the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Clemency for Mr. Ford. His scheduled execution is likely to proceed on Wednesday June 9th at 7pm.
On May 20, 2010, an execution warrant was signed for Mr. Ford. Please send a letter by mail or fax to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles asking the Board to commute Mr. Ford's sentence to life.
On February 18, 2010, Melbert Ray Ford was granted a 90 day stay because there were only 4 (out of 5) Parole Board members appointed.

Robert Newland

Robert Newland was executed by the state of Georgia on March 10, 2009. He was pronounced dead at 7:35 pm. Case Background: Robert Newland grew up in Springfield, Ohio, in extreme poverty, raised by violently alcoholic parents. Bob’s mother consumed alcohol throughout her pregnancy with Bob, and was drunk almost every day of her adult life. When drunk, she was extremely violent and inflicted daily beatings on Bob. Bob sometimes tried to escape the misery of his home life by staying with his uncle Clarence. His nightmare continued when his uncle sexually abused Bob repeatedly starting around age 12. Bob had nowhere to turn, so he turned to alcohol. His school records document a 12-point drop in IQ from the 7th to the 10th grades, corresponding to the onset of heavy alcohol abuse when he was about 12 years old. Bob’s home life got so bad that he finally ran away from home at age 16, never to return. He embarked on a life of constant movement – and heavy abuse of alcohol and drugs. On his own in the world, Bob took up carpentry to support himself. Bob suffered several serious head injuries while working on construction projects and also in a severe car accident. A neuropsychologist and neurologist found that he suffered significant brain damage from these injuries, exacerbated by his extensive abuse of alcohol and drugs. These injuries, while they do not render him unable to distinguish right from wrong, do impair his judgment and impulse control, particularly when under the influence of hard alcohol. By the early 1980s, Bob had settled in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, where he lived with his common law wife, Peggy, a social worker. With Peggy’s help, Bob minimized his drug and alcohol use. However, one night in the summer of 1986, he relapsed, consuming a large amount of vodka. His neighbors and his wife Peggy testified that on the night of the crime he was extremely drunk and barely making sense. Police noted Bob was slurring his speech and that he reeked of alcohol when he was arrested. After his arrest, Bob expressed deep remorse for the murder of Ms. Beatty, a woman he knew as a kind friend and neighbor. At his trial, he testified to his remorse and disbelief that he could have harmed this person. However, the jury heard nothing about Bob’s past or his mental health problems because his attorneys made no effort to investigate his life for mitigating evidence. The reason the attorneys gave for not investigating was that Bob had asked them not to trouble his family or involve them in his case. It is this allegation that has defeated Bob’s legal claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. People who knew Bob when he was sober uniformly describe him as a kind and generous person. Since his imprisonment in 1986, Bob has had a spotless disciplinary record. He has consistently expressed remorse for his crime.

Roy Blankenship


Roy Blankenship was executed by the state of Georgia on June 23, 2011. He was pronounced dead at 8:37pm.
On January 27, 2011, the Chatham County Superior Court has ordered the execution of Roy Blankenship. The Court ordered the Department to carry out the execution on a date between February 9, 2011 and February 16, 2011.
Commissioner Brian Owens has set the date for February 9, 2011 atthe Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson at 7:00 p.m.
Mr. Blankenship's clemency hearing was scheduled for 9:00am on Thursday, February 3,2011.
On February 4, 2011, a Chatham County Superior Court Judge ordered that the untested DNA evidence be transferred to a lab for an assessment about whether DNA testing can in fact be done.
On June 6, 2011, the Chatham County Superior Court has ordered the execution of Roy Blankenship. The Court ordered the Department to carry outthe execution on a date between June 23, 2011 and June 30, 2011.
Commissioner Brian Owens has set the date for June 23, 2011 at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson at 7:00 p.m.
On June 21, 2011, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob temporarily halted the execution of Roy Blankenship, who is scheduled to be executed on Thursday at 7pm, so she can consider all information provided in today's hearing.

Samuel David Crowe

On May 22, 2008, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles voted to commute Mr. Crowe's sentence to life without parole and cancelled his execution!

Tommy Lee Waldrip

On July 8, 2014, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles issued an order commuting Tommy Lee Waldrip’s sentence from death to life. Here is an article that offers some insight into the clemency petition that succeeded in moving the Parole Board to their decision. It is the fifth death sentence commuted by the parole board since 2002. The last person on death row in Georgia to be granted clemency was Daniel Greene. Greene’s sentence was commuted to life without parole on April 20, 2012, according to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Troy Davis


Amidst international protest, Troy Anthony Davis was executed by the state of Georgia on September 21, 2011. He was pronounced dead at 11:08pm.


Please click here to learn more about Troy Davis.

William Earl Lynd


William Earl Lynd was executed by the state of Georgia on May 6, 2008. Mr. Lynd was the first person to be executed in the United States since the US Supreme Court upheld lethal injection as an acceptable means of execution. Case Background: While any murder is inherently tragic and brutal, it appears that the jury in Mr. Lynd's case was misled by the prosecution to believe that the crime was even more brutal than scientific experts now believe. While this does not excuse the killings, the exact nature of the crime and degree of brutality is crucial to the charges that can be made against a defendant and the jury’s deliberation about the conviction and sentence. The autopsy of Ms. Moore was conducted by Mr. Warren Tillman, a non-physician. Tillman testified at trial that Moore could have suffered a lingering, torturous death. Unfortunately, the Georgia Death Investigations Act was passed in 1990 after Mr. Lynd’s trial ended in February 1990. The Act requires that autopsies be performed by medical examiners who are licensed physicians. Mr. Lynd therefore did not have the benefit of this important law, which increases accuracy in homicide investigations. Medical experts, reviewing this case more recently, made a critically different set of observations and conclusions about the nature of the shooting. They hold that Mr. Lynd’s first shots killed Ms. Moore and that it is not possible for her to have still been alive when he put her body in his car. Mr. Lynd could not have been convicted of aggravated kidnapping, may have only been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, and would not have been sentenced to death had such professional analysis been available. Additionally, the crime was not cold-blooded or premeditated. Mr. Lynd and Ms. Moore were high on Valium, marijuana and alcohol the day of the crime. The couple had a history of mutual domestic fighting, but fueled by substance abuse it escalated to a tragic level that day.