The state of Georgia has executed an inmate on death row for murder. However, this execution was insulting and ironic.

Execution in Georgia state prison

Convicted murderer, J.W. Ledford, 45, was executed at 1:17 a.m. Wednesday morning at the state prison in Jackson, GA. When officials asked Ledford if he cared to make a final statement he grinned.

"What we have here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach," said Ledford. "I am not the failure. You are the failure to communicate.” he continued, a quote from the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke”.

The microphone was shut off while Ledford continued to talk, so what was said is unknown.

According to witnesses, Ledford closed his eyes, took a few deep breaths, and was suddenly still.

What did Ledford do?

Ledford was incarcerated in 1992 after murdering his neighbor, Dr. Harry Johnson, 73 .

Ledford told authorities that he went to Johnston's residence on Jan. 31, 1992 to ask for a ride to the store. Johnson faulted him for stealing and smacked him. Ledford pulled out a knife and stabbed Johnston twice in the neck, resulting in his death.

Ledford dragged Johnston’s deceased body to another part of the property to cover it. Ledford then went into Johnston's home and threatened Johnston’s wife with the same knife he just used to murder her husband. He demanded money, and made off with cash and four guns. Later in the day Ledford was caught and arrested.

Requesting clemency

Ledford’s attorneys requested clemency from the parole board claiming a history of substance abuse, intellectual disability, and a rough childhood. After a hearing on Monday, the parole board declined the request with no reason given.

Ledford's attorneys requested a firing squad be used as means of execution instead of Lethal Injection, their argument, lethal injection would be too painful due to the changes in his brain chemistry from the drug Ledford was on for chronic nerve pain.

Ledford’s attorneys stated that lethal injection would infringe the proscription against cruel and unusual punishment protected in the Eight Amendment. The notion was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which rejected it and demanded the execution be carried on as planned.

Since 2016, the state of Georgia has executed nine inmates, a record since the resuming of the death penalty 40 years ago.

However, Arkansas is not far behind with a goal to execute eight inmates in 11 days.

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