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Georgia board declines to spare Vietnam veteran the death pe
Tue Jan 13, 2015 01:49
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Georgia board declines to spare Vietnam veteran the death penalty
Reuters By David Beasley
10 hours ago
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By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Attorneys for a decorated Vietnam War veteran who is due to be executed for the killing of a sheriff's deputy lost a bid on Monday to have a Georgia parole board spare his life, officials said.

The execution of Andrew Brannan, 66, by lethal injection is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday. He is slated to be the first person executed in the United States in 2015, the Death Penalty Information Center said.

Brannan's lawyers asked the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute his sentence to life without parole because he was suffering from a combat-related mental disorder when he killed Laurens County Deputy Sheriff Kyle Dinkheller, 22, during a traffic stop in 1998.

The board said in a statement it denied the clemency request after thoroughly reviewing it and hearing testimony on Monday.

Brannan still has appeals pending in Georgia courts. By law, Georgia's governor does not have the power to grant last-minute clemency to a death row inmate.

The inmate's lawyers do not dispute he shot Dinkheller nine times during a traffic stop in an encounter caught on tape by the deputy's patrol car camera.

But they urged the parole board to consider the physical and mental toll of his combat duty in Vietnam.

Brannan received Army commendations and a Bronze Star for his service as an officer, his lawyer, Brian Kammer, said last week.

He was on full Army disability for post-traumatic stress disorder and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder before killing Dinkheller, Kammer said.

Brannan pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity at his trial. Some experts testified that during the shooting, he suffered a flashback from combat. But a court-appointed psychiatrist said Brannan was sane and may have killed the deputy because he believed the officer was being disrespectful.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Peter Cooney)


Pat Sullivan
If you were convinced that this thing called "Capital punishment" was unjust, would you oppose it?

If so, might we not consider as an example to demonstrate a principle here, that if you surprised a murderer in your home, and in the struggle rendered him unconscious, what would we consider the legal way to deal with the situation from there on in?

Does historical and statutory law not call for an end of the defensive struggle at that stage?

Certainly. Then calling for the proper authorities to claim the perpetrator and turn them over to lawful process.

Now in the instance of the state, how is it, that there is no threat from a person who is held on death row, and yet we allow the state to do, put to death, what we would never allow an individual to do?

Is the concept of justice not rooted in equal process of law?

If we accept equal process of law as a requirement of justice, must we not have the corporate state adhere to equal process also? Certainly.

If there are circumstances that allow the state to kill a hostage, called "Capital punishment" and an individual is never authorized to kill a hostage, does that not make the act of this thing called "Capital punishment," intrinsically unjust? If one can kill a hostage, the state, and one cannot, the individual, does that not make "Capital punishment" intrinsically unjust?

Are we not mostly all believers in justice? Do we not accept that justice is a divine concept that was gifted to us by our Good God?

If logic and common sense reveals that the process for the corporate state to put a person to death is intrinsically unjust, should we not act to stop it?

If we have already agreed to not allow a flesh and blood person to do a thing, kill a hostage, in what way could we ever agree to allow an artificial person, a corporation, to kill a hostage?

If flesh and blood cannot lawfully do a hostage killing, is there anyway whatsoever we should allow the artificial legal structure called a corporation, to kill a hostage?

As another aspect, might we only wonder if the fellow was under the influence of a potion(s) that he was not aware of at the time that he did the crime?

If he is put to death, might we not consider then that the state itself may become a party to destruction of evidence?

Do our higher-level impulses not guide us to mercy? Has our Good God not always taught us to have mercy?

Held for 16 years by a state that God condemned for making war. Is there not some human sensibility that will bring the people to disgorge this brutal, degrading thing called "Capital punishment?"

After what was done to Troy Davis by the corporate state of Georgia, is there not some sense of embarrassment that might block this horrific mind degrading experience from going forward?

After 100 plus years of war, some estimates give us that over half the people of this nation have lost part or all of their minds to the ways of our war sporting crowd.

With what we are talking about here, hostage killing, if we do not rid ourselves of these twin evils in our midst, war and Capital punishment, along with our hearts and minds, might we not lose our souls next?

American labor funded adventurers are sporting war and destroying literally thousands of innocent lives a week. For our merciless ways, might it not be good to pray for the mercy of God for what we have done and also have failed to do?

Will God not have mercy on Georgia? Might the good people of Georgia not awaken and end the prison house statehouse jester sporting of God's kids? Will the people of Georgia not work to protect their hearts, souls and minds from such leadership that has given us hostage killing for entertainment and amusement?

Have we forgotten the rules around here? "Thou shalt not kill?"

After over 100 years of such profoundly, patently false leadership as we have had here in America, do we not see that not only are our hearts, minds, and souls threatened with eternal damnation, but even our physical bodies are now in mortal danger from their nuclear disgrace?


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