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Georgia prepares to carry out its first execution this year

18 May 2017
Georgia prepares to carry out its first execution this year

Ledford is scheduled for execution at 7 p.m. on May 16 at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification in Jackson, Ga. "Boy" Ledford Jr.'s death sentence into a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The court documents state that the victim was "rather feeble" in comparison to his killer and bled to death after sustaining "one continuous or two slices to the neck". He was arrested later that day.

A Georgia man is set to be executed Tuesday for the 1992 murder of his neighbor during an armed robbery.

A 45-year-old death row inmate who is set to be executed Tuesday night in Georgia requested his death come via firing squad rather than lethal injection.

State and federal courts have consistently rejected Ledford's claims of intellectual disability, but his lawyers are urging the parole board members to use the extra discretion they're allowed to consider the totality of his circumstances. After holding a hearing Monday, the board declined to grant clemency.

Lawyers for Ledford said he wanted to be executed by firing squad because a drug he takes for nerve pain would lead to an "excruciating death" under Georgia's lethal injection protocol. They argue that the pain he'd be exposed to would violate the condemned man's rights under the 8 Amendment, which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment" from being imposed by the government onto any citizen-even convicted criminals.

But the US Supreme Court has said that when challenging an execution method on those grounds, an inmate must propose a "known and available" method of execution. And while Georgia certainly has plenty of people qualified to rustle up a posse like some Old West firing squad, the state isn't buying Ledford's story. State courts and the Georgia Department of Corrections can not change Georgia law, which only allows execution by lethal injection, so Ledford has failed to meet that standard, the state argues. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones also said the decision to wait until just a few days before his execution date to file the lawsuit suggested a stalling tactic. "They also argued that the death penalty largely has fallen into disuse nationally and internationally for people 18-to-21".

"Mr. Ledford proposes that the firing squad is a readily implemented and more reliable alternative method of execution that would eliminate the risks posed to him by lethal injection", his lawyers said.

If the execution goes ahead, it would be the 11th in the United States this year and the 70th in Georgia since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.