Thursday, June 5, 2008

Georgia: Rejection. Execution.

Former president Jimmy Carter, former US Attorney General Griffin Bell, and Norman Fletcher, the ex-chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court all supported clemency for Curtis Osborne, but the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied the request on Monday and Osborne was executed Wednesday night.

Osborne's original attorney hired no psychiatrist to evaluate his client's mental state or history, even though a court-ordered sanity evaluation had found “indications of depression, paranoia and suicidal ideation.” There was no investigation of evidence that Osborne was the victim of childhood abuse. It is also claimed that he was never informed of a possible plea bargain. In 2000, a prisoner serving a life sentence for murder, signed an affidavit saying Osborne's attorney said he would not spending much money defending Osborne because “that little nigger deserves the chair.”

Kate Randall observes:
The Death Penalty Information Center estimates that 44 prisoners with mental retardation have been executed since the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty. These latest executions show that the high court’s 2002 ruling is not a clear barrier to sending such condemned prisoners to their deaths.
See story here.

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