"For so many years, I kept a grainy, black and white Xerox photo of you on the surgical table, kept it taped to the inside of my notebook and at the bottom, I had written in bold letters, 'YOU DID THIS.' I kept it so I would never forget to remember.Jones' sister, Lynn Scott, protested outside the Cummins Unit Thursday. She said there's no question of her brother's guilt, but said execution is "barbaric." She also recounted Jones history of mental illness and trauma before the Parole Board during Jones' clemency hearing.
"I shall not ask to be forgiven, for I haven't the right. I'm so very, very sorry, Lacy. I've no excuse. None. For years and years, I've hoped and prayed you'd be ok. Sounds stupid, I know, but I am deeply sorry.
Jack Jones suffers from bipolar disorder and depression. His symptoms of serious mental illness date back to his childhood. He endured visual hallucinations where he saw “bugs, ants and spiders in particular, that he believed were going to get him.” These hallucinations were paralyzing. He “thought the only way to be safe from [them] was to hold very still.” Family members described how on other occasions, he would sometimes rock and bang his head against the cupboards. A doctor at the time diagnosed him with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin. In 1980, when Jack was 16, a doctor recommended he receive psychotherapy and family counseling, but the family did not follow through.The Fair Punishment Project also notes that the jury in Jones' original case heard little mitigating evidence and that his lawyers used a medical expert who the Medical Board deemed "mentally incompetent to practice medicine to such an extent as to endanger the public" a year after he testified in Jones' trial. "The expert told the jury that he knew that Jack was not bipolar because he was bipolar himself," reports the Fair Punishment Project.
In 1989, Jack attempted suicide. He tried again in 1991, when he jumped off a bridge. He was finally admitted for psychiatric attention. Just months prior to the capital murder, Jack voluntarily committed himself to the Pinnacle Pointe Hospital in Little Rock, reporting severe depression and repeated suicidal ideation. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed Lithium. He received the bipolar diagnosis again just weeks before the capital murder, in May of 1995.
Jack also experienced physical abuse by his father, and sexual abuse at the hands of three strangers who abducted and raped him.
Marcel was sexually abused by a multitude of perpetrators throughout his adolescence. Older women sexually abused him and paid him in food stamps or covered his mother’s electric bill in return. Marcel’s mother facilitated the arrangement, offering his sexual services to women that were in their twenties, thirties, and forties, while he was only a child. At one point the family was evicted and lived in the home of one of these abusers, Diane, as a quid pro quo in exchange for Diane’s free access to sexually abuse the ten-year-old Marcel. Marcel’s mother thought nothing of facilitating this arrangement as she too earned money for the family by prostituting and stealing. Marcel was also sexually abused by two of the men that Sarah brought into the family home. David Lisak, a psychologist who specializes in the study of the effects of sexual abuse, characterized the involvement of Marcel’s mother in his sexual abuse as a form of incest that is extreme and profoundly damaging.Here is the full petition.
Marcel’s mother was also violently abusive. Dr. Lisak described the abuse as “extremely severe.” Sarah beat Marcel with belt buckles, switches, or extension cords. She was a large woman and as a child Marcel was skinny. She would sit astride him and pummel him with her fists. At the age of 13, Marcel’s mother doused him with a pot of boiling water leaving burns up and down his arm. She burned him with a curling iron. On at least one occasion, Marcel’s mother put a pot of water on to boil, heated up extension cords in the water, and then beat him, naked, with the cords until he was covered in gashes. His cousins watched in horror as he fled the house, still naked and bleeding. Marcel was never safe at home. His mother would wake him up while he was sleeping to beat him. One time she beat him so fiercely in bed that the bunk bed he was sleeping in collapsed.
" ... entire sections were copied from other sources and Mr. Wright simply shoehorned in random facts from Mr. Williams’s case in an apparent effort to make it appear relevant to Mr. Williams’s case. ... Mr. Wright did not absentmindedly neglect to attribute certain citations to the source. Rather, he wholesale copied and pasted entire arguments into the brief and passed them off as his own."The Associated Press has a useful explainer on why it takes so long for death sentences to be carried out.
I’ve seen a reporter pass out. He was about 6-foot-4. I’m on the inside in the death chamber itself, but I have a mirror, and I could see him just go collapse on the back row. And the major couldn’t take him out because the law says you can’t open the door until it’s over.7:06 p.m.: The lethal injection procedure began.
That’s one of the byproducts that people don’t realize. Family members get sick. Witnesses get sick. Some of my best guards who were with them all day long — they got sick. The warden changed it to where I would have the same guys all day long, and those are the ones that just eventually had what they called a nervous breakdown, which I just think is horrible — to see some good-looking captains and lieutenants leave the system because they just can’t do executions. It affects everyone, one way or another.
The victim’s family is hurt, and the family of the individual. You’re not just killing a person. You’re killing his whole family. There’s a lot of people involved in this, not just the poor kid lying on a gurney.
People don’t realize that you never get over it, unless you’re just cold and calculated. I’ll never forget it. Not a day goes by. Not a day goes by. And I don’t expect it to. If it does, then I didn’t do what I was supposed to do, as a Christian and as a chaplain and as a human being.
“This evening, Lacey Phillips Manor and Darla Phillips Jones have seen justice for the brutal rape and murder of their mother, Mary Phillips. Mary was performing her job as a bookkeeper in Bald Knob on June 6, 1995, when she was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while her 11-year-old daughter Lacey clung to life a few feet away after being choked and beaten. The Phillips family has waited far too long to see justice carried out, and I pray they find peace tonight.”7:33 p.m.: The Arkansas Supreme Court has denied a stay request for Marcel Williams.
"This evening the rule of law was upheld when the sentence of the jury for Jack Jones was carried out after 20 years of review. The victim’s family has waited patiently for justice during that time. The jury sentenced Jack Jones to death, and his sentence was upheld by judges and reviewed thoroughly in courts of appeal at each level.Rosenberg reports that media witness Andrew DeMillo of the AP said Jones gave about a two-minute public statement. When the execution began, his lips were still moving, though it was unclear if he was talking. "For the next few minutes," Jones chest moved up and down, DeMillo said. At 7:11 p.m., the execution team did a conscious check by touching his eyelids, but his check continued to move until 7:13 p.m. At 7:17 p.m., a second consciousness check was performed and there was no movement. At 7:20 p.m., the coroner declared Jones dead.
“A governor never asks for this responsibility, but I accept it as part of the solemn pledge I made to uphold the law. Jack Jones expressed his willingness to proceed today, and we hope this will help bring closure to the Phillips family."
"I want people to know that when I came to prison I made up my mind that I would be a better person when I left than when I came in.8:15 p.m.: This is the new scheduled start time for the execution of Marcel Williams, according to Twitter reports citing the governor's spokesman. Jessi Turnure of KARK and FOX 16, Kelly Kissel of the AP and Jacob Rosenberg reporting for the Arkansas Times are the media witnesses.
"I had no doubt in my mind that I would make every effort to do this. I'd like to think that I've accomplished this.
"I made every effort to be a good person — I practiced Buddhism and studied physics. I met the right people and did the right things. There are no words that would fully express my remorse for the pain that I caused."
The State of Arkansas executed Jack Jones at approximately 7:20 p.m. Mr. Jones and Mr. Williams share similar medical conditions including diabetes and neuropathy. Mr. Jones agreed to the placement of a central line that was inserted by the infirmary hours before his execution. The infirmary staff tried unsuccessfully to place a central line in Mr. Jones’s neck for 45 minutes before placing one elsewhere on his body. Eye witness reports of the execution of Mr. Jones state that after the midazolam was administered at 7:06 p.m. The ADC did not wait 5 minutes to perform the consciousness check. During continual “consciousness checks,” and after 5 minutes had elapsed, around 7:11 or 7:12 p.m. Mr. Jones was moving his lips and gulping for air. Mr. Jones’s movements after the midazolam was administered is evidence of continued consciousness.8:33 p.m.: The attorney general responds.
“After more than 20 years, justice has prevailed for the family of Stacey Errickson. I reviewed this case thoroughly and determined that clemency should not be granted. I appreciate the patience and long-suffering of the Errickson family through this ordeal. This is a serious and reflective time in our state and it is important for the Errickson family and all Arkansans to know that in this case our laws ended in justice.”10:41 p.m.: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement:
“After years of delay, Stacy Errickson’s family and friends have seen justice carried out for her brutal death on November 20, 1994. Stacy was a young mother of two when she was kidnapped, raped and strangled to death with the drawstring from the hood of her own jacket. I hope that tonight’s lawful execution brings much-needed peace to all of Stacy’s loved ones, particularly her now-adult children Brittany and Bryan.”11:20 p.m.: JR Davis, spokesman for Governor Hutchinson, calls executions "flawless" and said "they were carried out the way they should be carried out"