Some family members of Joshua Daniel Bishop's two victims are asking a state parole board to spare him the death penalty.
A clemency hearing is scheduled Wednesday for Bishop who faces execution Thursday in connection with the 1994 murder of a Baldwin County man.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles is scheduled to conduct the hearing at its offices in Atlanta. The board is the only agency in Georgia that can commute death sentences.
Bishop, 41, is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. He received the death sentence two years after the June 1994 murder of Leverett Morrison.
According to court records, Bishop was 18 at the time of the murder. Bishop, Mark Braxley and Morrison were out drinking and using drugs the night of the murder. They kept drinking and using drugs after leaving a bar and going to Braxley's trailer.
At some point, Braxley decided he wanted to visit a friend and told Bishop to get the car keys from a sleeping Morrison's pocket. Morrison woke up when Bishop tried to get the keys. Braxley handed Bishop a piece of a closet rod, and Bishop hit Morrison several times with the rod.
A short while later, Bishop and Braxley wrapped Morrison's body in a sheet and tried to toss it in a dumpster. They couldn't get in the dumpster and left the body on the ground. It was found later and authorities picked Bishop up for questioning.
Bishop confessed to his role in the Morrison murder and also confessed to his role in the death of Ricky Willis who had been killed at Braxley's trailer two weeks earlier. Bishop wasn't tried for the Willis murder.
In Bishop's clemency petition, attorneys say it should be granted because Bishop has shown remorse from the time he was arrested and has become religious in prison. Among other things, the petition says Bishop ministers to other inmates and attends religious services regularly.
The petition also notes that several members of the two murder victims' families have written the pardons and paroles board asking that Bishop's sentence be commuted to life without parole.
In one of those letters, Angela Morrison Duduk, one of Leverett Morrison's sisters, wrote, ... "It is certainly a hard life in prison, but it is still life. I loved my brother Leverett, but his memory is not honored by killing Josh. I forgive Josh for what he did."
Ronnie Daniels, Ricky Willis' half-brother and only living relative, wrote the board that he believes Bishop's sentence should be commuted to life in prison.
"I do not think it is fair that Josh got the death sentence if Mark was just as responsible for the killing. I am not friends with Mark Braxley or Josh Bishop, however, I do not want Josh to die. I think Josh should at least get a life without parole sentence."
Braxley was also convicted of the crimes and was sentenced to life without parole.
In another effort, seven of the 12 jurors who sentenced Bishop to death have joined the clemency movement in asking that Bishop be granted life without parole.
Since the death penalty was restore in 1976, pardons and paroles has commuted nine death sentences. The last was two years ago when the board commuted Tommy Lee Waldrip's death sentence to life without parole.
Waldrip was convicted in Dawson County for the murder Keith Evans, a college student who was scheduled to testify against Waldrip's son in a re-trial of an armed robbery case.