Lawyer says Georgia male established for execution really should be spared

The life of a Georgia man set to be executed Tuesday for killing an 8-year-outdated woman must be spared, his lawyer argues, describing that her client has major cognitive impairments that possible contributed to his crimes and has suffered horrific abuse in prison.

Virgil Delano Presnell Jr., 68, killed the 8-yr-aged female and raped her 10-yr-aged mate immediately after abducting them as they walked household from university in Cobb County, just exterior Atlanta, on Might 4, 1976. He was convicted in August 1976 on fees which includes malice murder, kidnapping and rape and was sentenced to death. His loss of life sentence was overturned in 1992 but was reinstated in March 1999.

“Before culture can make a man pay the ultimate price tag for a crime, it should decide if his culpability justifies the charge. In Virgil’s case, it simply does not. Virgil Presnell is profoundly disabled,” his attorney Monet Brewerton-Palmer wrote in a clemency application that was declassified Friday by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

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The application acknowledges the gravity of what Presnell did and suggests he is “deeply and profoundly sorry” to the two girls’ families. It asks the parole board to postpone his execution by 90 times so the board can overview his software and then to commute his sentence to lifetime devoid of the likelihood of parole.

The 5-member parole board, which is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence, has scheduled a closed-door clemency listening to Monday to consider his situation.

Presnell’s mom drank huge quantities of alcohol when she was pregnant with him, and a heritage of critical developmental disabilities is properly-documented in his college information, Brewerton-Palmer wrote, adding that he grew up in an “abusive and unstable atmosphere,” and sexual abuse was “endemic” in his family.

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Even when he was arrested, his major cognitive constraints have been on display, the clemency application claims. Beneath questioning by police, he confessed to each individual open crime against little ones in the county.

A letter from Adele Grubbs, Presnell’s trial lawyer who later turned a superior court judge, is quoted in the software: “Virgil was normally distinct that he did not necessarily mean to harm both woman. The impact on them of getting kidnapped was beyond his knowledge. He imagined that they would have an fulfilling time.”

The clemency application acknowledges that that would seem unbelievable, but argues “that does not signify untruthful.”

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“If it appears so unbelievable, then we should talk to ourselves why any one would believe it. And the response is easy: Virgil is profoundly mind harmed,” Brewerton-Palmer wrote.

Presnell endured prenatal mind injury and possible suffers from a fetal alcohol spectrum condition, but that was not an accessible analysis at the time of his demo almost 46 years in the past, the clemency application suggests.

“We did not know improved in 1976. But we know much better nowadays. A just modern society does not execute the developmentally disabled,” it suggests.

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More than virtually 50 percent a century in prison, Presnell has served “hard time,” the clemency application claims: “His criminal offense was the worst of the worst — and so has his sentence been.”

Particularly through is early several years on dying row, Presnell was “routinely raped, crushed and deprived,” endured winters with no heat or hot h2o, and often went various decades with no setting foot outdoor, the clemency application claims. But regardless of that hardship, he “has a spotless disciplinary background and has been a product prisoner.”

A juror from his 1999 resentencing demo is quoted in the clemency application as stating he considered at minimum six of the jurors, including himself, would have supported a sentence of existence without the need of parole if it had been an choice.

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Presnell kidnapped the two women as they walked household along a wooded path from a Cobb County elementary university on May perhaps 4, 1976. He drove them to a secluded wooded area, experienced them undress and raped the older lady, in accordance to evidence at demo outlined in a Georgia Supreme Courtroom ruling. The more youthful lady attempted to run, but Presnell caught her and drowned her in a creek, the ruling suggests.

He locked the 10-year-aged girl in the trunk of his motor vehicle and then left her in a wooded spot when he received a flat tire, saying he’d return. She ran to a nearby gas station and described Presnell and his car with a flat tire to police.

Officers discovered him switching his tire at his apartment advanced. He denied all the things at first but later led police to the 8-yr-previous women body and confessed, the ruling states.

Presnell would be the initially man or woman executed by Ga this yr and the seventh nationwide.

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