Death row inmate attempts suicide hours before scheduled execution
Brandon Rhode, set to die by lethal injection tonight at 7 p.m., tried to kill himself earlier this morning, his lawyer told the AJC.
His execution remains on as scheduled, attorney Brian Kammer said.
Kammer has filed a motion with Georgia's Supreme Court for an emergency stay, arguing "Mr. Rhonde is incompetent to be executed and his execution would violate the Eighth Amendment."
In the motion, Kammer said he has received no information regarding his client's whereabouts or condition. "Execution of Mr. Rhode ... does not comport with [Department of Corrections] lethal injection protocols and is nothing less than a ‘descent into brutality, transgressing the constitutional commitment to decency and restraint.' "
State Supreme Court spokeswoman Jane Hansen said a ruling is expected soon. Calls to the Department of Corrections seeking comment have not been returned.
Rhode would be the 25th person in Georgia to die by lethal injection and the 48th the state has executed since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1973. Kammer said he has been denied access to his client since the suicide attempt.
The 31-year-old was convicted in the 1998 murders of an 11-year-old boy, 15-year-old girl and their father, Steven Moss, a trucking company owner who caught Rhode and an accomplice, Daniel Lucas, burglarizing the family's Jones County residence. Lucas remains on death row.
Rhode was denied clemency last Friday by the state Board of Pardons and Paroles. His attorneys argued that Lucas killed the victims and that Rhode's life should be spared because he suffered brain damage as a child.
His former roommate, Chad Jackson, testified that Rhode and Lucas told him they had both shot the victims. Danny Ray Bell, a friend of Rhode's, told police that Rhode confessed to him that he had shot a girl and a man.http://www.ajc.com/news/death-row-inmate-attempts-618295.html?cxtype=ynews_rss