Donnie Lance, Georgia


Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Donnie Lance has been executed by the state of Georgia.  Read more here.

Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to halt the execution of Donnie Lance.  

Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Georgia Supreme Court has rejected a request to halt the execution of Donnie Lance.  He currently has appeals pending at the Supreme Court of the United States.  Donnie is arguing that his execution should be halted and DNA tests conducted.  Donnie has insisted that he is innocent of the crime for which he is convicted.  

Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected a clemency request from Donnie Lance.  The board, which is the only authority in Georgia that can grant clemency, did not give a reason for its decision, only saying that it had reviewed the facts and circumstances of the case.  This included the clemency application and testimony it heard during a closed door session.  Donnie has insisted that he is innocent of murdering his ex-wife and her new boyfriend.

Updated: Monday, January 27, 2020

Donnie Cleveland Lance is scheduled to be executed a 7pm local time on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. Sixty-five-year-old Donnie is convicted of murdering his 39-year-old ex-wife Joy Lance and her new boyfriend 33-year-old Dwight “Butch” Wood, on November 9, 1997, at Butch’s home in Jackson County, Georgia. Donnie has been on death row in Georgia for the last 20 years.

Donnie and Joy were married before eventually splitting up, after which, Joy began seeing Dwight “Butch” Wood. On the night of November 8, 1997, Joy was at Butch’s home. Donnie had called Joy’s father, attempting to locate her just before midnight. Donnie learned that she was not a home. A passing police officer noticed Donnie’s vehicle leaving his driveway around 12 am on November 9, 1997.

Later on the same day, Donnie spoke to a friend and, after referring to Joy in a derogatory manner, stated that both Joy and Butch were dead.

Donnie had a history of abusing Joy, having kidnapped her; beat her with his fists, a belt, and a handgun; strangled her; electrocuted her using a car battery; threatening to kill her with flammable liquids, a handgun, and a chainsaw; and threatening to kill himself. Additionally, Donnie once asked a relative what it might cost to hire someone to kill Joy and Butch. Donnie had previously, along with a friend, and while armed, kicked in the front door of Butch’s home, only fleeing when his friend was recognized by a child in the home.


Donnie was convicted of the murder and sentenced to death in 1999. During his trial, Donnie and his attorneys argued that he was innocent, with his uncle as an alibi, although there was a period of time, during which the murder likely took place, that Donnie was not with his uncle. However, Donnie’s family also testified that he behaved normally both prior to and immediately after the murder.


During his trial, evidence was presented that suggested Donnie had brain damage to his frontal and temporal lobes, which resulted from multiple blows to the head and from alcohol abuse. Donnie had began drinking alcohol heavily at the age of 19. Donnie’s alleged brain damage would have affected his impulse control.


Butts County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson has denied a request by Donnie to halt his scheduled execution.  Donnie and his attorneys argued that the prosecutor allegedly stacked the grand jury with jurors that the prosecutor knew would agree with him.  Donnie an his attorneys argued that stacking the jury violated Donnie's constitutional right to a fair trial.  Judge Wilson rejected the arguments presented by Donnie and his attorney's, and also rejected their request to halt the execution. Donnie also has a clemency petition pending with the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.  


Pray for peace and healing for the families of Joy and Butch. Pray for strength for the family of Donnie. Pray that if Donnie is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided prior to his execution. Pray that Donnie may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.



For more information regarding financial support, please click here.