Second condemned Mississippi inmate asks state to set the date he will die
Published 9:04 pm Friday, December 3, 2021
A Mississippi death row inmate says he wants the state to start planning his execution — a request that comes weeks after another Mississippi prisoner surrendered appeals and was put to death.
“I ask to see that my execution should be carried out forthwith,” Blayde Nathaniel Grayson said in a handwritten letter filed Friday with the state Supreme Court.
Mississippi carried out its first execution in nine years on Nov. 17, giving a lethal injection to David Neal Cox. A jury sentenced Cox to death after he pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in front of her dying mother.
Grayson was convicted of capital murder in August 1997 in the May 1996 stabbing death of 78-year-old Minnie Smith during a burglary of her home in in George County.
In his letter filed Friday, Grayson wrote to the Supreme Court justices that he wanted to give up all appeals.
“Sirs & Ma’ms I drop my appeals and thank the courts of our nation for doing its burdensome duty,” Grayson wrote. “Please with expedience carry out the justice myself, and the victims’ families and my own family has waited for now 25 plus years!!!”
The Associated Press emailed questions Friday to two attorneys who have been representing Grayson in an appeal that is still pending on his behalf in federal court.
The state Supreme Court will decide whether to grant Grayson’s request that it set an execution date.
Mississippi Department of Corrections spokesman Leo Honeycutt said in response to questions Friday: “As a matter of protocol, MDOC stays ready for whatever the court decides.”
One of the current state Supreme Court justices, David Ishee, represented Grayson during his trial and during some appeals of the conviction.
“Given the choice between death or life without possibility of parole, it is his option to choose the death penalty,” Ishee told the trial judge on behalf of Grayson, according to court records.