Georgia executes mentally-disabled man for 1996 murder


Kenneth Fults, 47, was put to death by lethal injection Tuesday night.

The state of Georgia has executed a mentally-disabled African American who pleaded guilty to murdering his white next-door neighbor in 1996, the state’s attorney general said.
Kenneth Fults, 47, was put to death by lethal injection Tuesday night. He was pronounced dead at 7:37 pm at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification near Jackson.
The UK-based Amnesty International said that Fults’ trial has been “heavily flawed by racial bias and legal inadequacies.”
On Monday, Fults was denied a clemency petition, filed based on his abusive upbringing and intellectual disability.
The petition had asked the state’s parole board to reduce Fults’ death sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He had been on death row for 19 years.
His lawyers raised fairness issues with the high court over racist comments made by a juror in his 1997 case.
Former jurors on the case have since signed affidavits saying that Fults’ attorney made little effort to defend his client, and was even caught sleeping during the court proceedings.
It was the fourth execution in Georgia this year and the 12th in the .
“Virtually every execution that’s happened in Georgia has been emblematic of problems with the death penalty,” Jason Clark, Amnesty International’s senior death penalty campaigner, said.
Fults was convicted of shooting 19-year-old Cathy Bounds five times in the back of the head after breaking into her home in Spalding County.
In February, Georgia executed its oldest death row inmate days before his 73rd birthday after courts rejected his request for a stay of execution.
Brandon Jones, also an African American, was put to death with lethal injection at the Georgia Department of Corrections in Jackson, after spending more than 36 years behind bars for the murder of a white Atlanta store manager in 1979.
The state suspended executions for several months last year following a controversy over the drugs used in its lethal injections.

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