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Parole board declines to spare life of death row inmate

FILE - In this undated file photo released by the Georgia Department of Corrections, J.W. Ledford Jr., poses for a photo. Lawyers for Ledford, a Georgia death row inmate argue the state's lethal injection drug will cause him unconstitutional suffering and that execution by firing squad is the only appropriate alternative. J.W. Ledford Jr. is set to be put to death Tuesday, May 16, 2017, by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital. (Georgia Department of Corrections via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s parole board has declined to spare the life of a death row inmate who’s scheduled for execution Tuesday.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles reached its decision Monday after holding a hearing to hear arguments for and against clemency for J.W. Ledford Jr.

Ledford, now 45, was convicted of murder in the January 1992 stabbing death of his neighbor, 73-year-old Dr. Harry Johnston, near his home in northwest Georgia.

The parole board is the only authority in Georgia with power to commute a death sentence. The board didn’t give a reason for denying clemency, which is standard.

Ledford’s lawyers had asked the parole board to spare his life, citing a rough childhood, substance abuse from an early age and intellectual disability.

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