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Georgia death-row inmate: 'I'm still kicking'

Death-row inmate John Wayne Conner was eager to talk.

Introducing himself, with a broad grin that displayed several missing teeth, Conner said his name was

the same as the "little Terminator." That would be John Connor, the character in the “Terminator” movies who will lead a human revolt against the machines that have taken over the world.

Conner, 59, has been on death row for 33 years. As for his appeals, they've almost run out, he said.

"I'm hanging in there," he said. "I'm still kicking. In here, that's a good thing."

Conner was 25 years old in January 1982 when he got into a drunken fight with a friend and wound up killing him. Conner became angry when his friend told Conner he wanted to sleep with his girlfriend.

Conner was charged with murder by a Telfair County grand jury and the district attorney sought the death penalty. A jury sentenced him to death in 1982.

Thirty-three years later, Conner was eager to talk to his new visitors.

I met Conner during a tour of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson on Thursday. The tour, led by Warden Bruce Chatman, included one of the four pods that house the 80 inmates on death row.

As Conner talked on, Chatman told the group it was time to move on.

"He will engage with you all day," the warden said. "But there are some here who won't engage with you at all."

To read more about the prison tour and about Conner's hobby on death row, please go to for the rest of the story.

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Bill Rankin covers criminal justice for the Enterprise team.