Monday, May 28, 2007

February 7, 2007

..."Warden, murder me."...

Last Meal: Jackson had a final meal request of four pieces of fried chicken (dark meat), fried okra, french fries, salad with bluecheese, four hardboiled eggs with cheese, one pint butter pecan ice cream, two honey buns, two cokes.

The skinny: The 6-foot-7, James "Big Jack" Jackson, 47, was executed for killing his wife and two stepdaughters almost 10 years ago.

More skinny: In 1995, Jackson married and became a stepfather to two teen-age daughters.

By 1997, however, Jackson’s drug addiction, sporadic employment, and controlling nature had produced problems in his marriage.

On April 9, 1997, one of stepdaughter’s co-workers became concerned when she failed to pick her up for work. The co-worker contacted the girl's aunt, who along with her mother, went to the Jacksons' apartment and entered the residence, finding the two stepdaughters' bodies in one bedroom and the wife's body in another bedroom. They had been choked to death.

Jackson had left a note admitting the murders and later confessed to police. In the confession, Jackson said that he was upset that the girl’s mother planned to divorce him and asked each of his stepdaughters how they felt about the impending split. When one of the girls said she didn’t care one way or the other, Jackson choked her to death with his arm. He asked the same question of the other girl when she returned home to the apartment, and also choked her to death even though she told him she loved him and wanted him to stay in her life. Jackson placed both girls in their beds and then strangled their mother when she returned home and spurned his advances and attempts at reconciliation.

Jackson had earlier served 5 years of a 10 year sentence for injury to elderly person, and was paroled in March 1994. Jackson used a shotgun to wound the elderly father of a former girlfriend in Dallas.

Not a confession he says: Later Jackson recanted his confession and claimed he was innocent. His trial lawyer argued the confession was obtained when his client was under duress.

From death row, Jackson said he was on the other side of Houston the day of the killings, was out all night "gambling and got high." When he returned home the next morning, police investigating the deaths took him into custody.

He also said his wife had no plans to end their relationship. Jackson said that the note he left behind was a prayer, written weeks earlier, asking God to protect his family.

Last words and such: Jackson was all smiles as his friends entered the viewing room, chatting and looking rather upbeat considering what was about to take place. Jackson thanked his family and expressed love for them. "This is not the end but the beginning of a new chapter for you and I together forever. See you all later. See you all on the other side." Jackson then told the warden standing over him, "Warden, murder me." He then referred to Harris County, where he was convicted, as Sodom and Gomorrah, the biblical cities destroyed by God for their sins. "I'm ready to roll. Time to get this party started."

As the lethal chemicals entered his body, Jackson laughed at a gesture made by one of his guests, then made a gurgling sound before dying. After sputtering his last breath, two of Jackson’s friends called him a “soldier.” He was officially pronounced dead by prison officials at 6:18 p.m. "Praise God," an unidentified female guest said after he stilled.

None of the victim's family were present.

Factoids: Jackson was the...

5th murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1062nd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
4th murderer executed in Texas in 2007
383rd murderer executed in Texas since 1976