South leads U.S. in number of executions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South leads U.S. in number of executions

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January 2, 2002

Albany-- More death sentences are being imposed in the South than any other region of the country. In 2002 86% of the nation's 71 executions took place in the South.

In Georgia, four people were put to death by lethal injection last year. That's tied with Virginia for fourth most executions.

The appeal's process for death row inmates averages more than eight years. Dougherty District Attorney Ken Hodges says that's too long, "I think the main reason executions take so long is because the judges sit so long on appeals.

The cases that go through the Supreme Court decided with a certain time frame. There are no time frames on habeas proceedings can sit on judges desk for years and often do."

Hodges says reforms need to be made, such as establishing how long a judge can take to make a decision on a capital case. Right now, 118 inmates are on Georgia's death row.

Posted by melissa.kill@walb.com