Execution date set for Mississippi death row inmate

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 7:01 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Friday was a year to the date of Mississippi’s last execution, the next one is being set. We’re taking a look at what can happen between now and then.

Thomas Edwin Loden, Jr. is an inmate on death row. He’s been serving time there since 2001, after being convicted in the 2000 rape and killing of a 16-year-old waitress. And, unless the Governor steps in and stops it, his last day there will be December 14.

“Every one of these single individuals that would come before me for a potential stay in either one of these, we will look at each and every case individually, and make an individual decision,” noted Governor Tate Reeves Thursday, hours before the announcement that the court was setting the execution date for Loden.”

Of note, the state’s lethal injection protocol is still caught up in a court challenge that Loden is a party to. Meanwhile, the Mississippi legislature changed the execution procedure law a few months ago.

They gave discretion to the Department of Corrections Commissioner to determine the method.

“We did it at the request of both the Governor and the Attorney General,” said House Judiciary B chairman Rep. Nick Bain. “And really, the background was, some of the availability of drugs that we’re using in lethal injection became harder and harder throughout the country. So as that progressed, we started looking for, or the Governor and Attorney General felt the need of looking for other ways to make to carry out the Senate says handed down by juries throughout the state.”

While the bill notes lethal injection is still the preferred method by the state, it allows for other options of electrocution, firing squad, or nitrogen hypoxia. Still, some groups question why Mississippi has resumed executions at all after having a nine-year period without one before resuming last year.

“There are 23 states without the death penalty,” noted Abraham Bonowitz, Executive Director of Death Penalty Action. “There’s really only a handful of states that are actually carrying out executions. If you really want to punish them, then throw away the key. I mean, how awful must it be to the battery life in prison?”

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