Sunday, November 17, 2019

Georgia executes man who sat on death row 25 years

The 20th Execution of 2019
Ray Jefferson Cromartie was sentenced to die for the murder of Richard Slysz, a food store clerk in Thomasville, Ga., in April 1994, reported The Marshall Project. His execution originally scheduled for October 30 was stayed at the last moment.
The day before Slysz's death, Cromartie went to the Madison Street Deli armed with a borrowed .25-caliber and found Dan Wilson washing pans. Cromartie shot Wilson in the neck and then tried to get into the deli's register. A surveillance camera captured the sound of the shots from the back of the restaurant and an image of Cromartie trying to open the register.
The next day, he asked his cousin if he heard about the shooting and took credit for it. Later that day, April 8, 1994, Cromartie and two others headed for the Junior Food Store. Cromartie and Corey Clark went into the store while Thaddeus Lucas waited in the car, believing they were there to steal beer.
Moments later, Cromartie shot Slysz twice in the head. Cromartie and Clark then tried and failed to open the register, so they left only with two 12-packs of Budweiser. A passing motorist saw them running from the store when they dropped one of the beers on the ground.
Cromartie was tied to the crime because he left behind a footprint and a thumbprint. Lucas and Clark testified against Cromartie. They were sentenced to prison, and Cromartie was sentenced to die.
His appeals over the years focused on several issues. His unsuccessful claims included certain jurors should not have been seated, evidence was suppressed and his lawyer failed to find it, false testimony was allowed and one of the jurors made her decision to vote for death after reading a particular Bible verse.
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