Supreme Court rejects clemency request from murderer who beat his aunt to death with a bat

Roughly 30 minutes before his execution at a Huntsville, Texas death chamber on Wednesday, convicted murderer Quintin Jones’ hail mary plea to the U.S. Supreme Court to stay his execution was denied.

According to the Texas Tribune, Jones landed a death sentence in 2001 after he murdered his 83-year-old great-aunt, Berthena Bryant, with a baseball bat. Reportedly, Jones beat his aunt to death after she refused to lend him money. Jones would later argue that he was on drugs at the time of the violent incident. 

Jones and his attorney seemingly attempted every legal avenue to prevent his execution, including petitioning a variety of local, state, and federal courts. Ultimately, their efforts failed.

The convicted murderer argued in his request to the high court to stay his execution that more time was needed to consider two claims that, if proven, could have drastically changed the outcome.

One of those claims involved a 2017 Supreme Court ruling known as Moore v. Texas, which forced the courts to use modern medical science to determine if an individual is intellectually disabled, therefore preventing their execution. Jones wanted SCOTUS to consider whether that ruling would apply to his case retroactively.

In the second claim, Jones requested SCOTUS toss out his death sentence due to the prosecution in his original case relying on a psychiatrist who used a formula to assess Jones’ psychopathy that was later discredited.

“Jones’ lawyer argued the psychologist testifying for the state used a psychopathy checklist that other psychologists have discredited, with a Texas A&M professor calling it ‘unreliable, unscientific, and misleading in capital cases because (it) cannot reliably predict behavior in prison,'” the Texas Tribune reported.

Jones’ supporters are now arguing that his request for clemency was rejected potentially on the basis of race, citing a similar death row case of a white convict named Thomas Whitaker who ultimately escaped his death row sentence and ended up with a life sentence.

According to the Associated Press, more controversy surrounding his execution erupted after Jones became the first death row inmate since capital punishment was resumed in 1982 to not have a member of the media present at the time of execution, which the Texas Department of Criminal Justice blamed on internal staffing errors.