You’ll notice some changes when Worlds of Fun opens for the season this weekend.
Texas executes Quintin Jones for 1999 murder, says he forgot to let media witness the execution
Texas executed Quintin Jones, 41, Wednesday night for the death of his great aunt Berthena Bryant in 1999. He was pronounced dead at 6:40 p.m. at Huntsville State Penitentiary, according to the Department of Criminal Justice from Texas. Journalists waiting across the street to witness the execution were never called and only learned of Jones’ death 30 minutes after his death, the Associated Press reports. “The 570 previous executions carried out by Texas since the resumption of the death penalty in 1982 have all had at least one media witness,” AP reports, and The Huntsville Item noted that state policy guarantees a reporter from the ‘AP and Item access to witness executions. “The Texas Department of Criminal Justice can only apologize for this mistake and nothing like this will ever happen again,” TDCJ spokesman Jeremy Desel told AP and The Item. “Somewhere in that mix, there was never a phone call to this office to escort the witnesses across the street to the Huntsville unit,” and “I guess there will be a full investigation ”. A wave of appeals were dismissed by various courts in the days leading up to Jones’ execution, culminating in the United States Supreme Court’s dismissal of a stay on Wednesday night. Supporters of clemency for Jones noted that family members, including his great-aunt’s only brother, had pleaded for his sentence to be commuted to life in prison. Jones personally pleaded with Governor Greg Abbott (right) in an interview with The New York Times. The Texas parole board dismissed Jones’ petition on Tuesday and Abbott declined to intervene. Abbott, who said “our creator gave us the right to life” earlier Wednesday when he signed one of the country’s toughest laws limiting legal access to abortion, granted clemency to only one death row inmate, Thomas Whitaker, since taking office in 2015, out of more than 50 people executed in his custody. The Jones and Whitaker cases are similar, and Jones’ attorneys filed a belated petition arguing that the parole board supported leniency for Whitaker, who is white, but denied it for Jones because of his race. A judge dismissed the request. Prosecutors argued against leniency because Jones exhibited violent behavior as a youth and admitted involvement in two other murders. The white man convicted of the two murders, Riky Roosa, is serving a life sentence and will become eligible for parole in 2039, the Texas Tribune notes. Stephen Breyer raving Supreme Court Huge downside to yet another lengthy public inquiry into Trump that leads nowhere Debate over COVID lab leak asks the wrong question