Update: Thursday, November 19, 2015  10:30 pm  EST

 

Marcus Ray Johnson has been executed by the state of Georgia.  He was pronounced dead at 10:11 pm EST.  Read more about his story here.

 

Update: Thursday, November 19, 2015  9:14 pm  EST

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected Marcus' additional request for a stay of execution.  His execution was scheduled to being at 7 pm EST, however it had been delayed due to appeals.

 

Update: Thursday, November 19, 2015  7:12 pm  EST

 

The Georgia Supreme Court has rejected a request to stay the execution of Marcus Johnson.  The Supreme Court of the United States has also rejected a request to stay the execution.  Marcus' lawyers alleged that there is doubts about his guilt and that they execution should be stayed so that they can further explore these questions.  There is at least one more appeal pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Update: Thursday, November 19, 2015  11:33 am  EST

 

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected a request for clemency from Marcus Ray Johnson.  An attorney for Marcus also asked that his execution be stayed 90 days in order to allow additional DNA testing, which, the attorney alleges, could prove that Marcus is not guilty of the crime for which he is convicted.  That request was also denied.

 

Update: Monday, November 16, 2015  4:42 pm  EST

 

Marcus Ray Johnson is scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EST, on Thursday, November 19, 2015, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia.  Fifty-year-old Marcus is convicted of the rape and murder of 34-year-old Angela Sizemore on March 24, 1994, in Albany, Georgia.  Marcus has spent the last 27 years on Georgia’s death row.

 

During the very early morning hours of March 24, 1994, Angela Sizemore and Marcus Johnson were both drinking at a local bar in Albany, Georgia.  According to witnesses, Johnson was upset because he had been rejected by a woman earlier in the evening.  Angela was mourning the loss of a friend and had been cut off due to her excessive drinking.  Johnson and Angela were seen by the bar owner and a security officer kissing, and, later, leaving together.  The bartender specifically remembered giving Angela’s car keys to Johnson around 2:30 am.

 

At approximately 8:00 am, on March 24, 1994, Angela’s body was discovered in her vehicle behind an apartment complex, across town from the bar where she was last seen.  She was found lying across the front passenger seat, stabbed to death.  Two witnesses testified that they saw Johnson walking away from the apartment complex where Angela was found, approximately one hour earlier.  The witnesses testified that Johnson drew their attention because he was out of place in the predominately African-American neighborhood.

 

Police eventually determined that Angela had been murdered in a vacant lot that was two blocks from the bar where Angela and Johnson met the night before. It was also less than a block from the house where Johnson lived with his mother.  When police went to arrest Johnson, he blurted out “I’m Marcus Ray Johnson.  I’m the person you’re looking for,” before the police were able to tell Johnson why he was under arrest.

 

DNA testing showed that Angela’s blood was on the clothing Johnson was identified as wearing that night.  The over 40 stab wounds matched Johnson’s pocket knife.  Johnson eventually confessed that he and Angela had sex in a vacant lot, after which he “lost it” because she wanted to snuggle and he did not.  He remembered hitting her and walking away, but does not remember anything else until the following morning, when he woke up in his front yard.

 

On October 2, 1994, Johnson was able to escape from the Miller County jail, where he was being held for trial, by stealing the 76-year-old deputy’s weapon.  Johnson struck the officer on the back of the head, requiring him to get staples.  Johnson was recaptured the following day.

 

Marcus Johnson has asked the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant him clemency.  Marcus has insisted that he is innocent of the murder of Angela, saying she was alive and crying when he left her in the field that night.  His lawyers point to the fact that Angela's blood was not found on his clothing, which, based on the brutality of the beating she received, would have been impossible if Marcus was the murder.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Angela.  Please pray for strength for the family of Marcus Johnson.  Please pray that if Marcus is innocent or lacks the competency to be executed, evidence will be presented prior to his arrest.  Please pray that Marcus will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

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