134 views this wk.

Jimmy Lee Gray

American murderer
The basics
Date of birth
Date of death Sep 02, 1983
The details

Jimmy Lee Gray (September 25, 1949 – September 2, 1983) was convicted for the murder of three-year-old Deressa Jean Scales in 1976, after kidnapping and sodomizing her. At the time of this murder, he was free on parole following a conviction in Arizona for the murder of a 16-year-old girl.

He was executed in 1983 by the State of Mississippi by gas inhalation. He became the first person to be executed in Mississippi since 1976 when the death penalty was reinstated.

Dan Lohwasser, a reporter for United Press International, was one of the observers who witnessed Gray's execution. Lohwasser's account of Gray's death sparked controversy, because of the suffering that Gray exhibited. At the time of Gray's execution, the gas chamber used in Mississippi had a vertical iron bar directly behind the inmate's chair. There was no headrest or strap used to restrain Gray's head. As Gray began breathing in the toxic gas, he started thrashing his head around, striking the iron bar repeatedly before he finally lost consciousness. Officials decided to clear the observation room eight minutes after the gas had been released, because of Gray's injuries. The decision to clear the room was sharply criticized by Dennis Balske, Gray's attorney. "Jimmy Lee Gray died banging his head against a steel pole in the gas chamber while reporters counted his moans (eleven, according to the Associated Press)".

In part because Gray's execution was botched, Mississippi passed legislation making lethal injection the only method of execution for inmates sentenced after 1 July 1984, though three more inmates (Edward Earl Johnson, Connie Evans and Leo Edwards) sentenced before this date were still executed by lethal gas. Mississippi's gas chamber was decommissioned in 1998.

The contents of this page are sourced from a Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
comment(s) so far
Leave a comment
Add a word
What's the good word on Jimmy Lee Gray?
To suggest a correction, or to flag this profile for review, click: