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Who wins clemency in Georgia?


Since 1976, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles commuted the death sentences of these men on grounds similar to those put forward by lawyers for Kelly Gissendaner. The board granted clemency to three others on grounds of insanity or mental incapacity, factors not present in Gissendaner’s case. Years noted in parentheses are the years in which clemency was granted.

Samuel David Crowe (2008)

» The crime: Crowe was convicted of shooting an employee to death during a robbery of a firm where Crowe once worked.

» Arguments for clemency: Friends, pastors and a former corrections officer testified about Crowe’s exemplary behavior and deep remorse while on death row.

Freddie Davis (1988)

» The crime: Davis and another man were accused of raping and killing a woman. The other man testified against Davis in return for a life sentence but later recanted and said Davis was not in the room when the woman was killed.

» Arguments for clemency:Davis’ death sentence was disproportional to the life sentence given to his equally or more culpable codefendant.

Daniel Greene (2012)

» The crime: Greene, a recent high school graduate, was convicted of killing a former classmate and then attacking an elderly couple and a store clerk as he stole money to buy crack cocaine.

» Arguments for clemency: The prosecutor testified that he would have sought life without parole if that option had existed when Greene was sentenced. Community members and prison officials testified that Greene had otherwise led a peaceful and upstanding life.

Willie James Hall (2004)

» The crime: Hall was convicted of stabbing to death his estranged wife. The victim had called 911; the killing was recorded on tape.

» Arguments for clemency: Six jurors testified they would have chosen life without parole if it had been offered at trial. Hall’s excellent behavior in prison and no criminal record prior to the murder were also cited.

Charles Harris Hill (1977)

» The crime: Hill and two other men were involved in a burglary that went awry, resulting in a murder. The actual killer plead guilty and received a life sentence.

» Arguments for clemency: Death sentence was disproportional to the sentence given to his equally or more culpable codefendant, the actual killer.

William Moore (1990)

» The crime: Moore killed an elderly man in the course of a robbery. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death.

» Arguments for clemency: Moore’s exemplary prison record, remorse, religious conversion and the pleas for clemency from the victim’s family.

Tommy Waldrip (2014)

» The crime: Waldrip and two accomplices, including his son, were convicted of killing a man who was set to testify against Waldrip’s son in an armed robbery case. Both accomplices received life sentences.

» Arguments for clemency: The disproportionality of Tommy Waldrip’s sentence, given that he was not the impetus for the crime and that his son actually committed it.

Harold Williams (1991)

» The crime: Williams and his uncle were charged with the bludgeoning death of Williams’ grandfather. The uncle pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and received a 10-year sentence.

» Arguments for clemency: Williams’ death sentence was disproportional to the sentence given to his accomplice, who took full responsibility for the crime.

Sources: Death Penalty Information Center, American Bar Association, court documents in the Kelly Gissendaner case, news reports.


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