New Internationalist

Brandon Astor Jones – time is running out

19-01-16-Brandon-Astor-Jones-590.png [Related Image]
Brandon Astor Jones by Georgia Department of Corrections

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UPDATE, 3 February 2016

It is with great sadness that we learned this morning that Brandon Astor Jones was executed by the State of Georgia last night. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. His death was delayed by several hours following a flurry of appeals by his lawyers, the Guardian reports.

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An execution date of 2 February has been set. Please write to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to appeal for clemency.

Regular readers of New Internationalist magazine, and of our website, will be familiar with the name of Brandon Astor Jones. He has been an occasional contributor for many years. Nothing surprising in that: many of our contributors are longstanding, and many of them have become friends. What is unique about Brandon, however, is that for the many decades we have known him, he has written for us from a prison in the US state of Georgia.

Convicted of killing a store clerk in 1972, Brandon, now nearly 73 years old, was sentenced to death in 1979; of his 36 years in prison, nearly 20 of them have been spent on Death Row. He is the state’s oldest Death Row inmate and, following the failure of his latest appeal, is due to be executed at 7pm on Tuesday 2 February.

Georgia executed five people in 2015, including one woman.

In 2008, at a time when Brandon believed his execution was near, he wrote an article for us which contained what he called ‘my last will and testament’. You can read it in full here: newint.org/features/2008/01/01/death-penalty. In it, he writes:

I am under sentence of death here in the American Southland. Over a period of many years I have stretched and tested the limits of the so-called ‘appeals process’. I am very likely to be killed in the near, as opposed to the distant, future. When New Internationalist gave me leave to write whatever I chose about the death penalty, I decided to take an unusual approach. I respectfully request that the reader absorb this more as my last will and testament than a mere essay.

Brandon’s association with New Internationalist predates my own by a long way. I have worked here for 18 years, yet this is just half the amount of time that Brandon has spent in prison. Over the past few years, while working on our blogs, I have had the pleasure of communicating with Brandon, and getting to know him through the pieces he has written for us. Through the blogs, he has exposed the reality of life in a high-security prison: the racism, the power struggles, the terrible conditions, the fear of enemies and the unwavering support of friends.

One of those friends contacted me earlier this week with the news of the execution date. She has provided details of who to write to ask for clemency:

Address your letter to:

State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909

and email it to Katrina Conrad at katrina_conrad[at]fd.org

Clemency letters can also be faxed to Katrina Conrad, she will personally deliver clemency letters received to the State Board of pardons and paroles this week.

Fax #: 404-688-0768 (from outside the US, add your country dial-out code and then a 1, eg from the UK, fax: 00 1 404 688 0768)
Attn: Katrina Conrad
Ref: Urge to grant clemency for Brandon Astor Jones

A full list of Brandon’s more recent contributions to New Internationalist can be found here: newint.org/contributors/brandon-astor-jones

Comments on Brandon Astor Jones – time is running out

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  1. #1 Paula Geraghty 19 Jan 16

    The death penalty is just wrong. There's no need to kill this man Brandon Astor Jones

  2. #2 bj goodson 19 Jan 16

    This man has done enough time & now you want to take his life,that's wrong.

  3. #3 Fiona Thomas 19 Jan 16

    I have never been clear how any society communicates the wickedness of murder by committing murder. Whichever way you look at it the death penalty is the state committing murder...and, by the way, murder is wrong.

  4. #4 Charlotte Young 19 Jan 16

    This man has served the British equivalent of two life sentences. Let him go now.A country is judged by it's ability to show compassion.

  5. #5 Paul harvey 19 Jan 16

    Two wrongs will never make a right this man took a life and for that he has already
    Served a life sentence under the threat of execution you will note serve justice well
    In carrying out a death sentence after such a long time spent on death row

  6. #6 Robin Kirk 22 Jan 16

    The point of killing Brandon Astor Jones is what? The benefit to society of killing Brandon Astor Jones is what? The moral reason for killing Brandon Astor Jones is what? Has he not already paid an incredibly high price for his crime? Murdering those who have murdered is still nothing other than murder. So we continue to live as a culture of unspeakable cruelty and lack of logic or compassion, in the belief that murder is somehow the answer to our compelling need for revenge and we can forgive ourselves by calling it justice. Don't kill this man because he killed. It's just not the right answer.

  7. #7 Ed DeLucie 22 Jan 16

    Let's be more concerned with the victim than ’Brandon’ - please!

  8. #8 Eddie 23 Jan 16

    Why do you say its. unfair to execute this inmate
    he's lived a good many years longer than is victim.


    Nearly 73 or not. i still would not agree on clemency
    he chose his way of life. is victim didn't.

    So i have no pity for this inmate what so ever.

  9. #9 david trevor 28 Jan 16

    clemency clemency clemency clemency clemency

  10. #10 tom 01 Feb 16

    I think it is completely unlawful that after he has spent so many years on death row that you are now going to execute him. This is disgusting and whoever makes the final decision whether or not to execute him should be executed themselves as this is a disgrace. This man has spent his life in prison just to be executed. Is the world we live in that sick and inhumane? This makes me physically sick. He needs to be granted clemency as keeping him on death row for so many years just to execute him in the end if horrific. You should be ashamed. I do hope that this even gets read and that this will hopefully help in deciding the fate of this man.I did try emailing directly to Katrina but as it goes the email address is wrong?



    Thomas Evans

  11. #11 debra jamieson 02 Feb 16

    this is sad ..curse the ones who didn't do their jobs correct...do your research ya get paid for your jobs. obuma let terriost loose .. this is not right

  12. #12 John Allinson 04 Feb 16

    This is very disturbing.I only heard of this man through NI when I began a subscription last week, so I am at least grateful to have had the opportunity to send a plea for clemency. There are, needless to say, many more terrible things going on in our world, but this execution, evincing as it does a fundamental lack of decency or mercy, is distressing because it took place in a country which should be in the vanguard of promotion of human rights.
    117

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About the author

Jo Lateu a New Internationalist contributor

Having joined New Internationalist in 1998 as distribution manager, Jo moved into the editorial team in 2008, where she tries to keep her colleagues in order. Failing that, she edits, proofs and commissions pieces for the magazine and website and waters the plants when she remembers.

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