Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Joseph Burns executed in Mississippi today.

PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Supreme Court has denied death row inmate Joseph Daniel Burns' request to halt his execution.
Burns is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Burns has asked Gov. Haley Barbour for clemency. Barbour's spokesman said no decision has been made.
Burns could also ask the U.S. Supreme Court for a reprieve.
Burns, now 42, was convicted in 1996 in the 1994 stabbing death of Tupelo motel manager Floyd Melvin McBride.
The Mississippi court said it found no evidence to back up Burns' claims that his lawyers "failed him" during sentencing.
Glenn S. Swartzfager with the Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel did not immediately respond Wednesday to a message.

PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a stay of execution for Mississippi death row inmate Joseph Daniel Burns.

Burns had been scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. for the 1994 robbery and stabbing death of a Tupelo hotel manager.
The high court asked the state this afternoon to delay the execution for “an hour or two” while justices reviewed issues raised by Burns’ attorneys, including whether Burns was denied a mental evaluation. State officials agreed to the delay.
Less than a half hour after the originally scheduled time, the stay was denied. As soon as the denial was announced, witnesses began to be escorted to the execution site.

PARCHMAN, Miss. — Mississippi has executed a 42-year-old inmate for the 1994 slaying of a motel clerk.
Joseph Daniel Burns was given a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the State Penitentiary at Parchman. Department of Corrections spokesman Kent Crocker said Burns was pronounced dead at 6:50 p.m. CST.
It was Mississippi's third execution this year.
Burns was convicted in 1996 and was sentenced to death for the slaying of Floyd Melvin McBride at the Town House Motel in Tupelo. Prosecutors said Burns stabbed McBride while an accomplice opened the motel safe, then the two men fled.
The execution was briefly delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court considered and then denied Burns' appeal.
Gov. Haley Barbour earlier denied Burns' clemency request.

PARCHMAN — Mississippi death row inmate Joseph Daniel Burns, 42, has been executed at the State Penitentiary at Parchman.

His official time of death was 6:50 p.m.
The execution had been delayed this evening while U.S. Supreme Court reviewed a last-minute appeal. The Mississippi Department of Corrections got the word to go forward with Burns' execution shortly after 6 p.m.- around the time Burns was originally scheduled to be executed.
MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps had said earlier in the day that Burns appeared to have accepted that he would be executed tonight.
Burns was convicted in 1996 of the robbery and murder of Mike McBride, 57.
McBride's beaten and stabbed body was found in his residence, adjacent to the Town House Motel's main office.
Burns visited with his three daughters, his mother and his sister, as well as the State Penitentiary chaplain James Whisnant in the hours leading up to his scheduled execution. Burns' mother and his sister witnessed his execution.
He made no request for a last meal but ate turkey and roast beef sandwiches in the afternoon.
About a dozen protesters gathered outside the gates of Parchman in opposition to the death penalty.
MDOC records show Burns had racked up more than 40 infractions while in MDOC custody for the murder of Mike McBride, including violations for a 2000 hunger strike, refusing several drug screenings and possession of illegal items in prison.
Earlier today, the state Supreme Court denied Burns' request for a stay, and Gov. Haley Barbour denied a petition for clemency.

A Mississippi death row inmate is scheduled for execution tonight.  Joseph Daniel Burns (42) is set to die for the 1994 stabbing death of Tupelo motel manager, Floyd McBride.  This is the third scheduled execution in about the past two months.
The State Attorney General tells News Channel 12, the increase is due, in part, to more assistant AG’s working on cases, which speeds up the process.  And, the federal appeals process has been streamlined since the Clinton Administration.  Right now, there are 60 people on death row, 57 men and three women.  A person we talked with says executions have no place in our society.
“There’s really nothing to the death penalty, except for it’s in our history, it’s a barbaric history and we need to replace it,“ expresses Jim Craig of the group Mississippians Educating for Smart Justice.
Hood says there could be another scheduled execution as early as November.

Inmate awaiting lethal injection
Joseph Daniel "JoJo" Burns is waiting out his appeals in a holding cell next to the execution room at Parchman.

Unless he gets an 11th-hour reprieve, the 42-year-old will die tonight at the State Penitentiary for the robbery and murder of Mike McBride.
"We have had a rehearsal and we're ready to roll," Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said Tuesday.
Burns' attorneys say they have not given up, but his options appear few.
A clemency request was filed with Gov. Haley Barbour's office on Tuesday. The governor has never granted such a request from a death row inmate since taking office in 2004.
Barbour's spokesman Dan Turner said the petition was being reviewed but no decision had been made as of Tuesday evening.
"We're also waiting to hear on our petition filed with the state Supreme Court," said Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams, an attorney in the Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel, where Burns' appeals are being handled.
As a final push, attorneys could also petition the U.S. Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Burns, who has been on death row since 1996, is being monitored around the clock and guards are stationed outside his cell.
Epps said the inmate has had numerous infractions. The commissioner has reviewed Burns' report but said he was out of the office and couldn't provide a detailed breakdown.
Longtime District Attorney John Young prosecuted Burns for killing McBride, a Tupelo motel manager.
"He received a fair trial, and I think his death sentence should be carried out," Young said.
McBride's beaten and stabbed body was found Nov. 9, 1994, in his residence, adjacent to the Town House Motel's main office.
The motel's money box was pried open, and its contents were pilfered.
An anonymous tip led officers to Burns and accomplice Phillip Hale.
Hale, 39, received a life sentence in 1997 but was released on parole Dec. 1, 2008, according to MDOC records.
Parole records show he is living in Lee County. The Clarion-Ledger has been unable to reach him.
Hale knew McBride, 57, but Burns had never met him.
Hale testified at Burns' trial that the two men agreed they would rob McBride. He said he later witnessed Burns stabbing McBride in the back of the neck with "a knife, a fork and a Phillips-head screwdriver."
The following weekend, Burns and Hale spent the stolen money at casinos in Tunica.
"He killed the man for no reason other than robbery," Young said.
If carried out, Burns' execution will be the state's third this year. Paul Everette Woodward and Gerald James Holland were executed on back-to-back days at the state penitentiary in May. Each execution costs $11,000 and requires a staff of 80.
Court records show Burns has at least two children, but it's unclear whether any of his relatives will be at the prison today.
Neither Woodward nor Holland had relatives present for their executions.
Members of McBride's family and investigators who worked on the case likely will be there.

The death penalty is barbaric, cruel, inhumane, immoral, uncivilized and unjust. Prison can accomplish public safety without resorting to violence and death and pre-meditated murder carried out by the government. The death penalty is revenge and is unacceptable. 

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