Brandon Astor Jones, the oldest inmate on the state's death row,
died by lethal injection at 12:46 a.m. at Georgia Diagnostic and
Classification Prison in Jackson.
He accepted a final prayer and recorded a final statement, the
Georgia Department of Corrections said in a statement.
Jones' death was delayed nearly six hours following a flurry of
appeals by his attorneys. The U.S. Supreme Court late on Tuesday
denied Jones' request for a stay of execution.
His execution was the fifth this year in the United States, and the
first of two scheduled this month in Georgia, according to the Death
Penalty Information Center, which monitors capital punishment
nationwide. Texas, Alabama and Florida executed inmates last month,
the center said.
The Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia State Board of Pardons and
Paroles rejected his petition to commute his sentence to life
Jones was the second man executed in the shooting death of Roger
Tackett, 35, inside a convenience store in June 1979, according to
Jones was arrested in the store, along with co-defendant Van
Roosevelt Solomon, by a police officer who heard four gunshots,
according to a Georgia Supreme Court case synopsis.
Jones later told another officer, "There is a man in the back - hurt
bad," court records said. Police found a badly wounded Tackett in a
Solomon, also convicted of murder, was executed
in 1985. Jones had spent decades appealing against his death
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A federal district court overturned his death sentence in 1989
because a trial judge had allowed a Bible in the jury deliberation
room, finding it could have improperly influenced jurors to base
their decision on scripture instead of the law.
Another jury again sentenced Jones to death in 1997. Jones had
continued to appeal the verdict, saying his trial lawyers failed to
introduce evidence of his history of mental illness and childhood
Jones, who declined to request a last meal, was to be offered
instead the standard prison menu of chicken and rice, rutabagas,
seasoned turnip greens, dry white beans, cornbread, bread pudding
and fruit punch, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
The execution came about two weeks before the planned execution of
convicted murderer Travis Clinton Hittson, set for Feb. 17.
(Writing by Letitia Stein, Reporting by Sandra Maler, Andrew Hay,
Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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