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Texas executes Quintin Jones for 1999 murder and says it forgot to let the media witness the execution

Texas executed Quintin Jones, 41, Wednesday night for the beating death of his great-aunt Berthena Bryant in 1999. According to the Texas Department of Justice, he was pronounced dead at 6:40 p.m. in Huntsville State Prison. The reporters who waited across the street to witness the execution were never called and did not learn of Jones’ death until 30 minutes after he was pronounced dead, The Associated Press reports. “The previous 570 executions Texas has carried out since the death penalty resumed in 1982 all had at least one media witness,” reports AP, and The Huntsville Item noted that state policy had an AP and an item reporter access to Executions of witnesses guaranteed. “The Texas Department of Justice can only apologize for this mistake, and nothing like that will ever happen again,” TDCJ spokesman Jeremy Desel told AP and The Item. “Somewhere in this mix there was never a call to this office to escort the witnesses across the street to the Huntsville unit,” and “I expect there will be a thorough investigation.” In the days leading up to Jones’ execution, a number of appeals were dismissed by various courts, culminating in the United States Supreme Court’s denial of residence on Wednesday evening. Advocates of Mercy for Jones noted that family members, including his great-aunt’s only sibling, had advocated that his sentence be commuted to life in prison. Jones pleaded personally with Governor Greg Abbott (R) in an interview with the New York Times. The Texas Parole Board rejected Jones’ petition Tuesday, and Abbott declined to intervene. Abbott, who on Wednesday said “our Creator gave us the right to life” when he signed one of the country’s toughest laws restricting legal access to abortion, has only had one death row inmate, Thomas Whitaker, since taking office in 2015 , Grace granted to more than 50 people executed on his watch. Jones and Whitaker’s cases are similar, and Jones’s lawyers filed a late petition arguing that the parole board supported mercy for Whitaker, who is white, but denied it for Jones because of race. A judge denied the petition. Prosecutors spoke out against the mercy because Jones had shown violent behavior as a teenager and admitted to being involved in two other murders. The white man convicted of these two murders, Riky Roosa, is serving his life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2039, The Texas Tribune notes. More stories from theweek.com Stephen Breyer is deceiving about the Supreme Court. The huge downside of another lengthy Trump public inquiry that leads nowhere. Later night promoters deny the historical revisionism of the GOP from January 6th and try to make the commission “All Riots Matter”

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