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Clock ticking on Gregory Wilson’s execution: Issues of race, mental retardation, expiring chemicals, fundamental fairness

For background on Gregory Wilson’s execution scheduled for Sept. 16, please visit “Clock ticking on Gregory Wilson’s execution: Case background.”

Here are some concerns–voiced by both death penalty supporters and opponents–with the pending execution of Gregory Wilson:

  • Executing with a sleep drug that is about to expire poses a substantial risk of lingering pain.
  • Wilson was selected from among the three death row inmates awaiting execution orders because his case was the oldest. Any selection process in circumstances like these is the verdict of chance not the verdict of justice.
  • The Wilson legal defense began with the judge posting a notice on the court house door seeking volunteer lawyers to represent him. Wilson fired them because he thought they were incompetent and one was usually drunk. Wilson ended up giving his own closing argument without benefit of legal counsel.
  • Shortly before and after the Wilson execution, the state will furlough various state workers as part of an economizing plan.
  • Wilson’s lawyers are pressing claims in Kenton Circuit Court that he is mentally retarded.
  • Wilson, an African American, is one of three death row inmates for who execution warrants have been requested. The murder victim was white, Wilson’s accomplice was white. The two other death row inmates for whom execution warrants are being sought are white. He would be the first African-American executed in Kentucky since 1976.

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One Response

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  1. Pawley says

    Actually he will become the first African American executed in KY since before 1976 since Harold McQueen and the others executed since 1976 have all been white.

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