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Startseite Urgent Actions 2010 09 Execution imminent days after suicide attempt
UA 208/10
USA (Georgia)
Abgeschlossen am 27. September 2010

Hinrichtungstermin: 27. September

AI-Index: AMR 51/088/2010

Brandon Rhode soll am 27. September um Mitternacht im US-Bundesstaat Georgia hingerichtet werden. Er sollte bereits am Abend des 21. Septembers exekutiert werden. Doch der Oberste Gerichtshof von Georgia setzte die Hinrichtung aus, nachdem Herr Rhode versucht hatte, sich das Leben zu nehmen.

Wegen der Dringlichkeit auf Englisch: Brandon Rhode was scheduled to be killed by lethal injection at 7pm on 21 September 2010. That morning, his lawyers filed a motion for an emergency stay of execution in the Georgia Supreme Court. The lawyers had learned that Brandon Rhode had attempted suicide that morning and had been moved from death row for treatment at an undisclosed location. The motion stated that they had been given no information on their client’s “whereabouts, physical condition, mental condition, details of treatment, or drugs he may have ingested or been administered”. Effectively, Brandon Rhode was “without counsel and without access to the courts and remedies on the day of his scheduled execution”. The lawyers argued that Brandon Rhode could be “incompetent” for execution under US constitutional law, that is that he may not have a rational understanding of the reason for and reality of his punishment. They sought access to him and his medical and prison records.

The state Supreme Court stayed the execution. According to the Department of Corrections the stay is until 2pm on 23 September and is to give the lawyers time to file a claim on Brandon Rhode’s competence for execution. The original death warrant does not expire until 28 September, and the Commissioner of Corrections has reset the execution for 9pm on 24 September.

Brandon Rhode was sentenced to death in February 2000 for the murder of Steven Moss and his two children, aged 11 and 15, committed during a burglary of their home, on 23 April 1998.  His co-defendant Daniel Lucas was also sentenced to death and remains on death row without an execution date. Brandon Rhode was only 18 years old at the time of the crime. Almost all his adult life has been spent in pre-trial custody and then death row. Brandon Rhode’s background is one of deprivation, developmental problems, and substance abuse. An expert medical opinion concluded that has significantly impaired functioning due to exposure to alcohol as a foetus (see overleaf). On 17 September 2010, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency.

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