Mississippi – William Mitchell – execution Last 24h

March 22, 2012 Execution of William Mitchell
7:00 p.m. News Briefing 

Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) today conducted the mandated execution of state inmate William Mitchell. Inmate Mitchell was pronounced dead at 6:20p.m.at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. MDOC Commissioner Christopher Epps said during a press conference following the execution that the evening signified the close of the William Mitchell case. Mitchell was sentenced to death in 1998 for the crime of capital murder of Ms. Patty Milliken in Harrison County, Miss.

“The State of Mississippi – Department of Corrections has carried out a court order issued by the state Supreme Court. The role of the MDOC is to see that the order of the court is carried out with decorum,” said MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps. “Through the course of nearly 17 years, death row inmate William Mitchell was afforded his day in court and in the finality, his conviction was upheld all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. For the second time this week, the cause of justice has been championed.”

“I ask that you join me in prayer for the family of Ms. Patty Milliken. The entire MDOC family hopes you may now embark on the process of healing. Our prayers and thoughts are with you as you continue life’s journey,” said Epps.
Epps concluded his comments by commending Deputy Commissioner of Institutions/Parchman Penitentiary Superintendent Emmitt Sparkman and the entire Mississippi State Penitentiary security staff for their professionalism during the process.

William Mitchell was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m. Thursday after a lethal injection

Asked whether he wanted to say anything before the chemicals were pumped into his veins, Mitchell emphatically said, “No.”

Dressed in a red jumpsuit, wearing black-and-white sneakers, Mitchell appeared to lick his lips, took a deep breath and exhaled and then yawned. Moments later he closed his eyes and officials pronounced him dead.

Two members of Milliken’s family — son, Williams Burns; and a sister, Rosemary Riley — witnessed the execution.

Gov. Phil Bryant issued a statement that he would not halt the execution.

“After reviewing the case of William Mitchell and the crime he committed, I will not stand in the way of the scheduled execution. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Patty Milliken, who fell victim to this horrible act of violence,” Bryant said in the statement.

Mitchell’s body will be turned over to his sister Gerolyn Mitchell and Brinson Funeral Home in Cleveland, Miss.

March 22, 2012 Scheduled Execution of William Mitchell
4:45 p.m. News Briefing
Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) today briefed
members of the news media of death row Inmate William Mitchell’s activities from 2:00 p.m.
to approximately 4:45 p.m., including telephone calls and visits.
Inmate Mitchell’s Collect Telephone Calls
 Today, Thursday, March 22, 2012
Two calls: Janine Woodard (friend)
One call: Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
Two calls: Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)
One call: David Voisin (attorney)
Update to Inmate Mitchell’s Visits
 Family visitors left Unit 17 at 3:00 p.m.
 Attorneys Glenn Swartzfager and Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams visited with Inmate
Mitchell from 3:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
 His spiritual advisor, MDOC Chaplain Imam William Sabree, left Unit 17 at 4:00 p.m.
Activities of Inmate Mitchell:
 Inmate Mitchell ate very little of his last meal,
 Inmate Mitchell does not want to take a shower.
 He has requested a sedative. (Diazepam 5 ml)
 Inmate Mitchell remains under observation. Officers have observed Inmate Mitchell as
still being talkative.
The United States Supreme Court has denied William Mitchell’s
certiorari petition and application for stay of execution.

update march 22, 5.05 pm  source : http://www.wtva.com

PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the execution of a convicted killer, and Mississippi officials were expected to put him to death by lethal injection on Thursday evening.

William Mitchell, 61, was convicted in the Nov. 21, 1995, slaying of Patty Milliken.

Milliken, 38, disappeared after walking out of the Majik Mart convenience store in Biloxi where she worked to have a cigarette with Mitchell.

Milliken’s body was found the next day under a bridge.

She had been “strangled, beaten, sexually assaulted and repeatedly run over by a vehicle,” according to court records.

Mitchell was convicted of capital murder in 1998.

Earlier on Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, denied Mitchell’s request for a stay.

uptade march 22  source : MDOC  press release pdf 

Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) will hold three news briefings today related to events surrounding the Thursday, March 22, 2012 scheduled execution of death row Inmate William Mitchell, MDOC #31271.

The following is an update on Inmate Mitchell’s recent visits and telephone calls, activities, last meal to be served, and the official list of execution witnesses.

Approved visitation list:
Anthony Mitchell (brother)
Marie Dunn (sister)
Gwendolyn Catchings (sister)
Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
Imam William Sabree (MDOC Chaplain)
Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)
Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams (attorney)

Visits with Inmate William Mitchell
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams (attorney)

Visits today, thus far:
Anthony Mitchell (brother)
Marie Dunn (sister)
Gwendolyn Catchings (sister)

Activities of Mitchell
Inmate Mitchell was transferred from Unit 29 to Unit 17 on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
This morning, at Unit 17, for breakfast at 5:07a.m., Inmate Mitchell was offered potatoes with beef gravy, 2 biscuits, dry cereal, milk and coffee. Inmate Mitchell did eat all of the breakfast.

Inmate Mitchell was offered lunch today but chose to not eat.

Inmate Mitchell has access to a telephone to place unlimited collect calls to persons on his approved telephone list. He will have access today, March 22th until 5:00 p.m.

Approved Telephone List
Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
Gwendolyn Catchings (sister)
Janine Woodard (friend)
David Voisin (attorney)
Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)

Inmate Mitchell’s Collect Telephone Calls
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
One call: Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)
One call: David Voisin (attorney)
Five calls: Janine Woodard (friend)
One call: Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
One call: Gwendolyn Catchings (sister)

Today, March 22, 2012
Thus far today:
Two calls: Janine Woodard (friend)
One call: Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter)
Two calls: Glenn Swartzfager (attorney)
One call: David Voisin (attorney)

According to the MDOC correctional officers that are posted outside his cell, Inmate Mitchell is observed to be talkative.

Mitchell’s Remains
Inmate Mitchell has requested that his body be released to Gerolyn Mitchell (daughter), by Brinson Funeral Home in Cleveland, Miss.

Last Meal
Inmate Mitchell requested the following as his last meal: big plate of fried shrimp and oysters together, big strawberry shake, cup of ranch dressing, 2 fried chicken breasts and a coke.

Execution Witnesses
Spiritual Advisor(s) for the condemned Inmate Mitchell requested no spiritual advisor witness the execution.
Member(s) of the condemned’s family Inmate Mitchell requested no family member witness the execution.
Attorney(s) for the condemned Glenn Swartzfager and Louwlynn Vanzetta Williams
Member(s) of the victims’ family William Burns (son of Patty Milliken)
Rosemary Riley (sister of Patty Milliken)
Sheriffs Sheriff James Haywood, Sunflower County
John Miller, Chief, Biloxi Police Department
Members of the Media Ryan L. Nave, Jackson Free Press
Doug Walker Wineki, WLOX News
Jack Elliott Jr., Associated Press

update March 22, 9.50 am CDT source :http://www.chicagotribune.com

Mitchell’s execution is set for 6 p.m. local time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. If carried out, it will be the third execution this year in Mississippi and the eleventh in the nation.

update March 21, 2012 – 3:09 pm  source : http://www.therepublic.com

JACKSON, Miss. — Inmate William Mitchell was moved to a holding cell next to the execution chamber at the Parchman state prison shortly after Larry Matthew Puckett was put to death Tuesday night, according to Department of Corrections officials.

Barring a reprieve, Mitchell will be executed at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Mitchell was convicted of capital murder in Harrison County in 1998.

On Tuesday, Mitchell asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution. There had been no ruling issued by the court Wednesday.

Mitchell‘s petition cites issues already dismissed by Mississippi and other federal courts — ineffective counsel during trial, his sentencing hearing and various appeals.

Mitchell argued the Mississippi courts denied his right to due process by failing to address his “well-pled challenge” to his lawyers’ inadequate representation. He said the courts just ignored the issue by saying it had already been adjudicated elsewhere.

On Wednesday, in documents filed with the Supreme Court, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said issues raised by Mitchell have been addressed by other courts and should be rejected.

Hood said Mitchell’s ineffective counsel claim “is simply an attempt to relitigate the merits of these claims.” Hood said Mitchell has no evidence to show how his attorney’s actions, if different, would have changed the outcome of his trial.

“The merits of the claims were addressed, on the merits, by either the state or federal courts in this case,” Hood said in court documents.

Jim Craig of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, a nonprofit law office, does not represent Mitchell but has handled other death penalty appeals in Mississippi.

Earlier this week, Craig said Mitchell went through the post-conviction proceedings as if he was just representing himself. Craig said Mitchell has a long history of mental illness and that was never considered in the normal course of his appeals.

According to court records, Mitchell, as a young adult, served in the Army but by the 1990s, he had a long criminal record and had spent much of his adult life behind bars. He was charged twice with beating women in 1973. In 1974, he was charged with killing a family friend and stabbing her daughter.

read the case 

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