Georgia Executes 72-Year-Old

Brandon Jones' accomplice was executed 31 years ago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2016 3:56 AM CST
Georgia Executes 72-Year-Old
Brandon Astor Jones   (Georgia Department of Corrections via AP)

Georgia has executed a 72-year-old man, its oldest death row inmate, for the killing of a convenience store manager during a robbery decades ago. The state Department of Corrections says Brandon Astor Jones, who would have been 73 in 10 days, was pronounced dead at 12:46am Wednesday after a lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson. He was convicted in the 1979 shooting death of suburban Atlanta store manager Roger Tackett. A federal judge granted Jones a new sentencing hearing in 1989 because jurors were improperly allowed to bring a Bible into their deliberation room. He was resentenced to death in 1997.

Another man was also convicted and received a death sentence in the case: Van Roosevelt Solomon was executed in Georgia's electric chair in 1985. Jones' execution had initially been set for 7pm but was delayed while the US Supreme Court considered appeals from his attorneys, who asked the justices to block the execution because Jones was challenging Georgia's lethal injection secrecy law. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that it took more than an hour to prepare Jones for execution. A media witness said nurses had to insert an IV into Jones' groin, which is standard procedure when accessible veins in the arms can't be found. (The only woman on Georgia's death row was executed last year.)

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