Judge to study transcripts before decision in Ray Johnson case - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Judge to study transcripts before decision in Ray Johnson case

Judge Willie Lockette Judge Willie Lockette
Ray Johnson in court in 2014 Ray Johnson in court in 2014
Angela Sizemore, victim Angela Sizemore, victim

A judge decided to review additional transcripts before a decision on whether a death row inmate will get a new trial.

Convicted murderer and rapist Ray Johnson had a hearing Thursday morning in Dougherty County Superior Court before Judge Willie Lockette.

Just before noon, Judge Lockette told the court that he wanted time to study documents related to the case, before issuing his ruling on the defense's request for a new trial. He did not indicate when he would complete the review.

Johnson was sentenced to death in 1998 for the murder of Angela Sizemore. It was in 1994 when Sizemore, a young mother, was killed after she being raped and stabbed 41 times.

New evidence and conflicting attorney schedules have prolonged the case and Johnson's execution, over a decade later the victim's family says it's heartbreaking.

But according to legal experts it's much more complex. They said the death penalty is already a lengthy process and because there is no way to reverse the outcome, they have to be 100% sure.

In 2011 Johnson came within 24 hours of execution, but was able to receive a stay.

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