[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----MISS., WASH.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Dec 14 16:48:30 CST 2005
Nixon denies he committed crime hours before scheduled execution
Condemned killer John B. Nixon Sr. denied his guilt the morning of his
execution but said he was sorry.
"He said that he was sorry for the world, basically. He was sorry for
himself, and he was sorry for the family," said Mississippi Department of
Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps, who spoke to Nixon this morning.
"He's still saying he didn't commit the crime, but he knows who did," Epps
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Nixon's application for stay of execution
today, as well as his petition for a new hearing.
Nixon's attorneys broke the news to him, the commissioner said.
"I haven't gotten any word about him being bitter or hostile," Epps said.
This morning, Nixon appeared to be "in a very good mood" and was chatty,
correctional officers said. This afternoon, they described him as "calm
Nixon did not have any visitors Saturday, Sunday or Monday. His attorneys
Brian Toohey and David Mills visited him Tuesday.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nixon visited with his sisters Ruth Lee
and Paige Walden, his niece Janell Veach and her husband Denny Veach, his
spiritual adviser the Rev. Billy Mitchell and the Mississippi State
Penitentiary Chaplain Willie Bays.
At 12:41 p.m., Nixon made a collect phone call to his attorney Brian
Nixon is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. today. He was
convicted of killing Rankin County resident Virginia Tucker for $1,000 and
shooting her husband Thomas Tucker in 1985. Elester Ponthieux, Virginia
Tucker's ex-husband, hired Nixon to kill Tucker. He is serving a life
sentence for his role in the crime.
Thomas Tucker survived the shooting and will witness Nixon's execution.
At age 77, Nixon will be the oldest person executed in the United States
since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. After Nixon is put to
death this evening, his body will be loaded into a hearse and his sister
Paige Walden will claim him, Epps said.
(source: Jackson Clarion Ledger)
Judge Dismisses "Evolving Standards" Argument In Death Penalty Case
A man who raped and killed a seven-year-old girl could still face a
possible death penalty.
A judge in Everett ruled against defense lawyers who made a pre-trial
motion that "standards of decency" had evolved.
A new sentencing trial -- with a possible death penalty -- will be held in
the spring for Richard Mathew Clark.
The 36-year-old was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1995 murder
of Roxanne Doll.
The state Supreme Court overturned the sentence because jurors had heard
too much information about Clark's previous conviction for abducting a
The case was sent back to Snohomish County to decide whether he should be
executed or spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
(source: Associated Press)
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