US state of Georgia prepares to execute cop killer

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(AFP) — The southern US state of Georgia was preparing Wednesday to execute a man convicted of killing a police officer, after the state parole board denied a request for clemency.

deathGregory Lawler, 63, was set to die by lethal injection at 7:00 pm (US time) at a prison in Jackson, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) outside Atlanta, prison authorities said.

According to court documents, Lawler during a domestic dispute in 1997 opened fire with an AR-15 rifle on two officers at his home, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

On Tuesday, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected a clemency petition from Lawler’s defence team that argued his life should be spared because he was recently diagnosed with autism, which had caused him to believe the officers came to his home to harm him.

The pace of executions is declining in the United States, due to a combination of factors including a shortage of the drugs used to carry out in lethal injections.

The US Supreme Court could still step in and halt Lawler’s execution.

If it goes ahead, he would be the seventh inmate put to death by Georgia this yea

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