Briton destined to die in electric chair

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The Independent Online
The mother of a Briton facing execution in the United States next week has appealed to John Major to beg for clemency on her son's behalf.

Unless a last-ditch legal move plucks Nick Ingram from the electric chair, he will have 2,400 volts fed into his body on Thursday, making him the first Briton in living memory to be executed in America.

Ingram, 31, has been on Death Row in Jackson, Georgia, since his 20th birthday when he was convicted of killing a man and shooting his wife during a brutal burglary that went wrong.

However, his defence lawyers have introduced evidence to show that Cambridge- born Ingram blacked out during the crime. They also argue that an accomplice, whom they allege was involved, was granted immunity for testifying against him.

Last night, his mother, Anne Ingram, who now lives close to the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Centre in Jackson, where Ingram awaits death, said: "John Major is in America next week and I would like him to try to intervene on Nicky's behalf. If he has any influence I would like him to appeal for clemency even though I truly believe Nicky is one hundred per cent innocent.

"I would like Mr Major to look at the transcript of the trial and form his own opinion. Then he would see that the evidence the prosecution dragged up was not good enough to execute anyone."

Christopher Hamilton, legal adviser to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, which will hear any plea for clemency, said any appeal from the British government "will be treated with the utmost gravity".

Andrew McCooey, legal adviser to Freedom Now, an organisation campaigning for Ingram, said: "There is evidence to show that 11 out of 12 jurors never intended Nick to be executed; after the trial, they said they believed the sentence would be commuted to life. There is also medical evidence to show that Nick has a condition that causes him to black out after drinking - and he had been drinking that day."

The defence also argues that an accomplice, Kevin Plummer, should not have been granted immunity for testifying against Ingram. Plummer admitted carrying out three burglaries with Ingram that day, but he denied being present for the murder, even though bloodstained shoes were later found in his car.

Legal experts in Atlanta doubt that Ingram's last legal attempt - to the District Court of Georgia on the grounds that electrocution will breach his civil rights - can succeed. The US Supreme Court has already rejected a re-hearing application.

Mother's plea, page 3