The Latest: Lawyers seek to prevent Georgia man’s execution

The Latest on the scheduled execution of Gregory Paul Lawler in Georgia. (all times local):

11:05 a.m.

Lawyers for a Georgia prisoner scheduled for execution this week argue their client should be granted a new trial because of a recent autism diagnosis.

Gregory Paul Lawler is scheduled to die Wednesday by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson.

The 63-year-old was convicted of murder in the October 1997 shooting death of Atlanta police Officer John Sowa. Authorities say Lawler also critically injured Officer Patricia Cocciolone.

His lawyers on Monday asked a judge to halt his execution and to grant an emergency request for a new trial, saying the court cannot be confident Lawler would receive a death sentence if jurors were aware that he suffered from autism spectrum disorder.

In a separate filing Tuesday, Lawler’s lawyers argued his execution would violate his constitutional rights.

___

3:25 a.m.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles is scheduled to hear arguments for clemency from representatives of an inmate scheduled for execution this week.

Gregory Paul Lawler is scheduled to die Wednesday by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson. A clemency hearing is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The 63-year-old was convicted of murder in the October 1997 shooting death of Atlanta police Officer John Sowa. Authorities say Lawler also critically injured Officer Patricia Cocciolone.

Prosecutors say Lawler shot the officers as they tried to bring his intoxicated girlfriend home.

Lawler’s lawyers say a recent autism diagnosis helps explain his actions the night the officers were shot. They’re seeking a commutation of his sentence.

Lawler would be the seventh Georgia inmate executed this year.



comments powered by Disqus