Clemency denied by State Board of Pardons and Paroles for Carlton Gary

Clemency denied by State Board of Pardons and Paroles for Carlton Gary

Clemency denied by State Board of Pardons and Paroles for Carlton Gary

A lawyer for a Georgia inmate known as the "stocking strangler" says newly discovered evidence proves his client's innocence, and his scheduled execution this week would be a "stain on the State of Georgia".

A hearing was held on Wednesday to review Gary's bid for clemency.

Carlton Gary, 67, was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 7 p.m. Thursday at Georgia's Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, where he declined to receive a last meal, meaning he'll receive a standard institutional tray of a hamburger, hot dog, white beans, coleslaw and a grape drink, the Ledger-Enquirer reports.

In August of 1986, Gary was convicted in Muscogee County of three counts of malice murder, three counts of rape and three counts of burglary and sentenced to death.

Women between the ages of 55 and 89 became the target of nine rapes and seven strangulation deaths-sparking fear and sense of terror in the prosperous suburb.

In last-minute appeals, attorneys for Gary cited the same evidence used a year ago while trying to get Gary a new trial or sentence in Muscogee Superior Court, where a judge rejected those motions in September, according to the newspaper.

His "convictions and sentences have been exhaustively reviewed for the past 30 years in both state and federal court and found to be constitutionally sound", state lawyers wrote in a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court. But that testing couldn't be done because the samples were contaminated at a state crime lab.

DNA evidence found on clothing taken from the home of a victim who survived an attack and dramatically identified Gary at trial did not match his DNA, his lawyers wrote.

In 2009, just hours before Gary's first execution date, the Georgia Supreme Court ordered a stay in order to allow DNA testing of the semen found at the crime scenes, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

However, when asked about the latent fingerprints and Gary's own admission to being involved in the burglaries at the murder scene, Martin said, "We're not asking for Mr. Gary to get out of jail". The other evidence his lawyers claim exonerates him is largely based on duelling expert testimony, state lawyers say. If executed, he will be the 48th inmate put to death by lethal injection.