Melbert Ford Executed Wednesday Night

1:40 AM, Jun 10, 2010   |    comments
An execution chamber at a state prison. (AP)
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JACKSON, Ga. (AP) -- Georgia corrections officials say Melbert
Ray Ford was executed Wednesday evening.

Georgia's top court rejected an appeal from Ford who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and her 11-year-old niece.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously denied Melbert Ray Ford's motion to halt his execution. His attorney Brian Mendelsohn had argued that the punishment is disproportionate and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment because he's sat on death row for more than two decades.

State prosecutors countered in a motion filed Wednesday that the arguments were a "ruse" and noted that state and federal appeals courts have repeatedly denied Ford's claims and upheld the death sentence.

Ford was convicted of killing Martha Chapman Matich and her niece Lisa Chapman in 1986 in what prosecutors say was a revenge killing. They say Ford began harassing her with phone calls after the couple broke up, and soon was telling friends he wanted to kill her.

(Copyright © 2010, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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