A convicted serial killer known as the “Stocking Strangler” for terrorizing a Georgia city in the late 1970s isn’t interested in a special last meal before he’s scheduled to die — opting instead for a standard hamburger and hot dog, authorities said.
Carlton Gary, 67, was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 7 p.m. Thursday at Georgia’s Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, where he declined to receive a last meal, meaning he’ll receive a standard institutional tray of a hamburger, hot dog, white beans, coleslaw and a grape drink, the Ledger-Enquirer reports.
In last-minute appeals, attorneys for Gary cited the same evidence used last year while trying to get Gary a new trial or sentence in Muscogee Superior Court, where a judge rejected those motions in September, according to the newspaper.
Gary’s attorneys argued that the convicted murderer and rapist’s execution date was “prematurely set,” leaving him without time for a review by the US Supreme Court, which earlier set an April 16 deadline.
District Attorney Julia Slater opposed the stay, writing in a motion that Gary’s attorneys failed to show that the execution amounts to “cruel and unusual” punishment. She also noted that four decades have passed since the killings and that the US Supreme Court has previously held that crime victims “have an important interest in the timely enforcement” of a sentence.
“It is time for the state to be allowed to carry out its lawful sentence of death,” Slater wrote.
Gary was scheduled on Wednesday to have a clemency hearing in Atlanta, where Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles officials could commute his death sentence to life with parole or order a 90-day execution stay. The board previously declined to do either when Gary last appeared before it in 2009, according to the newspaper.
Gary was convicted in 1986 and later sentenced to death for murdering three women — Florence Scheible, 89, Martha Thurmond, 69, and Kathleen Woodruff, 74 — by strangling them in Columbus with their own stockings in 1977 and 1978, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Gary was also accused of killing four other women who were strangled with their stockings in the late 1970s, but he was not charged in those killings. Prosecutors used them at trial, however, to establish a pattern in the case, according to the Journal-Constitution.
If the execution is carried out, Gary — who told Vanity Fair in 2007 that his eyes were damaged by a lack of light in jail prior to his trial — would be the first inmate executed in Georgia this year.
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