Death of Convicted Murderer Marks 12th Execution in Texas

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Texas—the state which leads the nation in carrying out the death penalty—has executed convicted killer George Jones.

Jones, who shot and killed a Dallas man in 1993, was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday. He had exhausted all of his court appeals, and he and his attorney agreed not to make any eleventh-hour attempts to gain a stay of execution. Jones had previously won an appeal, just two days before he was scheduled to die, five years ago. In that instance, the Court of Criminal Appeals decided to review claims that Jones was ineligible for execution because he was mentally impaired; they eventually rejected that claim.

Jones was convicted on capital murder charges in 1995 in the slaying of 22-year-old Forest Hall, whose body was found along a rural road near Lancaster, Texas. According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, Jones and an accomplice, Derrick Rodgers, approached Hall in the parking lot of a Dallas mall, forced their way into a car, and drove him to the remote area. They then ordered the victim to lie face-down in a ditch, shot him twice, and pawned some of the car parts. Other items implicating them, including the car stereo and speakers, were found at Jones’s home.

Jones, who acknowledged being a drug dealer, was also tied to several other crimes, including another killing that occurred shortly before his arrest, five months after the Hall murder.

During interrogation, Jones wrote a confession in which he blamed Rodgers, but also admitted that he himself had “accidentally” shot Hall once, in self-defense. Although his attorneys challenged the confession in court, it was allowed into evidence.

Rodgers plea-bargained for an abbreviated prison term, in exchange for testifying against Jones, and is serving a 22-year prison term for aggravated robbery.

Jones was declared dead at 6:18 p.m. CDT, eight minutes after the injection of the lethal drugs. When asked by the prison warden if he had a final statement, Jones thanked his parents, saying they had been “my pillar of strength in this situation” as well as his brothers and sisters “who have loved me despite my faults and imperfections.” He also addressed some of Hall’s relatives, who watched the execution through a window, telling them that he hoped his death “brings you closure or some type of peace.”

 

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