Georgia Man Executed For Sickening Crimes

Georgia held its first execution in over four years on March 20 when it put to death a 59-year-old man convicted in the 1993 abduction, rape, and murder of his former girlfriend, CBS News reported.

According to authorities, Willie James Pye was pronounced dead at 11:03 p.m. on March 20 after being injected with pentobarbital.

Pye was convicted for his part in the November 1993 abduction of Alicia Lynn Yarbrough. Pye, along with Chester Adams and a 15-year-old boy, abducted Yarbrough and took her to a hotel where they raped her repeatedly. The trio then drove Yarbrough to a dirt road where they forced her to lie face down before shooting her multiple times.

Her body was found on November 17, 1993, just hours after she had been murdered.

All three suspects were quickly arrested. The 15-year-old confessed and implicated Pye and Adams. He made a plea deal with prosecutors and became a key witness in Pye’s trial.

Pye was convicted in June 1996 of murder, armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, and burglary and the jury sentenced him to death.

Chester Adams pleaded guilty the following year to armed robbery, aggravated sodomy, rape, malice murder, and kidnapping. He was sentenced to five consecutive life terms.

Attorneys for Willie James Pye sought clemency, arguing that he was intellectually disabled and had shown remorse for the crime.

In filing for clemency a week before Pye’s execution, his lawyers described his 1996 trial as “a shocking relic of the past” and argued that the public defender system of the 1990s had severe shortcomings.

In a closed-door meeting on March 19, the parole board rejected the arguments and denied the request for clemency.

Pye’s attorneys also filed late appeals to the Supreme Court.

His attorneys argued that Georgia failed to meet the necessary conditions for resuming executions in the state following the pandemic and reiterated that Pye was ineligible for execution due to being intellectually disabled.

However, the justices declined to intervene.