US state, Georgia executed its oldest death-row prisoner early this morning at 12: 46 am, just days before his 73rd birthday for murdering a clerk of a convenience store.
The septuagenarian, Brandon Jones, was given a lethal dose of injection at a state prison in Jackson, where he has already spent more than 36 years behind bars for the 1979 murder.
Analysts say Jones’ case is an example of the "double punishment" faced by many death row prisoners who are made to spend decades in solitary confinement in anticipation of death.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer last year lashed out against "unconscionably long delays that undermine the death penalty's penological purpose."
Jones and his co-defendant Van Solomon, both African Americans were sentenced to death for killing a white gas station store clerk during a robbery.
A police officer told the court that he saw Jones close the door to a room in the back of the convenience store and, not long after, heard four gunshots. The officer said he went into the room and found Jones and another man, Van Roosevelt Solomon. A short time later, authorities found the clerk’s body; he had been shot five times, and two revolvers were found.
Solomon died on the electric chair in 1985 whilst Jones denied shooting the clerk and prosecutors have never been able to determine who fired the shot.
Death penalty critics have argued that many death row inmates were never treated fairly because they were sentenced to death at a time when they lacked a satisfactory defense system and that if they were tried today, the outcome would be different.
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Already four persons have been executed in the United States this year.
"Jones's case raises questions of proportionality and discriminatory application of the death penalty," the Death Penalty Information Center said in a statement.
Jones, who would have turned 73 on Valentine's Day, refused the opportunity to request a final meal ahead of his 7:00 pm (0100 GMT) execution on Wednesday.
Attorneys for Jones had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to step in, filing two stay requests but the justices rejected both petition without any recorded dissents.
Jones was executed early Wednesday (February, 3 2016) morning at 12:46 a.m. according to state corrections officials. He took a final prayer and recorded a statement, they said.