Attorney requests Supreme Court dismiss Mississippi inmate’s request for execution

Published 2:57 pm Wednesday, December 8, 2021

An attorney for a Mississippi inmate is asking the state Supreme Court to dismiss the inmate’s request for an execution date.

Blayde Nathaniel Grayson has been on death row 24 years. He said in a handwritten letter to justices last week: “I ask to see that my execution should be carried out forthwith.”

Attorney David Voisin submitted a separate letter Tuesday telling justices that Grayson still has an appeal pending in federal court. Because of that, Voisin is asking justices to disregard Grayson’s request.

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Grayson said in his letter that he wants to end all of his appeals. He was convicted of capital murder in 1997 in the 1996 stabbing death of a 78-year-old Minnie Smith during a burglary of her home in south Mississippi’s George County.

Mississippi on Nov. 17 carried out its first execution in nine years, giving a lethal injection to David Neal Cox, who surrendered all appeals and described himself as “worthy of death.” A jury in north Mississippi sentenced Cox to death after he pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in front of her dying mother.

The state Supreme Court will decide whether to grant Grayson’s request. Mississippi Department of Corrections spokesperson Leo Honeycutt said Friday that the department will be ready if the justices set an execution date.

One of the current state Supreme Court justices, David Ishee, represented Grayson during his trial and during some appeals of the conviction.