On January 30 1996, a 28-year-old African-American man called Kenneth Fults murdered his neighbour and stole her car before being arrested by police.
He didn’t plan on becoming a murderer.
Born in 1968, to a 16-year-old mother riddled with an addiction to crack cocaine, he was neglected, and out of this neglect his chances in life declined.
According to the South Florida Times, Fults has a recorded history of mental illness, as well as an IQ which stands at an abnormally low level, meaning he suffers from an intellectual disability.
But at 7pm local time tomorrow he will die by lethal injection in Georgia, USA.
Some would argue that despite his lack of chances in life, the undeniably horrific and shocking murder can only be justified by capital punishment, but what hasn’t been so widely publicised is that one of the jurors who sentenced Fults to death was evidently racist.
Eight years after his sentencing, one of the jurors involved signed a sworn statement which said:
I don’t know if he ever killed anybody, but that n***** got just what should have happened.
Once he pled guilty, I knew I would vote for the death penalty because that’s what the n***** deserved.
Despite this crucial and shocking evidence, the state of Georgia have continued to argue that it is too late to review the case, and that Fults’ death sentence will stand.
And things get even worse.
Other members of the jury have argued that Fults’ lawyer made no effort to defend his client, with some stating that he was even asleep during the hearing instead of raising crucial evidence, such as Fults’ background of neglect.
One juror added:
Mr Fults’s lawyer was uninterested in what was happening, and it seemed like something was wrong with him. I saw him fall asleep repeatedly during the trial, and he would wake up, startled, when it was his turn to examine witnesses. I saw him sleeping off and on throughout the whole trial.
Tonight, Fults will eat a T-Bone steak dinner, as requested for his final meal, while a small minority of the world will fight desperately to stop, or at least postpone, his execution to a later date.
Amnesty International is currently appealing to stop the execution and you can add your name here.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.