The Latest: US Supreme Court deciding on stay of execution


JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the scheduled execution of Georgia death row inmate John Conner (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

The execution of a Georgia inmate has been delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court reviews his request for a stay.

Lawyers for John Wayne Conner argued in a filing Thursday in federal court that executing him after he’d spent 34 years on death row would be unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment and would amount to double jeopardy. The challenge is now at the high court.

Conner was convicted of fatally beating his friend J.T. White during an argument after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana in January 1982. He was scheduled to be put to death at 7 p.m.

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5:30 p.m.

A federal court has rejected a filing by lawyers for a Georgia inmate scheduled to die that said his execution would be unconstitutional.

Lawyers for John Wayne Conner argued in their challenge Thursday that executing him after he’s spent 34 years on death row would be unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment and would amount to double jeopardy.

Conner is scheduled to be put to death Thursday evening by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson.

He was convicted of fatally beating his friend J.T. White during an argument after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana in January 1982.

He made similar arguments, as well as others, in a state court challenge that was rejected. The Georgia Supreme Court declined to overturn that ruling, and Conner’s attorneys have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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1 p.m.

Lawyers for a Georgia inmate scheduled to die have filed a challenge in federal court saying his execution would be unconstitutional.

Lawyers for John Wayne Conner argued in their challenge Thursday that executing him after he’s spent 34 years on death row would be unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment and would amount to double jeopardy.

Conner is scheduled to be put to death Thursday evening by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson.

He was convicted of fatally beating his friend J.T. White during an argument after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana in January 1982.

He made similar arguments, as well as others, in a state court challenge that was rejected. The Georgia Supreme Court declined to overturn that ruling, and Conner’s attorneys have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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10:45 a.m.

Georgia’s highest court has declined to halt the execution of an inmate set for execution.

In a 5-2 decision, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected an appeal by John Wayne Conner, who is scheduled to be put to death Thursday evening by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson.

Conner, who is now 60, was convicted of fatally beating his friend J.T. White during an argument after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana in January 1982.

The two dissenting justices said they would have let Conner appeal on the question of whether his execution more than 34 years after his sentencing amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

If carried out, the execution would be the sixth in Georgia this year and the most in a calendar year in the state since the death penalty was reinstated nationwide in 1976.

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3:30 a.m.

Georgia plans to execute a man convicted of killing a friend after a night of partying more than three decades ago.

John Wayne Conner is scheduled to be put to death Thursday evening by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson. The inmate, who is now 60, was convicted of fatally beating his friend J.T. White during an argument after a night of drinking and using marijuana in January 1982.

If carried out, the execution would be the sixth in Georgia this year and the most in a calendar year in the state since the death penalty was reinstated nationwide in 1976. Georgia executed five inmates last year and in 1987.

Conner’s lawyers have argued that the inmate is intellectually disabled and, therefore, shouldn’t be executed.

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