Clemency hearing set for convicted Telfair murderer
ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – John 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.
A summary of the facts of the from the Georgia Supreme Court is as follows:
Conner, who was living in Milan at the time, rode with friends, including White, to a party in Eastman on January 9, 1982. They went back to Milan around midnight. Conner told investigators White made a suggestive comment to Conner about his girlfriend. Conner said he and White got into a fight and Conner took a stick and beat White with it. White’s body was found in a drainage ditch near Milan Elementary School. Injuries on his forehead looked like a tennis shoe. Conner tried to leave town with his girlfriend, but they were caught in Butts County.
He was indicted for malice murder, armed robbery and motor vehicle theft.
A jury found Conner guilty as charged on July 14, 1982, sentencing him to death.
May 24, 1983, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed Conner’s convictions for malice murder and motor vehicle theft and his death sentence, but reversed his conviction for armed robbery, according to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.
The United States Supreme Court denied Conner’s request to appeal in February 2016.
In Georgia, the Parole Board has the sole constitutional authority to grant clemency and commute, or reduce a death sentence to life with the possibility of parole or to life without the possibility of parole after an inmate has exhausted all judicial avenues of relief.
The board maintains a comprehensive file on each inmate on death row which includes the history of the life of the condemned inmate, the inmate’s criminal history and the circumstances of the offense that was committed resulting in the death sentence.
Board officials expect the meeting to be closed and add no public comment will be taken.