Saturday, December 31, 2005

December 14, 2005

...Nixon pulled out a .22 caliber pistol and said, “I brought y’all something.”...

Last Meal: Nixon ate two eggs, two sausage patties and two slices of white bread for breakfast. He did not eat his cereal at breakfast and turned down his lunch because he wanted to save room for dinner. Nixon requested a well-done T-bone steak, buttered asparagus spears, a baked potato with sour cream, peach pie, vanilla ice cream and sweet tea.

The skinny: Nixon was executed for the killing of a woman for $1,000 and shooting her husband in 1985. The dead woman's ex-husband, hired Nixon to kill the man.

Thomas Tucker survived the shooting and witnessed Nixon’s execution.

More skinny: Nixon entered the home with two accomplices, his son John Nixon Jr, and Gilbert Jimenez. Nixon pulled out a .22 caliber pistol and said, “I brought y’all something.”

Thomas Tucker, who had married his wife six months earlier, immediately guessed that the men had been hired by his wife’s former husband. Thomas offered Nixon money to spare their lives, but Nixon replied, “that’s not what I’m after. The deal’s already been made.” Nixon and one of his associates then shot at Thomas Tucker, who managed to escape despite being hit twice. Nixon then took the gun back from Jimenez, held the gun one inch behind the woman’s ear and fired a shot into her head while Jiminez held her down. Nixon and his associates fled. Thomas survived the ordeal and identified Nixon. The man who hired the killers for $1000, Elster Joseph Ponthieux, was also convicted of capital murder and received a life sentence. Nixon's sons Henry Leon Nixon and John B. Nixon Jr. were convicted on lesser charges for their involvement in the murder plot. Jiminez testified against the others and received a 20 year sentence. It took the jury only half an hour to find Nixon guilty, and only one and a half hours to determine the sentence should be death.

At age 77, Nixon is the oldest person executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Leading up to: Earlier this morning Nixon said he was sorry for himself and the Tucker family.

The quote Nixon gave his attorneys to pass on to media in the morning — “That I was where I would be/then should I be where I am not/ here I am where I must be/where I would be I cannot” — was taken from a Mother Goose poem titled “Katy Cruel.”

His mood changed from cheerful and chatty to somber and withdrawn as the time of his execution grew near, state corrections officials said at 4 p.m. ‘He’s not playing anymore,” Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said. “Time is caving in on Mr. Nixon, and it appears to me that he is realizing that." But as Nixon puffed on a last cigarette before the execution, he joked that smoking kills.

Last words and such: Just before the fatal chemicals were injected, Nixon - wearing red pants, a white T-shirt and white sneakers - said in a lengthy but coherent statement: "Friends, I pray for everybody." Nixon's execution on a rainy night at the sprawling state penitentiary in the rural Mississippi Delta came after a final steak-and-potato meal and visits with family.

"I'm sorry for what I've done. I'm sorry to the world. I'm sorry for myself and I'm sorry to the family. I did not kill Virginia Tucker. I know within my heart, and it hurts to acknowledge, that it was a son of mine and a Spanish friend and another man from Jackson."

Factoids: Mississippi executed its first inmate in three years.

Nixon was the....

60th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
1004th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Mississippi in 2005
7th murderer executed in Mississippi since 1976


In 1998, the Mississippi Legislature amended Section 99-19-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, as follows: 99-19-51. ***The manner of inflicting the punishment of death shall be by continuous intravenous administration of a lethal quantity of an ultra short-acting barbiturate or other similar drug in combination with a chemical paralytic agent until death is pronounced by the county coroner where the execution takes place or by a licensed physician according to accepted standards of medical practice.

Contents of Syringes for Lethal Injection
• Anesthetic - Sodium Pentothal – 2.0 Gm.
• Normal Saline – 10-15 cc.
• Pavulon – 50 mgm per 50 cc.
• Potassium chloride – 50 milequiv. per 50 cc.

48 Hours Prior to Execution The condemned inmate shall be transferred to a holding cell adjacent to the execution room.
24 Hours Prior to Execution Institution is placed in emergency/lockdown status.
1030 Hours Day of Execution Designated media center at institution opens.
1500 Hours Day of Execution Inmate’s attorney of record and chaplain allowed to visit.
1600 Hours Day of Execution Inmate is served last meal and allowed to shower.
1630 Hours Day of Execution MDOC clergy allowed to visit upon request of inmate.
1730 Hours Day of Execution Witnesses are transported to Unit 17.
1800 Hours Day of Execution Inmate is escorted from holding cell to execution room.

Witnesses are escorted into observation room.
1900 Hours Day of Execution A post execution briefing is conducted with media witnesses.
2230 Hours Day of Execution Designated media center at institution is closed.