Jones County man execution date set for November

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - On Friday, a Greene County jury found Justin Blakeney guilty of capital murder and sentenced him to death. His execution date was set for November 19, 2014 by Judge Billy Joe Landrum.

"Mr. Blakeney finally told the truth about something, it ain't going to happen that quick," said Jones County Assistant District Attorney J. Ronald Parrish.

Parrish said the appeals process in death penalty cases usually seem to take some time to complete.

According to the Mississippi Department of Corrections, there are currently 49 inmates sentenced to death in the state, 50 now with Blakeney. The longest serving death row inmate is Richard Jordan with 37 years. Jordan's original conviction date was in 1977, he was convicted of capital murder and kidnapping in the death of Edwina Marta in Harrison County January 13, 1976.

"With the length of time some people have been on death row in Mississippi it's turned into a joke," said Parrish. "You either need to do it or don't do it within a reasonable time."

Parrish said he agrees with Blakeney's death sentence, but that doesn't mean he gets a personal satisfaction out of it.

"I feel compassion for Mr. Blakeney's family because they weren't responsible for what he did.

For now, Blakeney will remain on death row until his execution, which could take decades.

"I think that Victoria Viner, and that's who I'm concerned about, received a measure of justice in this case as much as anybody on earth can give her," said Parrish.

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