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United States of America: The death penalty in Georgia: racist, arbitrary and unfair

, Index number: AMR 51/025/1996

Georgia has carried out the fifth highest number of executions in the USA since 1977. As of 31 January 1996, 20 prisoners had been executed and 103 remained under sentence of death. The death penalty in Georgia continues to be used in a manner that is racist, arbitrary and unfair. This report examines examples of racism and the death penalty (the case of Wilburn Dobbs); inadequate legal representation (the case of John Young); the execution of juvenile offenders (the case of Christopher Burger) and the mentally retarded (the case of Jerome Bowden); innocent men sentenced to death (the case of Jerry Banks); and the use of clemency (the case of William Hance). Amnesty International is calling on the Georgia authorities to implement a full and impartial review of all the stages of the use of the death penalty in the state and to implement a moratorium on new death sentences and executions until the review has been implemented.

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