Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

We are pleased to attach our latest monthly death penalty report compiled by group member Lesley.  In addition to matters around the world, we mention worries about the Conservative government, if, as expected, they assume power on Friday after the election.  The present Home Secretary, Priti Patel is committed to toughening sentencing and has said she wishes to see the reintroduction of the penalty in the UK.  She denies that this is the case.  We quote survey statistics to show that it is still a desired outcome for many people, especially for those who voted leave in the EU Referendum.

Note as ever that China is the world’s largest executioner of its citizens but the data is a state secret.

November – December Report (Word)

The death penalty report for October – November is available thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  One worrying item is the apparent willingness of the UK government to allow individuals to be sent to the USA with the risk of execution.

October/November report (Word)

The latest death penalty report covering the period 13 January to 9 February is attached and thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  The report notes that many of the countries which feature in the report have close links with the UK as we have described in previous posts.

Death penalty report (pdf)

Reggie Clemons (picture Amnesty USA)

Reggie Clemons (picture Amnesty USA)

Execution set after 34 years on death row

It seems hardly credible that someone who has spent 34 years on death row should now be at risk of execution but that is the case with John Wayne Conner in Georgia.  The details are below and if you are able to write we would be grateful.  This is URGENT however.

Urgent Action details

Amnesty is opposed to the death penalty.  China remains the country which executes more than any other country.  See our monthly report.


WE are sad to report that on 12th April, Kenneth Fults was executed by lethal injection in Georgia texas executionUSA.  The United States is the only country in the Americas which still has the death penalty.  The case revealed the usual catalogue of dubious legal practice that is so common in these cases: a black defendant poorly represented by lawyers one of whom was allegedly asleep during part of the proceedings; a plea bargain and a juror who made derogatory racial remarks about Fults.  Other factors are set out in a previous blog.

Amnesty International’s senior death penalty campaigner Jason Clark said:

Those troubling factors are typical of Georgia’s use of the death penalty.

Virtually every execution that’s happened in Georgia has been emblematic of problems with the death penalty.

He noted that the 28 executions in the U.S. last year were carried out by just six states.

In states like Georgia that are still carrying on a lot of executions, it’s because they’re not implementing issues of fairness.

Amnesty is opposed to the death penalty in all cases.

A sad day…

No to the death penalty


Has now been executed (12th)

Neglect, racial prejudice and a sleeping lawyer leaves a man on death row.  Execution imminent

Kenneth Fults and son

In May 1997, Kenneth Fults pleaded guilty to the murder of Cathy Bounds – shot at her home on 30 January 1996. After a three-day sentencing hearing, the jury voted to sentence Kenneth to death.

Eight years later, one of the jurors from the sentencing signed a sworn statement admitting that he voted for the death penalty out of racial prejudice:

I don’t know if he ever killed anybody, but that n***** got just what should have happened. Once he pled guilty, I knew I would vote for the death penalty because that’s what the n***** deserved.

When evidence of racist motivation among the jury was raised at an appeal hearing, the state argued that it was too late to review the issue and Kenneth’s death sentence should stand.  After 19 excruciating years on death row, Kenneth’s execution is now imminent. He is due to be executed on 12 April 2016.

Lawyer asleep during court

Former jurors on the case have since signed affidavits saying that Kenneth’s trial lawyer made little effort to save his client from the death penalty, and shockingly was seen to be asleep during the proceedings.

Mr Fults’s lawyer… was uninterested in what was happening, and it seemed like something was wrong with him. I saw him fall asleep repeatedly during the trial, and he would wake up, startled, when it was his turn to examine witnesses. I saw him sleeping off and on throughout the whole trial.   Former juror on Kenneth Fult’s case

A childhood of neglect

The jury heard some mitigating evidence – that Kenneth was a man with a very low IQ who suffered from depression and an inability to always understand the consequences of his actions – but not they did not get the full story.  His lawyer, Mr Mostiler, failed to give any background on Kenneth’s childhood of neglect and abandonment – born to a 16-year-old mother who later became addicted to crack cocaine.

I don’t believe he had a fair trial. Mr Fults’s current lawyers have told me about how Mr Fults was neglected and abandoned as a child and that he is mentally retarded. Mostiler didn’t bring this up at trial and he should have, so that we would have known more about Mr Fults before we talked about whether to give him the death penalty.

Another former juror on Kenneth Fult’s case In 2006 – a clinical psychologist assessed Kenneth as having an intellectual disability – with a low IQ.  International law bans use of the death penalty on people with mental or intellectual disabilities.

What we’re calling for

We are completely opposed to the death penalty – in all cases, with no exception. The death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.  We’re asking the State of Georgia authorities to stop the execution of Kenneth Fults and for his death sentence to be commuted.

Send your own appeal

If you would like to write your own appeal, please send via fax or email to ensure it reaches the Chairman of the Board of Pardons and Paroles by 12 April 2016.

Contact details:

Terry Barnard
Chairman, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
Fax: +1 404-651-6670
Salutation: Dear Chairman Barnard

And please send copies to:

Governor Nathan Deal
Office of the Governor
Fax: +1 404-657-7332
Email: Complete the form at or

Execution in the USA

Last year saw a dramatic rise in executions globally, with the highest number recorded in more than 25 few years.  However, the Americas is becoming a virtually death penalty-free region.

The USA is the only country in the region to still execute – and consistently one of the world’s top five executioners, behind only Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and China.

Last year 28 people were executed in the USA and almost 3,000 people remained on death row.

Racial inequality

In June 2015, US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer noted that multiple studies have concluded that ‘individuals accused of murdering white victims, as opposed to black or other minority victims, are more likely to receive the death penalty’ in the USA.

African-American defendants receive the death penalty at three times the rate of white defendants in cases where the victims are white, according to a 2007 study in Connecticut conducted by Yale University School of Law.

From initial charging decisions to plea bargaining to jury sentencing, African-Americans are treated more harshly when they are defendants, and their lives are accorded less value when they are victims.

An irrevocable punishment

It may be an obvious point, but once somebody has been executed – there is no going back. And the risk of ending the life of an innocent person can never be overcome.  Over the last 46 years, 150 prisoners sent to death row in the USA have later been exonerated due to evidence of wrongful convictions.  The key factors leading to wrongful conviction include inadequate legal representation, police misconduct, racial prejudice and suppression of mitigating evidence.

China executes more people than all countries put together but the figures are a state secret.

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Please find below the minutes of the March meeting thanks to Karen.

March minutes

No to the death penaltyThis is the monthly report on the use of the death penalty around the world thanks to Lesley for compiling it.  A particularly grim month and of course there are no statistics for China which stills leads the world in the use of the penalty.

Death penalty report