Washington, DC - 1/21/15 – Following last night’s execution of Andrew Brannan in Georgia, Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, issued the following statement:
"At 8:33 PM Tuesday night, the State of Georgia executed Andrew Brannan, a decorated Vietnam veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was not taking medication at the time of his crime. Brannan had no prior criminal record, and his PTSD was well-documented. Despite letters from more than 1,500 individuals and 20 national organizations to the Georgia Parole Board citing Brannan’s serious mental illness as reason to spare his life, pleas for a stay of execution were denied.
“ Georgia’s decision to proceed with Andrew Brannan execution was shocking and unfair. It was clear that, but for his mental state, which was beyond his control that this terrible tragedy would never have occurred.
It is deeply disturbing that someone who literally risked his life defending his county’s interest could be treated with so little compassion.
This execution was pointless. Georgia is hard pressed to assert a legitimate societal interest here.
Sadly the state of Georgia builds on its reputation as a state that is outside of the mainstream, on this issue. As others eschew this practice, it continues to press on: the state that doesn’t care.
Doesn’t care whether there is doubt about guilt; doesn’t care whether you have an adequate defense and now doesn’t care whether you possess the mental capabilities to be held morally accountable for your actions to the point of suffering death.
We will not lose hope and we will not lose heart. We will continue to work until in Georgia and everywhere else in this nation, they come to understand that we are better than this.
“Georgia should have done better for Andrew Brannan, and must do better in the future.”
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is the nation's oldest organization dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty. We are comprised of an extensive network representing more than 100 state and national affiliate organizations and thousands of advocates and volunteers. Our members include families of murder victims, people across the political and religious spectrum, past and present law enforcement officials and prominent civil and racial justice organizations working to end the death penalty forever.
In January 2014, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty launched the 90 Million Strong Campaign to partner with and mobilize a growing number of national organizations and individuals who believe that it is time for the death penalty to end.