Texas Executes Death Row Inmate – What Were His Last Words?
Quintin Jones, 41, was pronounced dead at 6:40 p.m. local time nearly 12 minutes after he received a lethal dose of pentobarbital at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.
His death ended a 10-month pause of executions in what's usually the nation’s busiest death penalty state, but media witnesses were not allowed to view the process due to a miscommunication between officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, according to the Huntsville Item.
"The Texas Department of Criminal Justice can only apologize for this error and nothing like this will ever happen again," TDCJ Director of Communications Jeremy Desel said. "We have a number of new personnel that are a part of the execution team who have not been a part of an execution in the past."
"The Texas Department of Criminal Justice can only apologize for this error and nothing like this will ever happen again."
"Somewhere in that mix there was never a phone call made to this office for me to accompany the witnesses across the street into the Huntsville Unit," he continued.
Killer's last words
While media witnesses were not present to view the execution, a transcript was provided after the fact showing that Jones thanked his supporters in his final statement.
"I was so glad to leave this world a better, more positive place," Jones said, according to the Huntsville Item. "It is all part of life, like a big full plate of food for the soul. I hope I left everyone a plate of food full of happy memories, happiness, and no sadness."
"I hope I left everyone a plate of food full of happy memories, happiness, and no sadness."
He took four to five deep breaths followed by a "long deep snore" after the lethal injection was administered, Desel said.
Prosecutors said Jones killed his great aunt, Berthena Bryant, in September 1999 after she refused to lend him money. He beat Bryant with a bat in her Fort Worth home and took $30 from her purse to buy drugs, they added.
On Tuesday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended against clemency. A clemency request to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, and a stay request to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Jones were both denied Wednesday afternoon, the paper reported.
Despite the killing, some family members of Jones, including his sister Mattie Long, held out hope that his life would be spared.
"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 part of Jones’ clemency petition with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
However, not all family members opposed the execution, said Helena Faulkner, a Tarrant County assistant criminal district attorney whose office prosecuted Jones. Prosecutors argued the death sentence was justified because Jones had a violent history, according to court documents filed last week.
On Wednesday, Jones’ attorney filed a civil rights complaint against the board, alleging race played a role in its denial of Jones’ petition. The attorney argued the case was similar to that of Whitaker’s, with the only difference being Whitaker is White and Jones was Black.
John Hummel is the next prisoner scheduled to be executed in the state, the Huntsville Item reported. He will be put to death on June 30.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Death Row Inmates from Northwest Louisiana
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