Will Georgia Kill Again Despite Doubts?

Update Oct 4: A stay of execution has been granted to Marcus Ray Johnson. Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette has ordered that DNA evidence found last week by Albany police be evaluated. He will hold a follow up hearing in February, 2012.

Georgia is scheduled to execute Marcus Ray Johnson on Wednesday, October 5. This date appeared on the calendar the morning after the Peach State put Troy Davis to death despite unresolved doubts about his guilt.

As in the Troy Davis case, there is no physical evidence linking Johnson to the 1994 murder in Albany, Ga., of Angela Sizemore.  According to Johnson’s lawyers, his case was built on eyewitness testimony from individuals who did not even witness the crime but only placed Johnson with the victim in the hours before the murder.

Expert testimony about the problems with eyewitness identification evidence was not allowed at Johnson’s trial. According to the Innocence Project, 75 percent of wrongful convictions discovered by DNA testing have involved faulty witness identifications.

And while the Troy Davis case suffered for a lack of testable scientific evidence, there may be some in the Johnson case.  Last week Albany, Ga., police discovered a box with new, never-before-seen biological evidence that could allow DNA testing. Lawyers for Johnson filed “an Extraordinary Motion for New Trial Based on New Evidence Produced by Albany Police Department” on Friday.

Will Georgia officials show an iota of concern for the possibility of executing an innocent man in this case?  Or will they recklessly proceed with another execution, as they did with Troy Davis, despite serious and unresolved doubts about guilt?

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34 thoughts on “Will Georgia Kill Again Despite Doubts?

  1. Wow Georgia works fast at clearing out their Death. Row. They don't even care who they kill just as long as they get to kill somebody they are happy and they should be STOPED at once.

  2. How do we stop Georgia? New Jersey will no longer accept eyewitness testimony alone, I understand. The USSC will hear a case this term on the issue of eyewitness testimony as the sole basis for conviction.

    But that will be too late for Johnson. I hope they stay the execution to allow examination of the evidence.

  3. We can only hope they kill him. Murders don't deserve human rights, they give them up when they end someone else's life. And even if he is innocent, it'll reduce the surplus population.

  4. That is a shocking thing to say, but not a surprise to hear from someone so clearly lacking education. So who else do you think they should be killing to 'reduce the surplus population'? How would you feel being dragged off the street and killed, if you had committed no crime?

  5. Wow Georgia works fast at clearing out their Death. Row. They don’t even care who they kill just as long as they get to kill somebody they are happy and they should be STOPED at once.

  6. How do we stop Georgia? New Jersey will no longer accept eyewitness testimony alone, I understand. The USSC will hear a case this term on the issue of eyewitness testimony as the sole basis for conviction.

    But that will be too late for Johnson. I hope they stay the execution to allow examination of the evidence.

  7. We can only hope they kill him. Murders don’t deserve human rights, they give them up when they end someone else’s life. And even if he is innocent, it’ll reduce the surplus population.

  8. That is a shocking thing to say, but not a surprise to hear from someone so clearly lacking education. So who else do you think they should be killing to ‘reduce the surplus population’? How would you feel being dragged off the street and killed, if you had committed no crime?

  9. I am both a Republican and a Conservative and I oppose the Death Penalty. Incarceration is the best way to go. If the person is quilty then they are removed from society. If they are innocent then they are still around to clear their names. You can't undo killing someone. Once they are gone then they are gone.

  10. Goes to show you have to have atleast one person say something ignorant…so surplus populatoin huh…well how would you feel if your family member was wrongfully accused and executed? What about his family? Do they deserve to have to loose a loved one based on a weak case?

  11. If we kill a man or woman that is convicted of a crime, what does that make us—-MURDERERS!!

  12. I am both a Republican and a Conservative and I oppose the Death Penalty. Incarceration is the best way to go. If the person is quilty then they are removed from society. If they are innocent then they are still around to clear their names. You can’t undo killing someone. Once they are gone then they are gone.

  13. Goes to show you have to have atleast one person say something ignorant…so surplus populatoin huh…well how would you feel if your family member was wrongfully accused and executed? What about his family? Do they deserve to have to loose a loved one based on a weak case?

  14. If we kill a man or woman that is convicted of a crime, what does that make us—-MURDERERS!!

  15. Somone HAS to organize a HUMONGUS MARCH without police permission like the person who slobbered together for Troy Davis why they still killed him. to be this sucessful 'you'll have to want[ him to live] as much as you want to breath.' Baba Baz

  16. Somone HAS to organize a HUMONGUS MARCH without police permission like the person who slobbered together for Troy Davis why they still killed him. to be this sucessful ‘you’ll have to want[ him to live] as much as you want to breath.’ Baba Baz

  17. I am an independent, who up until bearing witness to the travesty of justice re: Troy Davis, believed in the death penalty…I thought about my loved ones…and if anyone were to harm them, I wanted justice…in retrospect, I wanted vengeance…something that is not mine. I cannot something that my core value are completely against. I know that my loved ones wouldn't want to perpetuate the killing of another in their names. There is simply too much room for error. Death is a finality…never to be undone…even if new evidence discovered, it's too late to preserve life.

  18. I am an independent, who up until bearing witness to the travesty of justice re: Troy Davis, believed in the death penalty…I thought about my loved ones…and if anyone were to harm them, I wanted justice…in retrospect, I wanted vengeance…something that is not mine. I cannot something that my core value are completely against. I know that my loved ones wouldn’t want to perpetuate the killing of another in their names. There is simply too much room for error. Death is a finality…never to be undone…even if new evidence discovered, it’s too late to preserve life.

  19. As an ex-member of Amnesty, – I was active long time ago. I must say this blogs comments really made me to feel as this whole thing is a disgrace to what Amnesty was.

    I guess it is time to move to better organizations with more internal coherence.

  20. As an ex-member of Amnesty, – I was active long time ago. I must say this blogs comments really made me to feel as this whole thing is a disgrace to what Amnesty was.

    I guess it is time to move to better organizations with more internal coherence.

  21. JIMMY DENNIS is another innocent man awaiting execution in PA. He has no prior criminal record and zero motive. His daughter was born one week after his imprisonment. He was practicing 8 hours a day with his singing group. The wrongful conviction involved an appalling police coercion, a recanting the next day, a confusion regarding 24 hour military time, and no physical evidence. The case is similar to the Damien Echols case, wherein the entire case was built upon one severely flawed coerced testimony of a terrified teen. The cops made him lie about seeing a gun in Dennis' possession. The teen has since made a statement saying he lied under police coercion.

  22. JIMMY DENNIS is another innocent man awaiting execution in PA. He has no prior criminal record and zero motive. His daughter was born one week after his imprisonment. He was practicing 8 hours a day with his singing group. The wrongful conviction involved an appalling police coercion, a recanting the next day, a confusion regarding 24 hour military time, and no physical evidence. The case is similar to the Damien Echols case, wherein the entire case was built upon one severely flawed coerced testimony of a terrified teen. The cops made him lie about seeing a gun in Dennis’ possession. The teen has since made a statement saying he lied under police coercion.

  23. A man was ritually murdered in Texas for a crime that never happened. The family home burned and he alone escaped. Six experts testified there was no evidence of arson, but when you're being "strong," like Ryan, why sweat the small stuff?

    The world has a vast oversupply of "strong" people. It is desperately short of people whose hats fit (i.e., without swelled heads).

    In memoriam Troy Davis
    Ritually murdered by the State of Georgia
    Requiescat In Pace

  24. A man was ritually murdered in Texas for a crime that never happened. The family home burned and he alone escaped. Six experts testified there was no evidence of arson, but when you’re being “strong,” like Ryan, why sweat the small stuff?

    The world has a vast oversupply of “strong” people. It is desperately short of people whose hats fit (i.e., without swelled heads).

    In memoriam Troy Davis
    Ritually murdered by the State of Georgia
    Requiescat In Pace