Brian Brookins – white, age 33

Sentenced to death in Morgan County, Georgia
By: A jury.
Date of crime: 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Brookins was convicted of killing his wife and stepdaughter by shooting them outside of their home. Brookins lawyer argued that his client was mentally retarded and asked the jury to return a verdict of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The prosecution pointed to the merciless manner in which Brookins shot his stepchild in the back as she was running away and argued that Brookins deserved the same level of mercy. The prosecution also presented witnesses including a psychologist and psychiatrist who testified that Brookins was not mentally retarded.
Prosecutor(s): Fred Bright
Defense lawyer(s): Dennis Francis
Sources: Macon Telegraph, 10/14/07 2007 WLNR 20165270, 10/16/07 2007 WLNR 20258613, 10/17/07 2007 WLNR 20345518

Nicholas Bryant – white, age 27

Sentenced to death in Douglas County, Georgia
By: A jury.
Date of crime: May, 2004
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Nicholas Bryant was convicted of shooting two people in the back of the head during a robbery. Bryant’s lawyers argued that Douglas County Prosecutors sought death for 25 percent of the murder defendants from 1980 to 2004, while a neighboring county only sought death 3 percent of the time during that same period. The defense also argued that the victims had high doses of drugs in their systems at the time of the murders and that other counties would not prosecute for death under such circumstances. The District Attorney disputed those statistics, stating that a capital prosecution against Bryant for the double homicide and armed robbery of an elderly man and young female was more than justified.
Prosecutor(s): David McDade
Defense lawyer(s): Josh Moore
Sources: Atlanta Journal and Constitution 12/23/07 2007 WLNR 25312250, 1/06/08 2008 WLNR 306387

Stacey Humphreys – white, age 30

Sentenced to death in Glynn County, Georgia
By: A jury.
Date of crime: 2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Humphreys was convicted of the murder of 33 year old Cyndi Williams and 21 year old Lori Brown. Humphreys forced both Williams and Brown to strip naked in their sales office and give him their bank cards before he shot both women in the head. Humphrey’s defense lawyers argued that Humphreys suffered from mental disorders as a result of an abusive childhood. The defense also elicited testimony from a clinical psychologist that believed Humphreys showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder as well as Asperger’s syndrome. The prosecution argued that Humphreys needed money to make a $565 payment on his truck and thus staked out the women at their office and forced them to give up their bank cards before shooting them.
Prosecutor(s): Eleanor Dixon
Defense lawyer(s): Jimmy Berry
Sources: Atlanta Journal and Constitution 9/30/07 WLNR 19118043; AP Alert-GA 9/29/07 02:32:54, 9/30/07 16:27:48;

Willie Palmer – black, age 42 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in Burke County, Georgia
By: A jury.
Date of crime: September, 1995
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Palmer was convicted of the double murder of his wife Brenda and 15 year old stepdaughter Christine. At trial, Parker’s nephew Frederico testified for the state that on the night of the murder Parker kicked down the door of Christine’s house before yelling at her and shooting her in the face. Palmer’s initial conviction and death sentence were thrown out on appeal after it was established that agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation withheld crucial information and paid the only witnesses who corroborated Frederico’s story. In the final trial in 2007, the prosecution asked the jurors to send a message that the county would not tolerate an individual who not only murders innocent individuals but also leaves his daughter alone among the dead. The defense tried to convince the jury that Palmer was mentally retarded and brought forth the testimony of psychologists to prove this point.
Prosecutor(s): Danny Craig
Defense lawyer(s): Mike Garrett
Sources: Atlanta Journal and Constitution 1/06/08 2008 WLNR 306387; Augusta Chronicle, 2/18/07 2007 WLNR 3520768;

Steven Spears – age 35

Sentenced to death in Lumpkin County, Georgia
By: A jury.
Date of crime: August, 2001
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Spears was found guilty on 7 counts of murder in the slaying of Sherrie Holland, including 2 counts of felony murder. Holland was found face down on the floor of her bedroom with her hands and feet bound by duct tape and a plastic bag secured by duct tape over her head. The defense for Spears did not contest the charge of murder with regard to Holland. The defense hoped to prove that Spears was not guilty of kidnapping or burglary and thus would not be sentenced to death under Georgia law, which requires at least one statutory aggravating circumstance. The District Attorney introduced a taped statement of Spears in which he admitted planning and executing the murder, specifically detailing how he broke into her house and hid in her closet until she went to sleep before killing her.
Prosecutor(s): Stan Gunter
Defense lawyer(s): L. Allyn Stockton, Bill Oliver

Darryl Stinski – white, age 18

Sentenced to death in Chatham County, Georgia
By: A judge.
Date of crime: April, 2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Stinski was convicted of the murder of 41 year old Susan Pittman and her 13 year old daughter Kristen. Stinksi burglarized Pittman’s home before torturing and killing Susan. Stinski then proceeded to burn Pittman’s home to the ground in an effort to destroy evidence. Kristen Pittman was killed in the fire. Lawyers for the defense discussed Stinski’s troubled childhood and manner and brought both Stinski’s mother to the stand who broke down crying when speaking of Stinksi’s painful childhood. The prosecution countered that the murders were outrageously vile, inhumane, and involved torture. The prosecution also brought forth Susan’s family members to testify how the murders have impacted their lives.
Prosecutor(s): David Lock
Defense lawyer(s): Steve Sparger
Sources: Augusta Chronicle 9/19/06 2006 WLNR 23040529; AP Alert-GA 9/18/06 20:16:31, 6/14/07 10:05:00;;