Re: Jones and Baldwin counties have more inmates on DR
Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:42am
ON DEATH ROW
BALDWIN COUNTY John W. Hightower Age: 61 On July 12, 1987, apparently after a domestic squabble, 44-year-old John W. Hightower of Baldwin County shot and killed his wife, Dorothy, and her two daughters, Sandra Reaves, 22, and Evelyn Reaves, 19. John Hightower told detectives he had planned to kill himself, but he was arrested in nearby Putnam County before he could. John Hightower was sentenced to die for the three murders.
Joshua Bishop Age: 31 Joshua Bishop was tried in early 1996 for malice murder and armed robbery in the death of Leverette Morrison, a Milledgeville native who had been visiting from Savannah. Morrison was visiting his children in Milledgeville at the time of his death in June 1994.
An autopsy showed that Morrison was beaten on the head and face with a blunt object. However, a murder weapon was never found.
Authorities have said Bishop and Mark Braxley wrapped his body in a sheet, placed it near a trash bin, and burned Morrison's 1984 Jeep Wagoneer near a pond. Braxley pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence for murder.
Braxley, Morrison and Bishop had all been drinking together before the killing.
Robert Wayne Holsey Age: 40 Robert Wayne Holsey was sentenced to die for the murder of Baldwin County sheriff's deputy Will Robinson. Early in the morning of Dec. 17, 1995, Robinson responded to an armed robbery at a convenience store in which the suspect was seen driving away in a red Ford Probe. Four minutes after the robbery, Robinson stopped a car fitting that description in a motel parking lot not far from the scene. A gun battle ensued, and Robinson died of a wound to the head. Within four hours, Holsey was in custody.
Robert Earl Butts Age: 28 Marion Wilson Age: 29 Robert Earl Butts and Marion Wilson were each convicted separately for the March 28, 1996, shotgun slaying of Donovan Corey Parks. Wilson was sentenced to death in 1997, while Butts was sentenced to death the following year.
District Attorney Fred Bright built his case around evidence that Parks gave Butts and Wilson a ride from the Wal-Mart on North Columbia Street but was later forced to drive to Felton Street, off Ga. 49. The 24-year-old victim was found face down on a rural street with a fatal gunshot wound to the back of the head. His wallet and car were missing. His blue Acura Vigor was found burning in Macon the next day.
Eddie W. Finney Jr. Age: 49 Eddie Finney was sent to death row for killing two Macon women. Finney, along with Johnny Mack Westbrook, kidnapped, robbed, bound and then beat to death the women, Thelma Kalish, 67, and Ann Kaplan, 65, in September 1977. Westbrook was sentenced to death but that sentence was later overturned.
Keith Tharpe Age: 47 Keith Tharpe was convicted in 1991 for kidnapping and murder. Tharpe kidnapped his sister-in-law, Jacquelyn Freeman, and then killed her in September 1990. Tharpe kidnapped his wife in the same incident, though she was able to escape.
Daniel Lucas Age: 27 Brandon Rhode: Age: 26 Daniel Lucas and Brandon Rhode are on death row for killing a father and his two children. On April 23, 1998, Kristin and Bryan Moss stepped off their school buses and into their home, followed minutes by their father, Steven Moss. They interrupted a burglary inside their Griswoldville Road home and were shot a total of 13 times.
SOURCE: Telegraph archives
DEATH PENALTY FACTS
Since 1973, more than 120 people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence. Five inmates in Georgia have been exonerated during this period.
Georgia ranks ninth in the United States in the number of death row inmates with 107.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, the South has the highest murder rate, and accounts for more than 80 percent of all executions.
GEORGIA CASES CHANGE U.S. LAW In Furman v. Georgia in 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated all death penalty laws in the country based on the inherent arbitrariness of their application. Capital punishment was suspended between 1973 and 1976.
In 1976, in Gregg v. Georgia, the court upheld Georgia's new capital-sentencing procedures, concluding that they had sufficiently reduced the problem of arbitrary and capricious imposition of death associated with earlier statutes.
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