The state of Georgia is scheduled to execute Marcus Ray Johnson this evening. Johnson was convicted of a 1994 rape and murder and sentenced to death. He has maintained his innocence since his conviction in 1994.
Johnson's attorney asked the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Johnson's death sentence or delay his execution for 90 days to allow for additional DNA testing that could exonerate his client. The board denied the request last night, clearing the way for his execution.
"The U.S. capital punishment system is costly and broken, and the death penalty itself is cruel and inhuman" said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "It risks taking the lives of the wrongly convicted and wastes resources without deterring crime. It's time to end the death penalty once and for all."
Amnesty International USA opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. As of today, 140 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. The U.S. was one of only nine countries in the world that carried out executions each year between 2009 and 2013.