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"Lies got me sentenced to death for a crime I did not commit,"

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William Mark Mize - Georgia Death Row - Scheduled Execution
Scheduled Executions
Upcoming Executions
Start : Thursday 30 April 2009, 0:00
End : Thursday 30 April 2009, 0:00

William Mark Mize - Georgia Death Row - Execution set for April 29, 2008


Victims: Eddie Tucker

The Crime: William Mark Mize - a self-proclaimed Ku Klux Klan member who was convicted in Oconee County Superior Court in 1995 for killing one of his followers - seems to be on track to follow Lynd to the death chamber.

In death penalty cases, 15 to 20 years may pass between conviction and execution, according to legal experts, who said Mize could find himself in the death chamber by the second half of 2009.

Death penalty cases, because of the high stakes involved, have built-in protections and lengthy appeals.

Five convicts from the Athens area await execution on Georgia's death row, and Mize is "the farthest one along" in the appeals process, according to Russ Willard, spokesman for Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker.

"It sounds like it's pretty much on schedule" for Mize to be executed next year, said Ron Carlson, a professor at the University of Georgia's School of Law.

Mize, who headed a group called the National Vastilian Aryan Party, executed a member of the group who didn't carry out an order to burn down a crack house in Athens, according to court documents. Mize killed Eddie Tucker with a shotgun in a wooded area of Oconee County.

Mize has taken every opportunity to save himself through protections provided by law, according to Carlson.

The Georgia Supreme Court automatically reviewed Mize's case for any problems during the trial - questioning whether inappropriate evidence was allowed or if the jury convicted without enough evidence, according to Willard.

But the court affirmed Mize's conviction in 1998, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider his appeal in 1999.

Like all death row inmates, Mize also has the right to try to have his conviction overturned by proving in state or federal courts that his constitutional rights were violated.

Mize failed in state court but has an appeal pending in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; he is awaiting a decision after justices heard a new round of arguments last February, according to Willard.

"If the 11th Circuit denies relief, Mize can file a motion to reconsider," Willard said, and then take his case to the court of last resort.

"After he appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, that's when we sign an execution order, so he basically is at his next-to-last stop" in the appeals process, Willard said.

The U.S. Supreme Court suspended capital punishment in 1972, finding the punishment was cruel and unusual, but executions were reinstated in 1976.

Georgia's death row currently holds 105 men and one woman, according to the state Department of Corrections.

A second man is scheduled to be executed in Georgia this month - a convicted murderer sentenced to death in Douglas County in 1989 is scheduled for lethal injection on May 22.

In addition to Mize, the other locals on Georgia's death row are Leonard Maurice Drane, sentenced in Elbert County in September 1992; Donnie Cleveland Lance, sentenced in Jackson County in June 1999; and Robert Wayne Holsey, sentenced in Morgan County in February 1997.

Only Holsey's case has made it to the federal appeals court, Willard said, while the other two remain at the state court level.

The state Supreme Court sent the case of a fifth area death-row inmate, Michael Miller, back to Walton County Superior Court for a hearing to decide if he is mentally retarded. Georgia lawmakers outlawed executing mentally retarded people in July 1988, four months before Miller was convicted of murder.

News: The Georgia Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution to white supremacist William Mark Mize, who was to be put to death tonight at 7 p.m.

The court said it was granting the stay because Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens of Athens, who is overseeing Mize’s final appeal, failed to make an explicit ruling denying Mize’s motion for a new trial.

The court said its stay of execution will dissolve 24 hours after Stephens issues a proper order denying Mize’s appeal.

Mize, 52, was sentenced to death in Oconee County for the 1994 murder of Eddie Tucker. Prosecutors said Mize, a leader of the National Vastilian Aryan Party, a branch of the Ku Klux Klan, killed Tucker after Tucker refused Mize’s order to burn down a crack house as part of an initiation.
A Georgia man has been executed for the murder of a follower of his white supremacist group.

William Mark Mize was put to death Wednesday by lethal injection at the state prison at Jackson. The 52-year-old inmate was pronounced dead at 7:28 p.m. by authorities. Mize became the second person executed in Georgia this year.

Mize was convicted of the October 1994 murder of Eddie Tucker, who was shot after he failed to follow orders to burn down what Mize considered to be a crack house in Athens. Prosecutors say Mize shot Tucker in the head with a shotgun after leading him into some woods.

Mize's attorneys sought this week to block the execution. But an appeals court dismissed their appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court also rejected a request to stay the execution.

Last Meal: steak, fried chicken breast, baked potato, salad, garlic bread, a pint of butter pecan ice cream, half a pecan pie and soda

Final Statement:
“This case never had a proper hearing,” he said. “I am sorry for what happened to my friend. The boy who killed him has tried to take credit for his death.

“The sheriff of Oconee County set this up as a tirade against a Klan killing,” Mize said. “It was not that.”

Sheriff Scott Berry was among the witnesses observing the execution. District Attorney Ken Mauldin, who was not the prosecutor in 1995, was also present.

“I saw one friend killed by another friend,” Mize said. “I am here because of a miscarriage of justice. But the truth has been put out there and it will be told after my death. The sheriff and his deputies will have to account for the consequences.

“I have made my peace with God,” Mize said. “I have Jesus in my heart. I have been a witness to spiritual things that you have not seen. I am ready.”

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