J.W. ‘Boy’ Ledford Jr., sentenced to death for throttling the doctor who helped bring him to the world, made an unusual request about how he preferred to die.
In the State of Georgia, USA, a death row requested something very particular just hours before the sentence was fulfilled. J.W. ‘Boy’ Ledford Jr. – who was found guilty of beheading Harry Johnston, the doctor who attended the birth where he was born in 1992 – asked that he not be given the lethal injection. But he did not do it with the intention that the judicial decision was not fulfilled, but demanded a change in the modality of the application of the sentence: requested to be executed by a firing squad.
According to NBC News, this request was made by Ledford to his lawyers, who brought him to justice, since the state of Georgia allows those sentenced to death choose the method they consider the best.
The defense alleged that the killer feared “being in agony” after being injected, because there were cases where the lethal drug failed and because it also faces medical treatment that could generate different reactions in his body.
According to NBC News, lawyers argued that “there is a substantial risk that the Ledford will be conscious and in agony while the pentobarbital [name of drug] attacks its respiratory system, depriving its brain, heart and lungs of oxygen while drowning in its Own saliva. ”
However, the petition was rejected by the authorities, since the execution is not among the possible alternatives. They also argued that in Georgia the same drug that failed in other cases (midazolam) is not used, so there should be no drawbacks. It was then that Ledford asked for clemency and that he was not punished, which was also denied him.
This fact is part of the decision of some states like Arkansas to accelerate executions due to the expiration date of the drug used. The Ledford case is the first of this year in Georgia, which in 2016 added nine.