Lawyers cite troubled past in plea to spare inmate's life
Posted May 11
ATLANTA — Lawyers for a Georgia inmate scheduled for execution next week are asking the state parole board to spare his life, citing a rough childhood, substance abuse from an early age and intellectual disability.
J.W. Ledford Jr. is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday. He was convicted of murder in the January 1992 stabbing death of his neighbor, 73-year-old Dr. Harry Johnston, near his home in Murray County, in northwest Georgia.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles plans to hold a meeting Monday to hear arguments for or against granting clemency. The board is the only authority in Georgia with power to commute a death sentence.
Ledford's lawyers say courts have been legally or procedurally barred from considering some of the most compelling reasons for sparing the 45-year-old's life.