Monday, 2 June 2008

Condemned Man's Lawyers Claim 'Racism'

Posted: 8:42 AM May 31, 2008

Reporter: Associated PressEmail Address:

ATLANTA (AP) A condemned man who blames racism by a defense attorney for sending him to death row is asking a parole board to commute his sentence.

Jack Osborne's lawyers argued to the board today that his defense attorney, Johnny Mostiler, presented a flimsy defense because he was "infected by racism."

The board said late today it would not issue its decision on Osborne's case until Monday at the earliest.

Osborne's lawyers contend that Mostiler did not tell Osborne, who is black, that there was an offer to plead guilty for a life sentence. They say Mostiler, who died in 2000, told a client that Osborne deserved the death penalty and referred to him by a racial slur.

Spalding County District Attorney Scott Ballard called the claims "outlandish."

Osborne is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on June 4. He was sentenced to death in 1990 for fatally shooting a couple.

Former President Carter and U.S. Rep. John Lewis are among those who have urged the board to commute the sentence.

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