Georgia preparing to execute man who killed Atlanta officer

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia is preparing to execute a man convicted of killing an Atlanta police officer and wounding a second officer with an AR-15 rifle.

Gregory Paul Lawler is scheduled to die Wednesday evening by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson.

Lawler, who’s 63, was convicted in the October 1997 slaying of Officer John Sowa. Authorities say he also critically wounding Officer Patricia Cocciolone.

Lawler’s attorneys have argued that a recent autism diagnosis helps explain his actions that night and that his life should be spared. Legal maneuvers to save his life are pending in the courts.

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The State Board of Pardons and Paroles, which is the only authority in Georgia with power to commute a death sentence, on Tuesday declined to grant him clemency.

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