Georgia executes suicidal inmate after delays; attorney claimed ‘torturous treatment’

By Greg Bluestein, AP
Monday, September 27, 2010

Ga. executes suicidal inmate after delays

JACKSON, Ga. — A Georgia prisoner who tried to kill himself last week by slashing his arms and throat with a razor blade has been executed.

Brandon Joseph Rhode was put to death Monday night by lethal injection at the state prison at Jackson. The 31-year-old man was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m. by prison officials.

The U.S. Supreme Court had earlier denied an appeal claiming that Rhode was subjected to inhumane treatment and was not mentally competent to be executed. The nation’s high court on Monday rejected pleas for a stay.

Rhode was sentenced to die for the 1998 killings of Steven Moss, 37, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin during a burglary.

His execution was pushed back several times after his Sept. 21 suicide attempt.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia authorities are trying for the third time in a week to put to death a convicted killer who attempted suicide with a razor blade hours before his initial execution date.

Brandon Joseph Rhode is set to die at 7 p.m. Monday.

The 31-year-old was convicted in 2000 of killing a father and two children during a burglary in their central Georgia home.

Rhode slashed his throat and arms hours before his Tuesday execution date, requiring hospitalization. The execution was then pushed back to Friday night amid ongoing appeals, but the state court postponed it again until Monday evening.

Rhode’s attorneys say the execution should be delayed until judges can evaluate whether he’s competent to be executed or understands why he’s being punished.

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