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Georgia Executes Prisoner Willie Pye After 4-Year Pause in Capital Punishment

HeadlineMar 21, 2024

In Georgia, prison officials executed Willie James Pye in the state’s first execution in over four years. Fifty-nine-year-old Willie Pye was put to death with an injection of pentobarbital after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a clemency appeal despite his lawyers arguing he was “intellectually disabled” and that the state of Georgia was not ready to resume executions after halting the practice during the pandemic. Pye’s supporters and anti-death penalty advocates gathered for a vigil Wednesday ahead of his execution. Cathy Harmon-Christian is executive director of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Cathy Harmon-Christian: “On the death certificate, it will say 'homicide.' The state is committing homicide, and that’s what’s on Willie Pye’s death certificate. … The drug itself for this particular lethal injection, to my knowledge, is a single-dose drug, and my understanding is that what it will do, it will boil — Willie Pye will experience boiling in his own blood.”

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