Georgia executes its oldest death row inmate


The US state of Georgia has executed its oldest death row inmate days before his 73rd birthday after courts rejected his request for stays.
Brandon Jones was put to death at 12:46 am Wednesday with lethal injection at the Georgia Department of Corrections in Jackson.
The African-American man had spent more than 36 years behind bars, convicted in the murder of a white Atlanta store manager, Roger Tackett, in 1979.
Jones’ attorneys had made late appeals to block the execution, including with the US Supreme Court, but they were all rejected.
Earlier on Tuesday, the US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 6-5 not to hear before a full court Jones' challenge of Georgia's lethal injection secrecy law.
Critics say his case points to "double punishment" in the US criminal justice system where some death row inmates spend decades in solitary confinement before they are finally executed.
"Jones's case raises questions of proportionality and discriminatory application of the death penalty," the Death Penalty Information Center, a non-profit organization providing analysis and information on capital punishment in the US, said in a statement.
"He and his co-defendant Van Solomon -- both African American -- were sentenced to death... for killing a white gas station store clerk during a robbery,” it noted. "Jones denies shooting the clerk and prosecutors never determined who fired the fatal shot."
There are now 75 men on death row in Georgia, which suspended executions for several months last year following a controversy over the drugs used in its lethal injections.
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