LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Parole Board is recommending that Gov. Asa Hutchinson deny a request for mercy from death-row inmate Jack Harold Jones Jr.
The board said Monday it voted unanimously to recommend denial of Jones’ request that his death sentence by commuted to life without parole. Hutchinson is not bound by the board’s decision.
The state is seeking to execute seven inmates over an 11-day period starting next Monday. The board previously recommended against clemency for four other inmates, and two of the condemned inmates did not apply for clemency this year.
An eighth inmate who had been scheduled to die this month, Jason McGehee, received a stay of execution from a federal judge last week after the Parole Board recommended that the governor commute his sentence to life without parole.
Jones, 52, is scheduled to die April 24 for the 1995 killing of 34-year-old Mary Phillips during a robbery of the accounting office in Bald Knob where she worked as a bookkeeper. Jones also severely beat Phillips’ 11-year-old daughter, Lacy Phillips.
Jones also is serving a life sentence for the 1991 killing of 32-year-old Lorraine Anne Barrett in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Jones was linked to the crime in 2003 through DNA testing.
Jones said in his application for clemency that he feels regret and remorse for his crimes. He said his actions were the result of years of mental illness, abuse, drug use and bad choices, and that some of that information was not presented to the jury at his trial.
The Parole Board said Monday it voted to recommend denial of Jones’ request because of the nature and seriousness of his offense and because the sentence was not excessive.