Georgia today executed John Wayne Conner by lethal injection for the 1982 murder of J.T. White during a drunken fight over Conner’s girlfriend, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. He was put to death 34 years and one day after he was convicted. He was the sixth murderer executed in Georgia this year, a record for the four decades the current death penalty law has been in place.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay shortly before midnight, clearing the way for the lethal injection of pentobarbital. The punishment had been scheduled for 7 p.m. last night but the appeals process was still playing out. A federal court rejected an appeal from Conner’s legal team yesterday afternoon. Conner’s lawyers wrote in appeals that Conner had learned to be violent from his father. They asked for mercy, arguing that evidence about his upbringing was not presented to the jury that sentenced him to death. They said Conner grew up in a household where there were stabbings, shootings, alcohol and drug use, and some sexual abuse. He has done well in prison and was reformed, they said.