A nationwide judicial emergency has erupted as the state’s highest court is set to rule on whether to block the execution of convicted murderer Steven Allen McConaughey, who is set for execution on April 14.
The judge is due to rule this afternoon, and the governor has said the execution will take place.
Georgia has seen multiple judicial emergencies in recent years, including the one in 2008, which saw the state shut down for a month after the death of a teenager.
McConaugher is the most recent to be executed in the state.
He was convicted of killing his girlfriend in 2001 and murdering her three children, ages seven, nine and 13, before turning the gun on himself.
After a lengthy appeals process, McConaughy was found guilty and sentenced to death.
The state later appealed the death sentence to the US Supreme Court.
Following McConaghy’s execution, the US President tweeted: “Today is another sad day for our country and our law enforcement officers, who are doing everything they can to keep us safe.
McConnell said the state would consider whether to ask the US to stay McConachie’s execution pending appeal. “
Our justice system is broken and we must confront it head-on.”
McConnell said the state would consider whether to ask the US to stay McConachie’s execution pending appeal.
But it is unclear whether that request will be granted.
There are a number of issues on which the US government and Georgia may have differing views on whether the death penalty is the appropriate way to handle McConaeges crimes, including whether the US has the authority to use lethal injection, and whether it should be carried out on prisoners in the US.
McConaghie, who has been on death row for over 30 years, was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping.
His lawyers have argued that his conviction was flawed and argued he should be executed because he was suffering from a brain injury.
McConnell has said there is no evidence that McConaghey had mental illness, although the judge has said he has “serious doubts” about the allegations.
During his trial, McConnaughy’s defence team claimed McConagan was delusional and his defence lawyers had made false statements during his trial.
A jury found McConaghan guilty of armed robbery, murder, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
In an emotional statement following the verdict, McDonaghie’s family called for a federal investigation into his case.
On Tuesday, the Department of Justice filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to overturn McConahan’s conviction and put the death row inmate on death penalty.
That appeal was filed on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, which argued that McCONAGHIE’s death sentence was unconstitutional because he is disabled, his defence team argues is unconstitutional, and that his trial counsel did not disclose his mental illness.
Judge George Bunning will decide whether to grant the appeal in a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.