Parole Board Denies Request for Stay and Denies Commutation for Ray Jefferson Cromartie

October 29, 2019

ATLANTA - The State Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied a request to stay the scheduled execution of Ray Jefferson Cromartie. In doing so, the Board has also denied clemency in the case. The request to stay the execution came from Cromartie’s representatives today.

Representatives for Cromartie asked the Board to stay the execution to allow time for federal courts to determine whether Cromartie’s request for DNA testing of evidence in the criminal case resulting in his conviction could move forward. The Board’s authority does not include issuing a stay for this purpose. The Board has authority to grant a stay of up to 90-days for it to further examine information to determine whether to commute a death sentence. Cromartie did not request a commutation of his death sentence.

Even though Cromartie did not request his sentence be commuted, the Board reviewed its comprehensive case file on him and all information received at today’s meeting and determined not to grant clemency by commuting the death sentence.

Cromartie is scheduled to be executed tomorrow, October 30, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. The Superior Court of Thomas County ordered the execution of Cromartie for the 1994 murder of Richard Slysz.

Cromartie was indicted in the Superior Court of Thomas County, Georgia, for one count of malice murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of aggravated battery, one count of armed robbery and four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Cromartie was convicted as charged in the indictment and sentenced to death on October 1, 1997. The United States Supreme Court denied Cromartie’s request to appeal on December 3, 2018.

In Georgia, the Parole Board has the sole constitutional authority to grant clemency and commute, or reduce a death sentence to life with the possibility of parole or to life without the possibility of parole. The Board also has the authority to issue a stay to consider the case further. 

To view a photo of Ray Jefferson Cromartie, go to www.gdc.georgia.gov, click on Find an Offender, agree to the terms on the disclaimer page and search by the offender’s EF number, 382831.

For more information please contact Steve Hayes, Communications Director for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles at 404-657-9450 or steve.hayes@pap.ga.gov or visit our website at www.pap.georgia.gov.

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