Tuesday, June 12, 2007

May 3, 2007

..."If we had a guillotine or gallows we would have a lot less crying"...

Last Meal: Jones, 55, had a final meal request of black-eyed peas, pepper steak and an orange-flavored drink. Earlier in the day he had a cheeseburger and a Pepsi from a prison vending machine.

The skinny: Jones was executed for the 1978 double murder of a couple on their farm.

More skinny: Jones and accomplish Arthur Lee Giles were convicted for the Nov. 10, 1978, attack in which the couple were shot and stabbed to death in the pre-dawn hours.

Three children, ages 10, 13 and 21, were critically wounded, but survived. The children's 85-year-old grandmother also survived.

Giles had worked for the man picking vegetables and hauling watermelons to a farmers market. Jones and Giles had been drinking beer and rum the night of the murders, and entered the man's home intending to rob him.

The oldest of the children, who was 21 at the time, testified that he was awakened just after 3 a.m. when Giles turned on the light in the bedroom the man shared with his 10-year-old brother. The father confronted Giles and told him to leave.

Minutes later the oldest son found Giles at the house's back door, and Giles shot him twice. Jones and Giles then made their way through the house, shooting and stabbing its occupants. After a wounded son got to his feet and made his way to his parents' bedroom, he found his brother and sister, stabbed, shot and bloody, but alive at the foot of their parents' bed.

In a confession, Jones admitted that he and Giles, after drinking rum and beer, went to the home to rob the family, although they never found any money.

Jones and Giles were tried separately, both receiving a death sentence. Giles, remains on Death Row at Holman Correctional Facility.

Justice delayed is justice...etc...: While the jury took just an hour and 45 minutes to declare him guilty, Jones had been on Death Row for 27 years.

The day of: In the hours before his execution he was visited by his two sisters and his brother. The brother and a representative of Kairos Prison Ministries witnessed the execution.

Jones left all of his belongings, including a Magnavox television, Timex watch, Sony radio and headphones, tobacco, a Bible and a check for $130.85, to another brother.

Last words and such: Jones had no final words and fixed his eyes on the ceiling of the execution chamber. The prison chaplain kneeled to pray, and placed his hand on the inmate's left hand.

In the witness room separated by a glass window, the four adult children of the slain victims watched silently. "I feel like they ought to have got the electric chair," said Larry Nelson, one of the children. "If we had a guillotine or gallows we would have a lot less crying. I hope and pray things will get better."

Factoids: Jones was the...

16th murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1073rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Alabama in 2007
36th murderer executed in Alabama since 1976

Jones had been the third-longest-serving inmate on Alabama's Death Row.

Only 2 out of the 199 inmates on death row have been there longer, according to Department of Corrections records.