Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Georgia executes state's oldest death row inmate

The 5th Execution of 2016
Georgia executed its oldest death row inmate Brandon Astor Jones, 72, who was first sentenced to death in 1979 for the death of Roger Tackett, who managed a convenience store, reported the Washington Post.
Jones was executed at 12:46 a.m. on February 3, 2016, state corrections officials said. He took a final prayer and recorded a statement, they said.
He was sentenced to death after being charged in Tackett’s death more than three decades ago. A Cobb County police officer had said that he saw Jones close the door to a room in the back of the convenience store and, not long after, heard four gunshots, according to a Georgia Supreme Court summary of the case. The officer said he went into the room and found Jones and another man, Van Roosevelt Solomon. A short time later, authorities found Tackett’s body; he had been shot five times, and two revolvers were found.
Jones was initially convicted and sentenced to death, but a district court vacated that sentence because a Bible was allowed in the jury deliberation room. A resentencing trial in 1997 ended with Jones again sentenced to death.
Jones declined to ask for a specific last meal, state officials said, and so was given what is known as the institutional tray (which includes chicken and rice, rutabagas, seasoned turnip greens and cornbread).

This execution is the first in Georgia this year and the fifth nationwide so far in 2016. Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, Georgia is among the leading capital punishment states, with only Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Florida and Missouri executing more inmates over that span.
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