John Wayne Conner, 60, was convicted in 1982 of killing a man after the man said he wanted to have sex with Conner's then-girlfriend. The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Wednesday rejected a clemency petition filed by Conner's lawyers. Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Corrections
ATLANTA, July 14 (UPI) -- Georgia's State Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected a clemency request from a 60-year-old man facing a lethal injection execution Thursday evening for a murder conviction 34 years ago.
The board did not explain why it rejected clemency for John Wayne Conner, whose lawyers urged the board to consider his violent upbringing when considering the clemency request.
"A child's sense of normalcy is defined not by the outside world's social norms, but rather by his immediate family and home life," the clemency petition said. "For young John Wayne Conner, normalcy included extraordinary familial violence that frequently involved knives and guns; regular drug and alcohol abuse; and brutal physical, sexual and emotional abuse."
Conner was convicted of killing J.T. White in 1982. The men had spent an evening at a party but wanted to continue drinking in Conner's house. They sought a ride to a liquor store from a neighbor who refused.
On the way back to Conner's house, the pair got into a fight when White said he wanted to have sex with Conner's girlfriend. Conner, who was 25 at the time, beat White, who was 29, with a quart bottle and an oak tree branch.
Conner left White in a ditch and returned to his house to leave town with his girlfriend. Before leaving, Conner stopped by the ditch one more time to make sure White was dead. Conner beat him with a tree limb and stabbed him with a stick. Conner and his girlfriend were arrested the following day.
Conner pleaded guilty to killing another man about three months following his death sentence. Conner would be the sixth person Georgia executes within a year. Georgia has not executed more than five people within a year in the 40 years since the state reinstated the death penalty
Conner has requested 10 pieces of fried catfish, 10 hush puppies, two triple deluxe bacon hamburgers, two pints of vanilla ice cream and one sliced raw onion as his last meal.