Convicted Killer Faces Execution

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ATLANTA (AP) _ It was three days before Christmas in 1988 that William Earl Lynd shot his live-in girlfriend three times in the head, killing her and then burying her body in a shallow grave near a south Georgia farm.

Almost two decades later, he's scheduled to be put to death for the slaying. In the process, Lynd could become the first condemned prisoner in the country to die by lethal injection since September, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider arguments by two Kentucky inmates that the three-drug procedure violated the ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The court last month upheld lethal injection, lifting what had become a 7 month pause in executions, the longest in recent history.

Lynd is scheduled to be executed Tuesday at 7 p.m. Mississippi's attorney general has asked that Earl Wesley Berry be executed tomorrow for a 1987 murder, but the state's courts have not yet
approved the request.

Tomorrow Lynd's lawyers will ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to spare his life.

His legal team doesn't dispute that Lynd, now 53, killed Ginger Moore three days before Christmas in 1988. But they say the crime was not premeditated.

The couple was high on valium, marijuana and alcohol on the day of shooting and the shooting took place after the couple argued.

They also question medical testimony at Lynd's trial which suggested that Moore died a slow agonizing death and kidnapped Moore before she died, an essential "aggravating'' circumstance that made him eligible for the death penalty.

His appeals have been winding through state and federal courts. His last appeal, to the U.S. Supreme Court, was denied on November 26th, 2007.

Forty inmates have been executed in Georgia since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1973. If executed, Lynd will be the 18th inmate put to death by lethal injection.

There are 109 men and one woman on death row in Georgia, according to the state Department of Corrections.