Published: Fri, March 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Protesters gather near execution site of 'Stocking Strangler' Carlton Gary

Protesters gather near execution site of 'Stocking Strangler' Carlton Gary

Gary was sentenced to death for murder, rape and burglary in the deaths of Florence Scheible, 89, Martha Thurmond, 69, and Kathleen Woodruff, 74.

Prosecutors linked Gary to the string of nine similar murders in Columbus-plus others earlier in the NY cities of Albany and Syracuse. Ranging in age from 59 to 89, the women were beaten, raped and choked, often with their own stockings. Seven died and two were injured in the attacks.

Lawyers for the state have long maintained Gary was behind all nine attacks, along with some similar attacks in NY state.

Prosecutors have consistently said the same man carried out all nine attacks.

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The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied clemency for death row inmate Carlton Gary. The parole board is the only authority in Georgia with power to commute a death sentence.

Stay with News Leader 9 for developments in the execution of Carlton Gary. A motion for a new trial last September was torpedoed. His trial attorney was also hobbled by a lack of resources for experts or investigators, they say.

Gary's attorneys, Jack Martin and Michael McIntyre, made a plea for clemency, arguing that DNA evidence and other developments after the 1986 trial brought the convictions into question.

In 2016, Eggers dropped his appeals after disagreements with his lawyers and asked the state for an "immediate execution in the interests of truth, law and justice".

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The arguments in the clemency petition have previously been raised in court filings, and lawyers for the state have consistently disputed their validity.

DNA testing of body fluids from crime scenes was not available at the time and subsequent testing clears Gary, his lawyers said, adding his confession was coerced and shoe print evidence that could have helped Gary's defense was withheld. But that testing couldn't be done because the samples were contaminated at a state crime lab.

Gary was arrested for the crimes in May 1984, six years after the last killing, when a gun stolen from one of the victim's homes traced back to him.

Two murderers have been executed by lethal injection in the U.S., but doubt remains as to their guilt, supporters say. That's significant, Gary's lawyers assert, because the woman had dramatically identified Gary as her attacker during his trial, and the prosecution relied heavily on her testimony. He also has been linked to almost identical attacks in Georgia and NY and he admitted to being at the crime scenes in both states but blamed the rapes and killings on others, claims that were never corroborated, they say.

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About an hour before the planned execution in Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the appeal, allowing that lethal injection to take place.

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