ATLANTA — The Supreme Court of Georgia has unanimously denied a request to halt the execution of Ray Jefferson Cromartie.
Cromartie is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, for the 1994 murder of Richard Slysz in Thomas County.
The Court also denied Cromartie’s request to appeal the dismissal by the Butts County Superior Court of his second state habeas petition, in which he alleged the ineffective assistance of his trial lawyers.
Cromartie’s original execution date was postponed after the Supreme Court issued a stay Wednesday, October 30, just hours before the scheduled execution. The stay was lifted Friday, November 1, and the state Department of Corrections issued a new date of execution.
Cromartie’s appeals for a new trial also have been denied.
“The fact is, no one actually knows who the shooter was in the tragic crime for which Ray Cromartie has been sentenced to die,” said Shawn Nolan, chief, Capital Habeas Unit, Federal Defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Cromartie’s attorney, after the new execution date was set. “And the identity of the shooter matters; the jury sentenced him to death on the belief that he shot the victims. The state has abundant, viable DNA evidence that could be tested tomorrow to resolve who shot the victims. Among other items, the state has a knit cap and hooded sweatshirt that prosecutors argued at trial were worn by the shooter.
“The public always has a strong interest in finding the truth,” Nolan continued, "and they do in Mr. Cromartie’s case. DNA testing is essential to ensure that an innocent man is not executed for a murder he did not commit. The State’s rush to execute Mr. Cromartie without DNA testing is tragic for him, and should be troubling for us all.”