Clemency application: John Conner is worth more to Georgia alive than dead

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Convicted Telfair County murderer John Conner’s clemency application is available for public review.

Conner’s representatives are scheduled to meet with the state Board of Pardons and Paroles Wednesday, July 13 at 9 a.m.

Conner is scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

Conner received the death sentence for the January 1982 murder of James White in Telfair County, according to a news release from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

In the application, Conner’s representatives argue he is “a testament to the rehabilitative process” and “is of far greater service to the State of Georgia alive than dead.”

The application cites a letter from a retired corrections officer who supervised Conner on death row for eight years saying “John Conner is worth saving.”

Attorneys say Conner is remorseful for taking the lives of Jesse Smyth and J.T. White and the application is not meant to excuse his actions, but rather to give the board “context and an understanding of how Mr. Conner became a man capable of taking others’ lives.”

The application claims Conner grew up in a family where “vicious physical assaults, incest, sexual abuse, and alcoholism were the norm.”

Attorneys describe a rough childhood for Conner because of his father who “evokes fear and repugnance from an entire community.”

The application claims Conner has transformed himself into a valuable, productive and peaceful member of the prison population and developed an unwavering faith in God during his 34 year incarceration.

The application asks the board to change the death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Categories: Georgia News

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