Lawyers for Georgia's oldest death row inmate have called his sentence "excessive" and have asked again for his case to be thrown out, according to ABC News. Brandon Astor Jones, whose 73rd birthday would be on Valentine's Day, is scheduled to be put to death on Tuesday, according to ABC News.
Jones was convicted of killing a convenience store manager during a robbery in 1979, a crime that has not been met with the death sentence in Georgia within the past 20 years, according to the Associated Press. His lawyers have stated that "a criminal sentence that is excessive, or that is arbitrarily or rarely imposed" is prohibited under the state and federal constitutions, according to the Associated Press.
"The community conscience is now, and has been for at least twenty years, that a spontaneous murder committed while carrying out the armed robbery of a retail establishment - while extremely serious and deserving of serious punishment - is not among the 'worst of the worst' offenses for which the death penalty is constitutionally reserved," the lawyers wrote in their filing, according to the Associated Press.
Jones was initially sentenced to the death penalty in 1979 after he and co-defendant Van Roosevelt Solomon shot Tenneco convenience store manager Roger Tackett during a robbery, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Solomon was executed in 1985, but Jones' execution was postponed after a federal judge ordered him to be resentenced because of the presence of a Bible in the room during jury deliberations, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Since then, Jones has made many appeals to his sentence over the decades.
A lower court judge denied Jones' request last week, ruling that many of the arguments Jones makes have been put forward before and cannot be accepted, according to the Associated Press. A clemency hearing was held today but the decision was not immediately released, according to the Associated Press.