Mississippi Department of Corrections

Mississippi death row inmate drops lawsuit after info provided on execution drug

march 20, 2014

JACKSON, Mississippi — The Mississippi Department of Corrections and attorneys for a death row inmate have agreed to dismiss a lawsuit over release of information on execution drugs and suppliers.

The decision to dismiss was made after the attorney general’s office and the agency provided information sought about the drugs, attorneys for Michelle Byrom said in a statement.

Special Assistant Attorney General Paul Barnes said in court documents filed this week that the Corrections Department erred in not providing the information sought by Byrom and has now done so.

Byrom and her attorneys had asked Hinds County Chancery Judge William Singletary to hold the agency in violation of Mississippi’s public records law for failing to provide information on whether the drugs are safe and reliable or whether they may have been tainted, expired, counterfeited or compromised in some way.

Barnes said the Corrections Department has now provided essentially everything requested except for the drugmaker’s identity. Corrections officials had no immediate comment.

Byrom was sentenced to death in 2000 in Tishomingo County in the shooting death of her husband, Edward “Eddie” Byrom Sr., at their home in Iuka.

Attorney General Jim Hood has asked the state Supreme Court to set a March 27 execution date for Byrom. Byrom’s lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to allow her to continue her appeals. The court has not yet ruled on either motion.

Vanessa Carroll, an attorney with the New Orleans office of the MacArthur Justice Center, said the center has determined the Corrections Department is buying the lethal injection drugs from a compounding pharmacy in the state and that the center has determined the identity of the pharmacy.

The Corrections Department has said it uses pentobarbital, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride in executions.

Carroll said in Thursday’s news release that the Corrections Department’s use of a compounding pharmacy raises concerns.

“We have no assurance that this compounded pentobarbital is sufficiently potent and effective. This is an enormous concern because pentobarbital is the first drug administered during a lethal injection, and if it fails to work properly, the prisoner will be suffocated to death by the paralytic agent that is given next, and may be conscious during the excruciating pain caused by the third drug, which causes death by cardiac arrest,” said Carroll.

Compounding pharmacies make customized drugs not scrutinized by the Federal Drug Administration. It’s hard to tell exactly how many states have used or are planning to use compounding pharmacies for execution drugs because states frequently resist disclosing the source of the drugs.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, six states have either used or announced an intention to use compounding pharmacies to obtain the drugs for lethal injection.

South Dakota carried out 2 executions in 2012 using drugs from compounders. Georgia obtained drugs from an unnamed compounding pharmacy for the planned execution of Warren Hill in 2013, but the execution was stayed. Pennsylvania obtained drugs from a compounder, but has not used them. Colorado sent out inquiries to compounding pharmacies for lethal injection drugs, but all executions are on hold. Missouri used pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy in the 2013 execution of Joseph Franklin.

Texas and Ohio announced plans to obtain drugs from compounding pharmacies in October 2013. Documents released in January show that Louisiana had contacted a compounding pharmacy regarding execution drugs, but it is unclear whether the drugs were obtained there.

Washington D.C.-based DPIC is a nonprofit organization that tracks information on issues concerning capital punishment.

Mississippi may see most executions since 1950s

June 11, 2012 Source : http://www.timesdaily.com

With four execution so far and two scheduled this month, Mississippi is on pace to have more executions in 2012 than it has had in any year since the 1950s.

The last time Mississippi executed more than four inmates in any single year was in 1961, when five died in the gas chamber. There were eight executions in each of the years 1955 and 1956. In those days, inmates were put to death for crimes like armed robbery, rape or murder. Today, the only crime punishable by death in Mississippi is capital murder — a murder that happens during the commission of another felony.

The increase in executions comes as fewer people are being sentenced to death across the country. Some experts say the upward trend in Mississippi isn’t likely to last.

Don Cabana, a former Mississippi corrections commissioner and author of the book, “Death At Midnight: The Confessions of an Executioner,” said the increase “was absolutely predictable” and has more to do with timing and the pace of appeals than anything else.

“You have a number of people who have been sitting on death row for a long time whose cases kind of simultaneously, or in close proximity, started exhausting their appeals,” Cabana said.

Three of the men executed so far this year were convicted of crimes committed in 1995 and the other was convicted in the 1990 stabbing deaths of four children.

Jan Michael Brawner, who’s scheduled for execution on Tuesday, was convicted in the 2001 killings of his 3-year-old daughter, his ex-wife and her parents in Tate County. Gary Carl Simmons Jr., scheduled to die by injection June 20, was convicted of shooting and dismembering a man in Pascagoula over a drug debt in 1996.

“Mississippi went for a long time with no executions, or hardly any executions. It’s due to the slowness of the appellate process. But now these cases are coming to fruition,” said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit group that collects and analyzes information on the death penalty.

Jim Craig, an attorney who has worked on appeals for death row inmates, believes there’s more to it than that.

Craig said that seven out of 11 men executed in Mississippi since 2008 were represented on appeal by the Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel when it was led by attorney Bob Ryan, who took over the office in 2002. Glenn S. Swartzfager took over the office in 2008.

In a 2006 affidavit obtained by The Associated Press, Ryan described a situation in which the office lacked manpower and funding and he sometimes relied on trial summaries when filing appeals in numerous cases. At one point, he was essentially “the sole counsel on 21 cases,” he wrote in the affidavit.

Craig says he’s convinced that some of those men would be alive, either still appealing their cases or having their death sentences reduced, if they had better representation. Craig said many appeals were filed based only on the court transcript, and the post-conviction office didn’t bother to interview witnesses.

“This is more than just the usual things moving at the usual speed. This is a breakdown in the system of providing lawyers to poor people when the state is trying to execute them,” he said.

The Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel was created by the Legislature in 2000 to represent indigent death row inmates in appeals.

“A pace of one or two executions a year is about what Mississippi has averaged. The reason why we have had 11 since 2008, I think it has to do with the failures of the post-conviction office in those years,” Craig said.

The number of executions in Mississippi has fluctuated from year to year. There were two executions last year, three in 2010, none in 2009 and two in 2008. There also have been long gaps in executions over the years because of litigation. There were lulls between 1964 and 1983 and again from 1989 to 2002.

So far this year, Mississippi is only one execution behind Texas. Texas, however, has more executions scheduled for the remainder of the year than Mississippi. Texas has executed some 460 more people than Mississippi since 1976, but Texas has a much larger population.

There are 52 inmates on death row in Mississippi, which ranks 15th among death penalty states. Two of the inmates on Mississippi’s death row are women, though it has been decades since a woman was executed in Mississippi. California has the most death row inmates with around 723.

Richard Jordan, 66, who was first convicted in 1977, is the oldest person on Mississippi’s death row and has been there the longest, according to the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Jordan has an appeal pending in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

MISSISSIPPI- Henry Curtis JACKSON -Execution .- LAST HOURS- EXECUTED 6.13 pm

June 5, 2012 Execution of Henry Curtis Jackson
7:00 p.m. News Briefing

Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) today conducted the mandated execution of state inmate Henry Curtis Jackson. Inmate Jackson was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.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 Henry Curtis Jackson case. Jackson was sentenced to death in September 1991 for the crimes of four counts of capital murder of Shunterica Lonnett Jackson, Dominique Devro Jackson, Antonio Terrell
Jackson and Andrew Odutola Kuyoro, Jr. in Leflore County, Miss.“The State of Mississippi – Department of Corrections has carried out the mandated execution of death row inmate Henry Curtis Jackson,” said MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps. “Through the course of nearly 22 years, death row inmate Henry Curtis Jackson was afforded his day in court and in the finality, his conviction was upheld all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“I ask that you join me in prayer for the families of Shunterica Lonnett Jackson, Dominique Devro Jackson, Antonio Terrell Jackson and Andrew Odutola Kuyoro, Jr. 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 Emmitt Sparkman,  Mississippi State Penitentiary Superintendent Earnest Lee, Mississippi State Penitentiary security staff and the entire staff of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for their professionalism during the process.


Henry “Curtis” Jackson Jr. was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m. CDT Tuesday after receiving an injection at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, officials said.

Clad in a red prison jumpsuit as he lay strapped to a gurney, Jackson was asked if he wanted to make a statement.

“No, I don’t,” he responded as family members sat somberly in a nearby witness room.

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 Henry Curtis Jackson’s activities from
2:00 p.m. to approximately 4:45 p.m., including telephone calls and visits.
Inmate Jackson’s Collect Telephone Calls
Today, Tuesday, June 5, 2012
No phone calls.
Update to Inmate Jackson’s Visits
 Family visitors left Unit 17 at 3:00 p.m. In addition to previously mentioned
family members, Inmate Jackson’s wife, Ms. Jacqueline Jackson, did visit with
 Attorneys Robert Davis, Jr. and David Voisin visited with Inmate Jackson from
3:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
 Inmate Jackson’s spiritual advisors, Reverend James Cooper and MDOC
Chaplain Marvin Edwards, left Unit 17 at 4:00 p.m.
Activities of Inmate Jackson:
 Inmate Jackson ate none of the dinner offered to him.
 Inmate Jackson does not wish to take a shower and does not want a sedative.
 Inmate Jackson remains under observation. Officers have observed Inmate
Jackson as being very solemn.

Briefing 2.pm

Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) will hold three news  briefings today related to events surrounding the Tuesday, June 5, 2012 scheduled execution of death row Inmate Henry Curtis Jackson, MDOC #25585. The following is an update on Inmate Jackson’s recent visits and telephone calls, activities, last meal to be served, and the official list of execution witnesses.

Approved visitation list:
Jacqueline Jackson (wife)
Martha Jackson (mother)
Natasha Jackson (daughter)
Monique Johnson (daughter)
Shameeka Johnson (daughter)
Henry Jackson, III (son)
Darrius Story (son)
Regina Jackson (sister)
Fannie Barbara Payne (sister)
Pearl Jackson (sister)
Glenda Kuyoro (sister)
Gregory Jackson (brother)
Andrew Kuyoro (brother-in-law)
Robert Davis, Jr. (attorney)
David Voisin (attorney)
Reverend James Cooper
MDOC Chaplain Marvin Edwards

Visits with Inmate Henry Curtis Jackson
Monday, June 4, 2012
Robert Davis, Jr. (attorney)
David Voisin (attorney)
Visits today, thus far:
 Martha Jackson (mother)
 Natasha Jackson (daughter)
 Monique Johnson (daughter)
 Shameeka Johnson (daughter)
 Henry Jackson, III (son)
 Regina Jackson (sister)
 Fannie Barbara Payne (sister)
 Pearl Jackson (sister)
 Gregory Jackson (brother)

June 5, 2012
Activities of Jackson
 Inmate Jackson was transferred from Unit 29 to Unit 17 on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
 This morning, at Unit 17, Inmate Jackson was offered breakfast, but ate nothing.
 Inmate Jackson was offered lunch today, but ate nothing.
 Inmate Jackson has access to a telephone to place unlimited collect calls to persons
on his approved telephone list. He will have access today, June 5th until 5:00 p.m.

Approved Telephone List
 Jacqueline Jackson (wife)
 Martha Jackson (mother)
 Natasha Jackson (daughter)
 Monique Johnson (daughter)
 Henry Jackson, III (son)
 Darrius Story (son)
 Regina Jackson (sister)
 Pearl Jackson (sister)
 Glenda Kuyoro (sister)
 David Voisin (attorney)
Inmate Jackson’s Collect Telephone Calls

Monday, June 4, 2012
Three phone calls to: Regina Jackson (sister)
One phone call to: Monique Johnson (daughter)
One phone call to: Pearl Jackson (sister)
One phone call to: Glenda Kuyoro (sister)
Today, June 5, 2012
Thus far today:
No phone calls thus far.
According to the MDOC correctional officers that are posted outside his cell, Inmate
Jackson is observed to be very talkative but somber.

Jackson’s Remains
Inmate Jackson has requested that his body be released to his brother, Gregory Jackson and
Century Funeral Home in Greenwood, Miss.

June 5, 2012
Last Meal
Inmate Jackson has requested no last meal, but will be offered the standard dinner meal.
Execution Witnesses
Spiritual Advisor(s) for the condemned Inmate Jackson requested Reverend James Cooper
and MDOC Chaplain Marvin Edwards as spiritual advisors to witness the execution.
Member(s) of the condemned’s family Inmate Jackson requested no family witness the execution.
Attorney(s) for the condemned Inmate Jackson requested no attorney witness the execution.
Member(s) of the victims’ family Regina Faye Jackson (Mother of Shunterica and Dominque Jackson)
Glenda Kuyoro (Mother of Andrew Kuyoro and Antonio Jackson)Andrew Kuyoro (Father of Andrew Kuyoro and Stepfather of Antonio Jackson)
Sheriffs Sheriff James Haywood, Sunflower County
Sheriff Harold Jones, Copiah County
Members of the Media

Jack M. Elliott
Associated Press
Jackson, MS
Jeffrey Hess
Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Jackson, MS
Charles Edward Smith
The Greenwood Commonwealth
Greenwood, MS