Texas executes Quintin Jones by lethal injection without media witnesses

Prison agency officials didn’t notify reporters, marking first time in at least 40 years that press wasn’t present at an execution

Texas inmate Quintin Jones was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday without media witnesses present.

The press could not witness the death of the 41-year-old because prison agency officials neglected to notify reporters it was time to carry out the punishment, according to the Associated Press. It was the first time in at least 40 years that media was not present at an execution.

A Texas department of criminal justice spokesman, Jeremy Desel, said he did not receive the usual phone call from the Huntsville Unit prison to bring reporters. Desel said the error “will never happen again”. Desel also said he did not know if the error was a violation of state law or a violation of agency policy.

Jones, convicted of killing his great-aunt in 1999, was executed at the state penitentiary in Huntsville at 6.40pm.

“I would like to thank all of the supporting people who helped me over the years,” he said in his last statement. “Love all my friends and all the friendships that I have made. They are like the sky. It is all part of life, like a big full plate of food for the soul. I hope I left everyone a plate of food full of happy memories, happiness and no sadness. I’m done, warden.”

Jones had made a clemency petition asking the state pardons board and governor to commute his sentence to life in prison. His plea was rejected.

Jones beat his great-aunt to death with a baseball bat she kept for her own protection. The killing was motivated by Jones’s drug addiction at the time. His other great-aunt, Bryant’s younger sister, Mattie Long, has forgiven him.

“Another Black man has been executed tonight. America’s outlook on justice remains broken, barbaric and inhuman,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in a tweet. “Perhaps we need more forgiveness, more love, more understanding. I have no other words.”

The writer Suleika Jaouad also expressed her grief on Twitter. “Justice was not served. The world is not a better place because Quin is gone,” Jaouad wrote. “May his memory expand our capacity for grace and mercy.”

In his six years in office, the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has only granted clemency once: to a white inmate, Thomas Whitaker.

Over the course of the year Texas plans to carry out five executions including that of Jones, out of a nationwide total of seven.


Coral Murphy Marcos

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Texas prisoner dies of lethal injection after last-minute appeal fails
The US supreme court rejects a plea from Terry Edwards’ attorneys for stay of execution and reinvestigation of ‘flawed’ murder conviction

Tom Dart in Houston, Texas

27, Jan, 2017 @5:52 AM

Article image
Texas lethal injection drug may be expired and could cause suffering
Lawyers say the potentially outdated barbiturate pentobarbital, used to execute more prisoners than any other state, may cause severe pain

Renée Feltz

09, Oct, 2015 @9:04 PM

Article image
Virginia to execute convicted murderer after Texas supplies lethal injection drug
Alfredo Prieto, extradited from California, scheduled to die on 1 October after Texas provides pentobarbital which has become hard for states to source

Tom Dart in Houston

25, Sep, 2015 @8:59 PM

Article image
Lethal injection drug production ends in the US
Sole US sodium thiopental manufacturer, Hospira, has ceased manufacturing the drug used in administering death penalties

Chris McGreal in Washington

23, Jan, 2011 @6:17 PM

Article image
Rick Perry executes justice, Texas-style | Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte: Perry may have lost no sleep over Texas's 234 executions during his tenure, but the death penalty panders to crude bloodlust

Amanda Marcotte

13, Sep, 2011 @2:15 PM

Texas executes man at centre of mental disability row

Defence attorneys for Bobby Wayne Woods argued for state to spare inmate following low scores on IQ tests

Chris McGreal in Washington

04, Dec, 2009 @3:28 PM

Article image
Texas to execute mentally ill inmate in case lawyers call 'disaster'
Barring the success of last-minute appeals, Scott Panetti, 56, will be executed on 3 December despite clear evidence that he is insane and his original trial was a farce

Tom Dart

25, Nov, 2014 @10:21 PM

Article image
Ohio executes inmate using untried, untested lethal injection method
Condemned killer Dennis McGuire reportedly gasped and snorted during the abnormally long, 15-minute execution

Ed Pilkington in New York

16, Jan, 2014 @6:03 PM

Article image
Texas executes Lester Bower after 31 years on death row
‘I have fought the good fight,’ says 67-year-old who maintained his innocence of quadruple homicide throughout three decades in prison and numerous appeals

Tom Dart in Houston

04, Jun, 2015 @12:41 AM

Romell Broom to face execution next week following botched lethal injection

Romell Broom's case raises questions about Charles Hood's case in Texas and legitimacy of death penalty

Chris McGreal in Washington

17, Sep, 2009 @4:31 PM