Henry Curtis Jackson Jr., 47, was executed on Tuesday, June 5 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. His execution took place despite the objections of the victims’ mother who requested that Jackson be granted clemency.
Jackson was convicted of murdering two nieces and two nephews while searching for money in his mother’s home. The children’s ages ranged from 2 to 5 years old.
Jackson Attempted to Kill Sister
On November 1, 1990, Jackson visited his mother’s home while she was away at church. He was looking for money and intended to steal his mother’s safe. His sister, Regina Jackson, was at the home watching her two daughters, four nieces and two nephews.
Regina Jackson was stabbed by her brother five times during the 1990 attack. Jackson fatally stabbed two of his nieces and two of his nephews when they tried to intervene. Two other nieces were stabbed, although they survived.
One niece was severely injured and remained a paraplegic until she died in 2009. Jackson fled the scene, prompting a massive manhunt. He turned himself in to police four days after the attack.
Testimony was presented at trial stating that Jackson had cut the phone line before going into the house. Jackson claimed that he does not remember stabbing the children.
Jackson was convicted of four counts of capital murder and sentenced to death.
Jackson had unsuccessfully appealed his case.
Governor Denies Clemency
Jackson was executed despite objections from Jackson’s sisters. His sisters, Regina Jackson and Glenda Kuyoro, believed that his execution would cause their family more pain. Jackson’s sisters, Regina Jackson and Glenda Kuyoro, wrote letters to the governor to request clemency. They wrote that the family had forgiven Jackson for his crimes and that the family had seen enough killing.
Martha Jackson, Jackson’s mother, has also said that she forgives her son for his heinous crimes.
Regina Jackson appealed to the governor, insisting that killing Jackson for murdering her children would not bring her a sense of justice or closure.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant did not grant the family’s request for clemency. Because there was no question that Jackson had murdered four young children, he saw no reason to commute the sentence.
Bryant has not granted clemency to a death row inmate since he assumed office in January. He issued a statement that emphasized his commitment to justice. He did not feel that there was compelling evidence to convince him to grant clemency to Jackson.
Jackson’s case is unusual because the victims of the crime are seeking clemency for the attacker.
Jackson chose not to make a statement prior to his execution. He was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 6:13 CDT on Tuesday, June 5.
Mississippi’s Death Row
Jackson’s execution was Mississippi’s fourth execution this year. He was the 19th person executed nationwide this year.
Mississippi currently has 52 inmates who are sentenced to death. Jan Michael Brawner is scheduled to be executed on June 12. Brawner was convicted of killing his 3-year-old daughter, his ex-wife and her parents. He asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to stay his execution. He also requested a new hearing.
The court was evenly divided on the issue of granting Brawner a new hearing. A tie vote generally means that the earlier ruling stands. His attorneys argue that legal precedent suggests that tie votes in cases involving the death penalty should be resolved in favor of the convicted inmate.