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Mississippi’s first execution since 2012 expected to happen without delay

Mississippi’s first execution since 2012 expected to happen without delay
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 9:41 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - All indications are the execution scheduled at Parchman for Wednesday will go on without delay.

Court documents indicate David Neal Cox shot his wife and sexually assaulted his stepdaughter in front of her dying mother. He was sentenced to death in 2012, the same year of the state’s last execution.

David Neal Cox has been asking the courts to move forward with his execution since 2018. Saying in one filing, “I am worthy of death & I do not wish to challenge the State of Mississippi any further.”

We asked former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz if Cox’s position means there’s no chance it’s stopped on Wednesday.

“It is a legal proceeding so that any legal filings could still happen, even if the defendant in this case is not wanting filings,” said Diaz. “We have a system in Mississippi where attorneys will monitor and they could file something. But the chances of postponing at this point are highly unlikely, though.”

In every death penalty situation, the Governor has the power to stop it. But we’ve now received a message from the Governor’s office, saying that after reviewing the case, he has “no intention at this time of granting clemency or delaying this execution.”

Since 2009 and as recently as this year, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, Colorado and Virginia (2021) have all legislatively replaced the death penalty with life in prison with no possibility for parole.

Diaz says that’s why it continues to be a pending question.

“The only question we’re looking at now is, what sort of society are we?” asked Diaz. “Do we, as a society, want to murder people, kill people, execute people? I mean, if we’re a society that respects life, is pro life, are we going to kill people? I mean, that’s what we’re doing. And we are doing it as citizens of the state because we’re allowing this with our taxpayer money. This is our government doing it.”

A group stood outside the State Capitol Tuesday calling for the state to join others that have moved away from the practice.

“It’s a state assisted suicide,” noted Abe Borowitz with Death Penalty Action.

“Executing human beings is not executing justice,” said Lea Campbell with MS Rising Coalition. “It is not a process that ensures accountability for the harm-doer or true reparation for victims and families.”

That same group plans to protest outside the penitentiary Wednesday. They will also hold a virtual vigil at that same time.

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