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Execution delayed after suicide attempt
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ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court delayed the execution Tuesday of a man convicted of three 1998 slayings who attempted suicide hours before he was to be put to death.
The court’s order postponed the execution of Brandon Joseph Rhode, 31, so his attorneys have a chance to consult with their client and file a new mental competency challenge. Georgia corrections officials have rescheduled the execution for Friday at 9 a.m.
Rhode’s attorney Brian Kammer filed an emergency motion arguing that the attempted suicide proves Rhode was “incompetent” and that executing him violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
“He’s utterly terrified and just hopeless,” said Kammer, who said his client tried to slit his wrists and his throat. “He was very morose, frightened and subdued. This was a product of him just being in terror, of losing hope altogether.”
Rhode was convicted in 2000 of the killings of Steven Moss, 37, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin during a burglary of their Jones County home. His co-conspirator, Daniel Lucas, was also sentenced to death in a separate trial and is on death row.
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