The State of Georgia executed Carlton Gary last night. In 1986 I was juror #5 that convicted and sentenced Carlton to death. Based upon the evidence presented to me at trial, I was certain of his guilt. In the early 2000s I was prompted by the news of so many death row inmates being exonerated due to new DNA evidence that I did a year-long study (theological, economical, political, and legal) of the death penalty. Based on the intrinsic flaws that are found in it and upon the massive amounts of money it takes to keep a person on death row, I changed my mind about the death penalty and no longer support it. In recent months I was contacted by Carlton’s lawyers and a film crew. They presented me with COMPELLING and SUBSTANTIAL new evidence that was withheld from the jury on which I served. It included, among other significant things, the contradiction of an “eye-witness” and DNA evidence. In these months I’ve done what I could to overturn Carlton’s death sentence; even testifying before the Georgia State Pardons and Parole Board last Wednesday. They executed Carlton last night at 10:33pm. Along with others, Melissa and I stood vigil at the prison…it was the least I could do for Carlton. I grieve both for Carlton AND for the families of the victims. Thanks to my wife, Melissa, for standing with me through this and to close friends (even those who support the death penalty) who have prayed for me and journeyed with me through this process. It’s a burden I shall carry for awhile. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.
ALL human life matters.

~ by jackpickel on March 16, 2018.

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