Wednesday, June 13, 2012

R.I.P. Jan Brawner

Roman Colosseum lit to protest an execution
On June 12, 2012, Mississippi executed Jan Brawner for the murders of his 3-year-old daughter Paige, his ex-wife, Barbara Craft, and her parents, Carl and Jane Craft, in 2001.

Brawner testified at his trial that "I don't feel I deserve to live."  He refused to allow any mitigating evidence at the sentencing phase which would have informed the jury about the his childhood, background and mental state.  It was subsequently argued that his trial lawyer acted unreasonably in failing to develop and present such evidence.

The Mississippi Supreme Court voted 4-4 to deny rehearing.  A tie meant that the prior decision to allow the execution to go forward stood.  A tie-breaking vote wasn't cast because the ninth justice, Ann Lamar, who was district attorney at the time of the murders, didn't vote.

This was the 21st execution in the United States in 2012, the fifth in Mississippi.


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