(ATLANTA) — A Georgia man convicted of killing his ex-wife and her boyfriend extra than two a few years ago is scheduled to be carried out Wednesday.
Donnie Cleveland Lance, 66, is determined to discover a lethal injection at the dispute detention center in Jackson for the November 1997 killings of Sabrina “Joy” Lance and Dwight “Butch” Wooden Jr. in Jackson County, about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta.
Lance went to Wooden’s home the night of Nov. 8, 1997, kicked in the entrance door and shot Wooden in the entrance and lend a hand with a shotgun after which beat Joy Lance to demise with the butt of the shotgun, per a Georgia Supreme Court docket summary of the case.
Lance has consistently acknowledged he did no longer execute the pair.
There were no witnesses and no execute weapon became ever came all the contrivance thru. Lance’s legal professionals comprise argued that no blood or other bodily proof linked him to the killings but that investigators centered most effective on him from the open. Lawyers for the dispute comprise argued in court docket filings that the proof in opposition to Lance, “though circumstantial, became overwhelming.”
Prosecutors argued Lance had prolonged abused his ex-wife, each and every all the contrivance thru their marriage and after their divorce, and had threatened extra than one times to execute her. His legal professionals wrote in a clemency software that the 2 had a anxious relationship and that “alcohol abuse became a serious part in a history of mutual aggression.”
Lance’s legal professionals comprise sought DNA checking out on various pieces of proof, arguing the checking out might maybe maybe rule Lance out as the killer and will veil the person responsible.
Jackson County Superior Court docket Private Nicholas Primm in September declined a are waiting for of for DNA checking out and a new trial, asserting that in light of the complete proof presented at trial it’s unlikely the jury would comprise reached a diversified verdict if DNA results had been readily available. The Georgia Supreme Court docket declined to raise the case, and Lance’s legal professionals comprise requested the U.S. Supreme Court docket to step in.
Individually, Lance’s legal professionals filed a petition final month in Butts County Superior Court docket alleging that the prosecutor improperly packed the gargantuan jury with folk he knew would aspect with him. Since the gargantuan jury became no longer randomly chosen, Lance’s legal professionals argue, his demise sentence is invalid and unconstitutional.
Lawyers for the dispute countered that those arguments were beforehand raised and were rejected by the court docket. Towaliga Judicial Circuit Superior Court docket Chief Private agreed with the dispute and rejected the petition final week. His legal professionals comprise requested the Georgia Supreme Court docket to hear an enchantment of that decision and to discontinue his execution from going down in the length in-between.
Lance’s attorneys comprise furthermore requested the Disclose Board of Pardons and Paroles to spare his existence. The board, which is among the finest authority in Georgia with the power to commute a demise sentence, denied clemency after preserving a closed-door listening to Tuesday.
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In the clemency software, Lance’s legal professionals argued that Joy and Donnie Lance’s now-adult son and daughter already lost their mother and would undergo mighty extra if their father became carried out.
“We’ve spent our complete lives with this extensive gaping hole in our hearts, but no longer no longer as a lot as we’ve had dad at our facets,” Stephanie Lance Cape and Jessie Lance wrote in a letter to the parole board. “It’s nearly impossible to mediate that it might maybe well maybe in finding worse.”
Lance’s legal professionals furthermore effectively-known that the trial court docket refused a are waiting for of from his legal official for the appointment of a second lawyer and for funds to rent experts. He spent all his time making provocative for the guilt-or-innocence piece of the trial and didn’t veil any proof all the contrivance thru the penalty piece. The jury that sentenced Lance to demise heard nothing about his mental health points or tense brain injuries that affected his mental health functioning, the software says.
Lance has furthermore been a model inmate, with most effective two minor infraction all the contrivance thru his two a few years on demise row — having too many stamps and refusing to transfer to a diversified cell, the clemency software says.
Lance might maybe well be the major prisoner carried out in Georgia this twelve months.