Condemned man's lawyers say new evidence produced
Two days before Marcus Ray Johnson is set to be executed, lawyers file documents saying "the Albany Police Department produced a new, never-before-seen box of physical evidence" that is subject to DNA testing to find the real perpetrator in Angela Sizemore's murder.
They say after the Extraordinary Motion for New Trial was filed on Sept. 27, APD turned over a box of evidence that defense attorneys have been attempting to locate since 2001.
Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards denies there being any new evidence.
"They're trying to create a situation that does not exist; they're trying to create doubt when there is no doubt," Edwards says. "There's already DNA evidence that puts Marcus Ray Johnson in that situation (with Sizemore)."
According to the documents filed by the defense attorneys, new items that can undergo testing and clear Johnson include white women's underwear, left hand fingernail clippings from Sizemore and vacuumings from Sizemore's vehicle.
Johnson's attorneys filed the documents regarding new evidence on Monday morning as a supplement to their motion asking Dougherty County Superior Court Judge Willie Lockett for a new trial.
There is a clemency hearing for Johnson on Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Albany.
If Johnson is denied clemency, Johnson is set to be executed by lethal injection Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Georgia State Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. He was convicted in 1998 of the 1994 murder of Sizemore and has been on death row since then.
J.D. Sumner, a reporter with our partner The Albany Herald, is slated to be a witness to the execution.
"They'll lead us into a room and we'll be there, from what I understand, alongside the lawyers for the defense and the prosecution, the family members who chose to be there, and we'll watch the execution be carried out," says Sumner.
He says he does feel eery about watching Johnson's execution but understands that it's a public duty.
"At the end of the day if something goes wrong or if it's carried out perfectly, it leaves Jackson, comes back to Albany where the crime was commited and there can be some sense of closure for the community," says Sumner.
There have been 52 men executed in Georgia since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1973. If executed, Johnson will be the 30th inmate put to death by lethal injection. There are presently 96 men and one woman on death row in Georgia.
Johnson has requested a special last meal consisting of pizza, ranch dipping sauce, ice cream bars and a soda.