Georgia executes man for fatal beating in 1994

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A man who was convicted of fatally beating another man to death after a night of drinking and drug use in 1994 was put to death in Georgia.

Joshua Bishop, 41, received an injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson, and Warden Bruce Chatman announced his time of death as 9:27pm.

Bishop was convicted in the June 1994 killing of Leverett Morrison in Milledgeville. Bishop apologised to the people of Baldwin County and Morrison's family.

"I'd like to also thank all the people who have stood by me," he said.

He mouthed messages to several of his supporters who witnessed the execution, including at least one of his attorneys. He also appeared to pray.

Bishop received visits from 13 people, including friends, clergy members and lawyers, and ate a specially requested last meal that included a barbecue sandwich and Brunswick stew.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Thursday denied his request for clemency after holding a hearing a day earlier. State courts and the US Supreme Court rejected his appeals and declined to halt the execution.

Bishop spent June 19, 1994, drinking and using drugs with Morrison and a third man, Mark Braxley, according to court records. The records show they drank at a bar that evening and then went to Braxley's trailer, where they continued to drink and use drugs.

Morrison fell asleep and Braxley decided he wanted to take Morrison's Jeep to visit his girlfriend and instructed Bishop to take his keys. Morrison woke up as Bishop was trying to take his keys from his pocket, and Bishop hit him over the head with a piece of a closet rod to knock him out, according to the court filings.

Bishop told investigators he and Braxley both beat Morrison and, once they realised he was dead, they dumped his body between two trash bins and burned his Jeep.

While in custody, Bishop told police he and Braxley also had killed another man, Ricky Willis, about two weeks earlier, also at Braxley's trailer. Bishop told police he repeatedly punched Willis after Willis bragged he had sexually assaulted Bishop's mother and then Braxley cut Willis' throat, killing him.

Bishop and Braxley were both charged with murder and armed robbery in Morrison's death.

After a trial, a jury convicted Bishop and sentenced him to die. Braxley pleaded guilty and got life in prison with the possibility of parole.

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Topics : #United States

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