Vigils across Georgia to protest McClain’s execution

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Georgians For Alternatives to the Death Penalty (GFADP) is holding nine rallies across Georgia on Tuesday to protest the scheduled execution of Mark McClain.

McClain is on death row for the 1994 murder of a manager of an Augusta Domino’s Pizza, Kevin Brown, during a robbery that yielded under $100. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied McClain clemency on Friday.

“We mourn the loss of Kevin Brown, the life taken by Mr. McClain, and our hearts go out to his family in their grief,” James Clark, coordinator of GFADP, said in a statement. “But we ask the state not to respond by taking another life and forcing another family to experience that same loss and grief.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted Monday that McClain was one of 55 people in Georgia convicted of committing a murder during an armed robbery. Prosecutors sought the death penalty in 16 of those cases and McClain was the only one to receive a death sentence.
From the AJC:

In their final appeals, McClain’s lawyers contend the condemned inmate’s sentence was out of line when compared with those in similar armed-robbery murders.

“Since Mr. McClain’s death sentence was imposed, literally hundreds of defendants in similar cases — and for the most part cases involving far more horrendous facts — have escaped even the prospect of being sentenced to death because prosecutors don’t seek it,” said Brian Kammer, one of McClain’s lawyers.

“His death sentence on the facts of this case, as tragic as they are, is unique and represents an arbitrary and freakish imposition of the ultimate punishment.”

Richmond County District Attorney Ashley Wright noted that McClain’s jury heard the evidence and recommended a death sentence, which has been upheld on appeal. “The case is following the proper progression,” she said.

Here’s more from GFADP:

The botched attempted execution of Romell Broom in Ohio and the new evidence confirming the innocence of Cameron Todd Willingham, executed by Texas in 2004, both call into question the state’s ability to carry out the ultimate punishment.  Many studies have also demonstrated the increased financial burden capital punishment places on the state.  At a time when many Georgians face a loss of essential services due to mounting economic hardship, capital punishment is a dangerous and unnecessary drain on the state’s resources.

The FBI released a report in September that revealed the murder rate in 2008 was higher in states that practice the death penalty versus those who do not.
McClain is set to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. tomorrow night. Below is a complete list of GFADP vigils.
Jackson

Georgia’s Death Row, 6:30 p.m.

Contact: James Clark, 404-512-5743, jclark@gfadp.org

Atlanta

State Capitol on the Washington St. side, 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Peggy Hendrix, 404-771-8940, peggyhendrix2000@yahoo.com

Americus

Post office at Prince St. & Forsyth St., Noon

Contact: Elizabeth Dede, 229-591-0114, elizbeth@koinoniapartners.org

Athens

UGA Arch on E. Broad St., 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Laura Kagel, 706-254-7880, laura.kagel@gmail.com

Augusta

Public Library, 902 Greene St., 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Pat Seaborn, 706-951-4464, sassycborn@aol.com

Clarkesville

Clarkesville Courthouse, 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Anne Hall, 706-754-7071, alanmhall@windstream.net

Macon

City Hall, 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Mary Palmer Legare, 804-387-2454, am91@cox.net

Marietta

Cobb County Courthouse, Cherokee St./Roswell St., 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Sheila Strider, 770-633-9106, shstrider@aol.com

Savannah

City Hall, 5:00 p.m.

Contact: Martina Correia, 912-484-0344, aug1970@bellsouth.net

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