Ad Spot

Death row inmate requests to be executed immediately

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge will decide whether a death row inmate who says he wants to be executed is mentally competent to waive all his appeals.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the examination in the case of David Cox.

Cox wrote to Mississippi Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. in August saying he wanted to fire his lawyers, give up all his appeals and have the state Supreme Court set his execution date.

“I seek in earnest to (waive) all my appeals immediately, I seek to be executed as I do here, this day, stand on MS death row a guilty man worthy of death — please grant me this plea,” Cox wrote in an Aug. 16 letter .

Cox pleaded guilty to shooting his wife Kim in 2010 in the Union County town of Shannon, raping her daughter in front of her, and watching Kim Cox die as police negotiators and relatives pleaded for her life. He also pleaded guilty to seven other crimes without making a bargain with prosecutors that precluded the death penalty. A jury sentenced him to death.

In another letter in July to Union County District Attorney Ben Creekmore, Cox wrote that “if I had my perfect way and will about it I’d ever so gladly dig my dead (sarcastic) wife up whom I very happily and premeditatedly slaughtered on 5-21-2010 and with eager pleasure kill” her again.

Cox’s lawyers argue that he is mentally ill and isn’t competent to waive his appeals, and that it’s unconstitutional for the state to execute him.

“There is no reliable evidence that Mr. Cox has a free or unrestrained will necessary to lodge a permanent, voluntary waiver of his right to continue pursuing post-conviction remedies,” wrote Benjamin H. McGee III of the state Office of Post-Conviction Counsel.

 

In support of that, he cited Cox himself. In a Nov. 7 letter to McGee, Cox wrote that he’s divided between “skin 1” which wants to continue appeals and “skin 2” which wants to be executed.

“Skin 1 is not willing, while Skin 2 is willing to surrender all counsel & all appeals — still. David Cox as a whole is not a single unit, but two — David Cox within David Cox is a living division of separated matter within the same vessel of life,” Cox wrote in the Nov. 7 letter .

McGee has filed a fresh petition with Mississippi’s justices seeking a new sentencing hearing. The lawyer says Cox’s trial lawyers didn’t adequately lay out the history of abuse that Cox endured as a child, including poverty, neglect, parental abandonment, chronic exposure to pornography and witnessing his father sexually abuse his sister. Cox’s sister, in a sworn statement, said he dropped out of school and huffed gasoline “all day,” later becoming addicted to methamphetamine. Lawyers argued the substance abuse permanently injured his brain and that it would be unconstitutional to execute him, just as the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional to execute someone with mental disabilities.

“Mr. Cox’s rage, violence and impulse control problems are product of brain dysfunction, not a reflection of choice or character. He has a severe psychopathology – that is, a severe mental disorder or mental illness – but he is not a psychopath.” Forensic psychologist Robert Stanulis wrote in a report for the defense.

Mississippi hasn’t executed anyone since 2012, amid legal disputes over lethal injection procedures and difficulty procuring execution drugs.

Local

Vicksburg man uninjured as home collapses

Local

Watch: Glenwood Circle holds annual Fourth of July bike parade

Local

Watch: Arredondo commemorates special days with music

COVID-19

Flaggs wants compliance officer to make sure COVID-19 guidelines are followed

Local

Lloyd remembered as a friend, ‘super individual’

Crime

Tallulah woman pleads guilty to embezzling from Vicksburg law firm

Local

Vicksburg family finds honeybee colony living within their home

Clairborne County

Alcorn, Mississippi National Guard partner to create Braves Free Tuition Program

Business

Brown named chair of Mississippi State Personnel Board

Crime

Suspects damage Clear Creek golf carts, drive three into pond

Local

Mississippi’s now-former state flag retired to Museum of Mississippi History

BREAKING NEWS

One killed in wreck on Washington Street

Downtown Vicksburg

Downtown Vicksburg’s Old Depot Museum reopens

COVID-19

Watch: Gov. Tate Reeves addresses the media Wednesday afternoon

BREAKING NEWS

Body of second missing boater found; victims identified

BREAKING NEWS

Search of Eagle Lake for second missing boater continues

BREAKING NEWS

Search and rescue effort on Eagle Lake turns into recovery after one body found

BREAKING NEWS

Reeves signs legislation retiring state’s flag to history

BREAKING NEWS

Reeves: We can move on, and with God’s help, we will

News

Watch: Reeves set to sign legislation removing state’s flag

Local

Varner named Rotarian of the Year

Downtown Vicksburg

Looking Back: The history of the ‘elegant’ C.O. Willis home

Downtown Vicksburg

Structural assessments on the city’s downtown parking garages expected soon

Local

Drawdown of water levels in Eagle Lake to be accelerated