Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Georgia executes Vietnam vet who killed deputy

The 1st Execution of 2015
Andrew Brannan a Vietnam veteran convicted of killing a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop in 1998 was executed in Georgia on January 13, 2015.
Brannan died by lethal injection at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson at 8:33 p.m., according to The USA Today.  Brannan was the first person executed in 2015.
Less than an hour before his execution, the U.S. Supreme Court had denied a request for stay of execution for Brannan. Earlier on Tuesday, the Georgia Supreme Court also denied a request for a stay.Brannan's lawyers argued before the State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday that the 66-year-old combat veteran was suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder and in the throes of an emotional flashback when he pulled a rifle from his pickup truck and exchanged gunshots with Lauren County Deputy Kyle Dinkheller 16 years ago.
The Georgia State Parole Board listened to both sides in the case on Monday.
The five members of the parole and pardons board had the authority to commute or lessen the sentence against Brannan. Attorneys for Brannan spent 3 1/2 hours laying out their case for clemency, asking that their client's sentence be commuted to life without parole instead of the death penalty.
In order to commute or reduce a sentence, three of the five board members must agree. Since 2002, the parole board has commuted five death sentences.
Dinkheller's murder after he stopped Brannan for speeding was captured on a video camera mounted on the officer's patrol car. In the 1998 dashcam, the veteran can be seen unloading his rifle at the deputy, shooting the husband and father nine times, killing him.
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