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Convicted killer not fighting execution

ATLANTA — Nicholas Cody Tate could delay his execution at the end of this month for years if he filed a new round of appeals. But his refusal to do so has made his death sentence for the murders of two people one of the fastest-moving in recent memory in Georgia.

Tate’s death sentence for the 2001 killings of a woman and her 3-year-old daughter moved through the appeals process quickly because he refused to challenge his conviction and sentence by filing a habeas appeals in state or federal court.

His current and former attorneys won’t comment on why Tate, 31, won’t let them file the appeal. But the transcript from a 2009 court hearing helps illuminate his thoughts on the process.

“You caught me red-handed,” he said. “None of my rights were violated ... I choose to waive any and all future appeals.”

A Paulding County judge last week cleared the way for his execution, and state officials Tuesday scheduled the lethal injection for Jan. 31. Death penalty opponents say Tate’s case highlights the problems with capital punishment.

“The appeals process exists as a safeguard to protect the integrity of the judicial process,” said Kathryn Hamoudah, who heads Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. “Proceeding without is tantamount to allowing state-assisted suicide.”

In other news

THE ELDEST SON of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. announced Tuesday he is resigning as president of the Atlanta center that honors his father’s civil rights legacy. Martin Luther King III said he will remain active on the center’s board, but plans to launch a new organization dedicated to the principles of nonviolence, social justice and human rights.


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