Did You Know?

Eleven men and no women have been

executed in the United States in 2018.

Updated: Friday, May 4, 2018  10:09 pm EDT

 

Georgia has executed Robert Butts.  Click here to read more.

 

Updated: Friday, May 4, 2018  9:28 pm EDT

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected two request to halt the execution of Robert Butts.  Georgia can proceed with the execution several hours after it was scheduled to begin.

 

Updated: Friday, May 4, 2018  7:18 pm EDT

 

There are two appeals pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Updated: Friday, May 4, 2018  4:46 pm EDT

 

The Georgia Supreme Court has refused to halt the execution of Robert Earl Butts, Jr.

 

Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2018  5:29 pm EDT

 

The execution of Robert Earl Butts, Jr., has been rescheduled for Friday, May 4, 2018, in Georgia.  Yesterday, Robert was granted a 90-day stay of execution by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles in order to allow the board more time to consider the case.  The board has recently announced that they have denied clemency and lifted the stay of execution.   Officials with the Georgia Department of Corrections has announced that Robert's execution has been rescheduled for Friday, May 4, 2018, as it is within the time frame stated on the execution warrant.

 

Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2018  9:59 pm EDT

 

Robert Earl Butts, Jr., has been granted a stay of execution by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.  The stay was granted in order to allow to board more time to consider the case.  The stay is for up to 90 days.  Robert and his lawyers allege that he is not the killer and should therefore be spared the death penalty.  A former witness who testified that he heard Robert confess to the killing, has since recanted his confession.  Robert alleges that his partner in crime is the one responsible for shooting and killing the victim.

 

Updated: Monday, April 30, 2018  11:11 am EDT

 

Robert Earl Butts, Jr., is scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EDT on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia.  Forty-year-old Robert is convicted of the murder of Donovan Corey Parks on March 28, 1996, in Milledgeville, Georgia.  Robert has spent the last 19 years on Georgia’s death row.

 

Robert had a difficult and neglected childhood.  His mother was addicted to alcohol and cocaine and his father suffered from a mental illness.  At the time of his arrest, Robert was a member of a gang.  Robert had held multiple jobs prior to his arrest, however, he was frequently fired due to his inability to get along with others.  In at least one job, Robert engaged in a fist fight with a customer.

 

On March 28, 1996, Robert Butts and Marion Wilson, Jr., took Butts’ vehicle to Wal-Mart, where they began searching for a victim.  Butts and Wilson were observed entering the store and getting in a check-out line behind a man later identified as Donovan Corey Parks, a prison guard.  Butts only purchased a pack of chewing gum.  

 

Butts was observed asking Donovan if he could give Butts and Wilson a ride.  Donovan agreed, moving items in his vehicle to make room for the two men.  A short while later, according a witness who heard Butts confess to the crime, Butts pulled a shotgun on Donovan and ordered him to stop.  Wilson dragged Donovan out of the vehicle, tied him up, and ordered him to lie facedown on the pavement.  Butts fired a fatal shot into the back of Donovan’s head.  Nearby witnesses who heard the shot, thought it was a vehicle backfiring. 

Butts and Wilson took Donovan’s vehicle to service station in Gray, Georgia, where they were caught on security camera refueling the vehicle.  The duo then drove to Atlanta, Georgia and attempted to sell the vehicle to a “chop shop.”  When that was unsuccessful, they purchased two cans of gasoline, drove to a remote location and set the vehicle on fire.  Then they walked to a payphone, and called Butts’ uncle to come pick them up and take them to retrieve Butts’ abandoned vehicle.

 

During Butts’ trial, two of his former jail mates testified that Butts had confessed to being the triggerman in the murder.  He was found guilty and sentenced to defat for malice murder, armed robbery, hijacking a mother vehicle, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a sawed-off shotgun on November 21, 1998.  In a separate trial, Wilson was also sentenced to death.

 

Robert Butts appealed his sentence to a federal judge, arguing that he should not be executed because he would not be likely to receive the death sentence if tried today.  The judge rejected the appeal, noting that Robert failed to provide sufficient evidence and that he unnecessarily waited until just prior to his execution to raise the claim.  Finally, the judge also noted that judging the appropriateness of sentence is for the state Supreme Court, which has already ruled, saying the sentence is appropriate.

 

Please pray for peace for the family of Donovan Parks.  Please pray for healing for the family of Robert Butts.  Please pray that if Robert is innocent, lacks the mental competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution.  Please pray that Robert may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

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