ATLANTA – The Latest on legal challenges filed by a Georgia death row inmate who's scheduled to die this week. All times local:
Lawyers for a Georgia death row inmate set to die this week are asking the state's highest court to throw out his sentence, arguing that it's disproportionate to his crime.
Brandon Astor Jones was convicted in the 1979 killing of Cobb County convenience store manager Roger Tackett. Jones is scheduled for execution Tuesday.
Jones' lawyers argued in a court filing Monday that even at the time when he was convicted, a death sentence for a murder during a robbery at a place of business was rare. The lawyers say that it has become even more unusual recently, with no death sentences imposed for a murder during an armed robbery in Georgia in the past 20 years.
The lawyers say that makes Jones' death sentence excessive and, therefore, unconstitutional.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles plans to consider a clemency request from the state's oldest death row inmate.
The board plans to hold a hearing on the request from Brandon Astor Jones on Monday. The 72-year-old is scheduled for execution at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the state prison in Jackson.
The parole board is the only entity in Georgia with the authority to commute a death sentence.
Jones was convicted in the 1979 killing of Cobb County convenience store manager Roger Tackett.
A federal judge granted Jones a new sentencing hearing because jurors had improperly been allowed to bring a Bible into the deliberation room. He was resentenced to death in 1997.
Another man convicted in the killing, Van Roosevelt Solomon, was executed in 1985.