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November 17, 2021

Mississippi completes its first execution since 2012, the tenth in the US in 2021

As reported in this AP piece, "A man who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years." Here is more:

David Neal Cox, 50, abandoned all appeals and filed court papers calling himself “worthy of death” before the state Supreme Court set his execution date.  He received a lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. CST at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Cox had pleaded guilty in 2012 to capital murder for the May 2010 shooting death of his estranged wife, Kim Kirk Cox. He also pleaded guilty to multiple other charges, including sexual assault.  A jury handed down the death sentence....

Cox appeared to take several deep breaths after the lethal chemicals started flowing through a clear plastic tube into his body, and his mouth moved some. After several minutes, the local coroner pronounced him dead.

Among those who gathered to witness the execution was Cox’s now 23-year-old stepdaughter.  She was 12 when he sexually assaulted her three times in front of her wounded mother as he held them and one of her younger brothers hostage on the night of May 14 and May 15, 2010, in the small town of Sherman.

Mississippi carried out six executions in 2012.  The state does not have any others scheduled among the more than 30 people currently on its death row.  States have had difficulty finding lethal injection drugs because pharmaceutical companies began blocking the use of their products to carry out death sentences....

A group that opposes executions, Death Penalty Action, said killing an inmate who surrendered all appeals would amount to “state-sponsored suicide.” The group petitioned Republican Gov. Tate Reeves to block the execution of Cox, but Reeves’ spokeswoman said the governor would not intervene because Cox admitted to ”horrific crimes.”

November 17, 2021 at 08:30 PM | Permalink


One thing I find a bit ironic is this:

"David Cox pleaded guilty in 2012 to eight charges, including capital murder, sexual battery and kidnapping, according to court records. A jury unanimously sentenced him to death for capital murder and 185 years for his other charges."

Someone else guilty of kidnapping and bluntly speaking rape of a kid would get a lot more than the nine years he wound up getting for his crimes.

Some might say he now is getting "judgment" somewhere else. If one believes in that sort of thing. Others might note that he basically cut short his time in prison based on his wishes.

I guess -- one article flagged he's turn 51 at the end of the month -- it is sort of an early birthday present.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 17, 2021 9:29:27 PM

I am expecting to see the number of executions go up in 2022.

In my own state, we had a run of executions in the middle of the decade when the stay based on execution protocols was listed. The effect was that, by 2017, we had only one or two people on death row who had completed federal habeas. At the present time, we have one inmate who had cert denied on his federal habeas earlier this term, and three people who are done at the court of appeals and will be filing their cert petitions soon (and will likely have them denied before the end of this term in June). So we could go from one execution this year to four executions next year.

Similarly, Oklahoma seems to be resuming its executions and already has four scheduled for next year. And once Texas gets past is free exercise issue, it is likely to resume executions.

Posted by: tmm | Nov 18, 2021 10:44:16 AM

tmm: between roughly 30 and 60 executions emerged as close to an annual "norm" for about a quarter century from 1990 to 2015, though a few states contributing to that "norm" are seemingly out of the execution business these days (Virginia by repeal, Ohio by de facto moratorium). The new normal of the pre-covid years was around 20 to 25, and I am thinking that will be were we will likely land in coming years absent big surprises from SCOTUS or the feds.

Posted by: Doug B. | Nov 18, 2021 2:18:16 PM

The "new normal" is a 6-3 Court, in place since October 2020.

Prof. Steve Vladeck in his recent congressional testimony (when discussed the shadow docket) argued Barrett's confirmation helped lead to three more federal executions alone.

But, if it doesn't result in more executions, that would be good.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 18, 2021 2:33:55 PM

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