Friday, June 21, 2019

Death penalty milestone: 1,500th execution during modern era

The 10th Execution of 2019
Marion Wilson was executed in Georgia on June 20, 2019 making him the 1,500 person executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, reported Vox.
Wilson was convicted in 1997 for committing a murder on the night of March 28, 1996, according to the Georgia Office of the Attorney General. Wilson, who was 18 at the time, and Robert Earl Butts, a fellow gang member, approached Donovan Corey Parks, an off-duty corrections officer, in a Walmart store. They asked Parks for a ride, and witnesses saw the three men get in Parks’s car together. Shortly after, Parks was found face-down, dead on a residential street.
Wilson was indicted for multiple counts — malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery, hijacking a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a sawed-off shotgun — and was sentenced to death on November 7, 1997. (Butts, who was also convicted of murder, was executed last year.)
Wilson appealed multiple times — unsuccessfully. In a last-minute attempt to dodge his execution, Wilson petitioned to have his sentence commuted to life without parole, arguing that he did not actually pull the trigger and the prosecution exaggerated his juvenile record and gang affiliation in order to secure a death penalty.
The board denied his petition Thursday. Wilson died by lethal injection at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.
Wilson is the second person in the state to have been executed despite not committing the killing — the first being Kelly Gissendaner, who was convicted of planning and covering up her husband’s murder, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
Georgia especially is tightly intertwined with the history of the death penalty: A lawsuit over Georgia’s use of capital punishment in 1972 led to a moratorium on the death penalty in the United States. Four years later, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for another Georgia convict in Gregg v. Georgia, leading to its reinstatement.
Since then, Georgia has executed more people than all but five states, and the South has carried out the vast majority of executions: 1,227 of 1500, including Wilson’s, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
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