Texas executes Quintin Jones for killing his great aunt in 1999

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas man convicted of fatally beating his 83-year-old great aunt greater than twenty years in the past was executed Wednesday night, regardless of requests from among the sufferer’s household to spare his life.

Quintin Jones acquired the deadly injection on the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the September 1999 killing of Berthena Bryant. Prosecutors stated after Bryant refused to lend Jones cash, he beat her with a bat in her Forth Worth residence then took $30 from her purse to purchase medicine.

Reporters from The Associated Press and The Huntsville Item, the native newspaper, had been scheduled as media witnesses to the punishment however by no means had been escorted by corrections company officers from an workplace throughout the road from the jail. There was no rapid clarification for the media exclusion. Jones turned the 571st inmate to obtain deadly injection in Texas because the state resumed finishing up capital punishment in 1982 and the primary with out a media witness.

Typically, the company’s public data workplace receives a name from the jail warden’s workplace that every one appeals have been exhausted, the execution is about to maneuver ahead and the media witnesses could also be introduced in. On Wednesday night, that decision by no means was made.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to halt the 41-year-old man’s execution.

Some of Bryant’s members of the family, together with her sister Mattie Long, had stated they didn’t need Jones to be executed. Jones is Long’s grandnephew.

“Because I was so close to Bert, her death hurt me a lot. Even so, God is merciful. Quintin can’t bring her back. I can’t bring her back. I am writing this to ask you to please spare Quintin’s life,” Long wrote in a letter that was a part of Jones’ clemency petition with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The board denied Jones’ clemency petition on Tuesday and Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t go towards that call and likewise declined to delay the execution. Abbott has granted clemency to solely one death row inmate, Thomas Whitaker, since taking workplace in 2015.

On Wednesday, Jones’ lawyer filed a civil rights criticism towards the board, alleging race performed “an impermissible role” in its denial of Jones’ petition. Jones’ lawyer argued the case was much like that of Whitaker’s and the one distinction was that Whitaker is white and Jones was Black. U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. dismissed the criticism, writing that Jones didn’t current direct proof of his allegation.

Helena Faulkner, a Tarrant County assistant legal district lawyer whose workplace prosecuted Jones, stated not all of Bryant’s members of the family had opposed the execution.

In his last appeals, Jones’ lawyer, Michael Mowla, argued that Jones was intellectually disabled and that his dying sentence was based mostly on since discredited testimony that wrongly labeled him as a psychopath and a future hazard. Mowla additionally stated Jones’ historical past of drug and alcohol abuse that began at age 12 and bodily and sexual abuse he suffered had been by no means thought-about at his trial.

Jones was the primary inmate in Texas to obtain a deadly injection because the July 8 execution of Billy Joe Wardlow. Four different executions had been set for earlier this 12 months however had been both delayed or rescheduled. While Texas is normally the nation’s busiest dying penalty state, in 2020 it executed only three inmates — the fewest executions in practically 25 years, primarily due to the pandemic.

Jones had requested for his dying sentence to be commuted to life in jail, saying he was not the identical one that killed his great-aunt when he was 20 years outdated, and had expressed regret and sought redemption throughout his greater than twenty years on dying row.

In a video published by the New York Times, Jones requested Abbott to grant him clemency, saying he would use the remainder of his life in jail “to better myself and to better others along the way.”

“Another thing that helped me out was my great-aunt, Aunt Mattie. It was her sister. So, by her loving me enough to forgive me, it gave me the strength to try to do better and want to do better,” Jones stated.

In court docket paperwork filed final week, prosecutors argued the dying sentence was justified as a result of Jones had a violent historical past, together with assaulting lecturers and taking part in two different murders.

Suleika Jaouad, a author who started corresponding with Jones a decade in the past, led the hassle to cease his execution. Others who supported Jones’ clemency request included actors Mandy Patinkin and Sarah Paulson.

“We are a nation that prides itself on second chances. Quin is clear-eyed that he deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life. He hasn’t forgotten his crime, and he’s not asking us to forgive or to forget. But he is seeking redemption,” Jaouad wrote in a Facebook put up final week.

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