ATLANTA – Attorneys for a Georgia man set to be executed Thursday for killing his ex-girlfriend and her pal are asking the state parole board to spare his life and difficult the constitutionality of his sentence in court docket.
Scotty Garnell Morrow is ready to be put to dying Thursday on the state jail in Jackson. He was convicted of homicide within the capturing deaths of ex-girlfriend Barbara Ann Younger and her pal Tonya Woods at Younger’s Gainesville residence in December 1994. A 3rd girl additionally was shot, however survived.
The parole board, the one authority in Georgia that may commute a dying sentence, held a closed-door listening to Wednesday on the clemency request.
In searching for clemency, attorneys for the 52-year-old dying row prisoner argued that impassioned, spontaneous killings reminiscent of those Morrow was convicted of are hardly ever punished by the dying penalty. The attorneys stated commuting his sentence to life in jail, with or with out risk of parole, would convey his punishment extra consistent with sentences for others convicted of homicide below comparable circumstances.
Individually, in a petition filed Tuesday in a county court docket, the inmate’s attorneys argued that Morrow’s dying sentence is unconstitutional as a result of it was improperly imposed. They stated the choose within the case finally determined which of the 2 murders deserved the dying penalty, a call that the U.S. Supreme Court docket has dominated have to be made by a jury.
State attorneys argued that these claims had already been raised and rejected by courts.
When jurors beneficial the dying penalty for Morrow, they failed to point on their verdict kind which of his two homicide convictions merited the dying sentence — or whether or not each did. A few weeks after sentencing, in July 1999, the choose held a listening to and stated he acknowledged the judgment “was not totally compliant with the statute.” He entered a brand new order imposing a dying sentence particularly for the primary depend of the indictment, Younger’s homicide.
Morrow’s attorneys argue that is unconstitutional as a result of there was no indication of a unanimous jury determination that dying was the best sentence for both of the murders. It is attainable that some jurors might have thought dying was applicable for Younger’s homicide however not for the homicide of Woods and vice versa, they argued.
Morrow’s attorneys requested the choose to delay his execution to provide the court docket a chance to think about these arguments.
State attorneys stated that these arguments are procedurally barred after earlier courts rejected them. However even when they weren’t, Morrow’s dying sentence is not unconstitutional, they stated.
“The report clearly establishes that the jury beneficial a minimum of one dying sentence for Morrow’s murders,” they wrote.
A choose on Wednesday agreed with the state that the arguments had already been heard and dismissed the petition. Morrow’s attorneys appealed to the state Supreme Court docket.
Morrow killed Woods and Younger on Dec. 29, 1994, when he went to Younger’s residence to attempt to win her again. Woods instructed him to go away, saying Younger had simply been utilizing him for cash and companionship whereas her “actual man” was in jail. An lack of ability to correctly course of and specific feelings ensuing from a violent childhood triggered Morrow to snap, his attorneys wrote within the clemency petition.
Within the petition, Morrow’s attorneys ask the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to think about beatings and rape that Morrow suffered as a baby, proof the trial jury by no means heard. In addition they stated Morrow feels deep regret for the ache and loss he triggered the Woods and Younger households and is especially devastated at having disadvantaged Younger’s kids of their mom.
Morrow can be the primary prisoner put to dying by Georgia this yr if the execution goes ahead.