Friday, May 30, 2008

Georgia: Former President Supports Clemency Bid

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is featuring an interesting article on Curtis Osborne who was convicted of double murder and is scheduled to be executed on June 4. Osborne's lawyers contend that his defense attorney (now dead) was "racially prejudiced." As a result, a "paltry defense" was presented and Osborne was not told of an offer to exchange a guilty plea for a life sentence. A federal appeals court has rejected a request for a new trial based on such claims. Now, the State parole board will hear a request for clemency, just a few days after it commuted the death sentence of Samuel David Crowe to life in prison. Attorneys will introduce the board to two former clients of the dead attorney who will say that they heard him use racial slurs.

The Constitution also reports
Former President Jimmy Carter, former deputy U.S. Attorney General Larry Thompson and former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher are sending letters to the board, requesting clemency for Osborne ...
Fletcher, says he remembers the defense attorney's "ineptness" and "shortcomings," but District Attorney Scott Ballard opposes clemency. A psychiatrist, George Woods, says that, if experts had been hired, a history of mental illness and "chemical dependency" in Osborne's family would have been given much-deserved attention. See story here.

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