The Latest: Parole board declines to stop Georgia execution
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the scheduled execution of a Georgia man convicted of killing a convenience store clerk 25 years ago (all times local):
The Georgia parole board has declined to delay the execution of a man convicted of killing a convenience store clerk 25 years ago.
Ray Jefferson Cromartie is scheduled to die Wednesday evening. He was convicted of malice murder and sentenced to death for the April 1994 slaying of Richard Slysz at a convenience store in Thomasville.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence.
Cromartie took the unusual step of not filing a clemency petition. His lawyers said he couldn’t in good faith ask for a life sentence because he maintains he’s innocent.
But representatives for Cromartie asked the board to stay the execution to give federal courts time to consider whether DNA testing in the case could proceed. The board on Tuesday evening said it doesn’t have the authority to stay an execution for that reason, and also declined to commute his sentence.
Prison officials in Georgia are preparing to execute a man convicted in the killing of a convenience store clerk 25 years ago.
Ray Jefferson Cromartie is scheduled to die Wednesday evening at the state prison in Jackson. He was convicted of malice murder and sentenced to death for the April 1994 slaying of Richard Slysz at a convenience store in Thomasville, just inside Georgia’s southern border.
The state says Cromartie and another man entered a convenience store and shot Slysz. Authorities say Cromartie also shot and gravely injured another convenience store clerk a few days earlier.
Cromartie’s attorneys say he has maintained that he didn’t shoot either clerk. They’ve asked for DNA testing on evidence from the shootings but have so far been turned down by the courts.