News Worms
News Worms

Georgia executes man who killed elderly neighbor in 1992

Georgia executes man who killed elderly neighbor in 1992

Authorities say 45-year-old J.W. Ledford Jr. was pronounced dead at 1:17 a.m. Wednesday at the state prison in Jackson. He was convicted of murder in the 1992 stabbing death in Murray County, northwest Georgia, of neighbor Dr. Harry Johnston, the physician who had delivered him.

Ledford told police he had gone to Johnston's home on January 31, 1992, to ask for a ride to the grocery store. He then went to Johnston's house with a knife, demanded money from Johnston's wife and left the home with money and four guns, according to court filings.

Ledford Jr. had asked last week to be executed by a firing squad because his lawyer claimed that the lethal injection would cause him a lot of pain.

A Georgia Parole Board also rejected Ledford's request for clemency on Monday. The execution had been scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, but as of early Wednesday, Ledford had not been put to death, according to a report by AP's Kate Brumback, who is expected to witness the execution. If executed, Ledford will be the 47 inmate put to death by lethal injection.

Georgia uses the drug pentobarbital to induce unconsciousness and then death instead of midazolam, a drug used in a toxic medley which has been at the center of a Supreme Court debate over allegations it is a painful, lengthy method of execution. He charged that he had been taking the pain medication gabapentin, which changed his brain chemistry so much the lethal injection drug pentobarbital might not make him unconscious, CNN noted.

A Georgia man is set to be executed Tuesday for the 1992 murder of his neighbor during an armed robbery - if the US Supreme Court does not grant any of his requests to halt the execution.

That would violate the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment enshrined in the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution, the lawsuit said.

According to the Dalton Daily Citizen, legal challenges by his attorneys were still pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ledford's lawyers also tried to get the courts to stop his execution.

Ledford did not accept a final prayer and recorded a final statement, the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a statement.

Georgia uses a single drug, pentobarbital, and does not have provisions for death by firing squad.

Ledford's lawyers are arguing he was only 20 and his brain wasn't done developing when he killed Johnston. The high court denied a stay of execution after midnight, clearing the way for the lethal injection.

Georgia carried out its first execution of the year, putting to death J.W.

Georgia executed nine men previous year, more than any other state.


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