The scheduled execution of Melbert Ray Ford next week has been delayed by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. That’s because a spot on the five-member panel hasn’t been filled.
Governor Sonny Perdue has yet to replace Milton “Buddy” Nix, whose term expired the end of 2009 on the Pardons and Paroles Board. Officials with the board say courts have previously held a clemency consideration by a board of four members in a death case violates the state constitution. A spokesman for Perdue said they were in the process of filling the vacancy.
Ford was set to die by lethal injection on Feb. 23 for killing his former girlfriend and another woman in a 1986 robbery at the Newton County grocery store. On Thursday, the pardon board issued a 90-day stay.