Jamie Mills Execution Scheduled For Today

Jamie Mills execution
Jamie Mills

The State of Alabama is preparing to execute Jamie Mills today, May 30 2024, for a double murder that took place in 2004

According to court documents Jamie Mills and his common law wife JoAnne Mills would go to the home of an elderly couple, Floyd and Vera Hill, in order to rob them. Once he gained access to the home Jamie would attack the couple using a hammer, tire iron and a machete

Eighty seven year old Floyd Hill would die at the scene. Seventy two year old Vera Hill would die two and a half months later

When he was arrested Jamie Mills would deny being at the residence and that he had never met Floyd and Vera Hill. This turned out to be a lie. When police searched his vehicle they would find prescription drugs belonging to the Hills. Police would also find a duffel bag filled with bloody clothing

Jamie Mills would be arrested, convicted of the murders and sentenced to death

Update = Jamie Mills was executed by lethal injection

Jamie Mills News

A man convicted of killing an elderly couple in 2004 is set to be executed by Alabama on Thursday, which will make him the second man executed in the state this year and the sixth in the country.

The execution of Jamie Ray Mills, 50, comes about four months after that of Kenneth Eugene Smith, who was put to death by nitrogen gas despite his objections to the method.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall noted in a statement that Smith’s execution “marked the first time in the nation – and the world – that nitrogen hypoxia was used as the method of execution,” saying the state “has achieved something historic.” Four days after that execution, Marshall filed a motion to set Mills’ execution date, writing that “it was time for his death sentence to be carried out.”

“There is no doubt that Mills committed those offenses,” he wrote. “Mills’ convictions and sentence are final.”

The Alabama Supreme Court approved Marshall’s request for execution on March 20, allowing Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to set Thursday’s execution.

Here’s everything to know about Mills’ execution.

Mills is set to be executed at William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, about 50 miles northeast of Mobile.

The execution is not set for a specific time but rather a 30-hour window that will begin at 12 a.m. Thursday, May 30, and end at 6 a.m. on Friday, May 31, according to reporting by The Montgomery Advertiser, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Mills will be put to death by lethal injection, considered a “primary method” of execution by all states and the federal government, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The kinds of drugs or combination of drugs vary across jurisdictions, with states using one, two, or three drugs to put inmates to death. The drugs vary depending on availability and many states have struggled to obtain the drugs as sometimes overseas suppliers decline to be involved in the death penalty.

“Most three-drug protocols use an anesthetic or sedative, followed by a drug to paralyze the inmate, and finally a drug to stop the heart. The one- and two-drug protocols typically use an overdose of an anesthetic or sedative to cause death,” according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The Alabama Department of Corrections has not answered USA TODAY’s request for which drug or drugs they plan to use on Mills.

They also haven’t said what his last meal request is.

This week the 11th Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals denied two defense motions seeking a delay in Mills’ execution The defense can still seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mills argues that ex-wife JoAnn Mills, who testified against him in connection with the 2007 murders of Floyd and Vera Hill, lied on the stand. Floyd, 87, and Vera, 72, were beaten to death and robbed in their home in Guin, about 70 miles northwest of Birmingham.

JoAnn Mills was considered a key witness in the case, testifying that she saw her husband kill the Hills with a ball peen hammer, tire tool and a machete, according to court documents filed in Marion County. The couple was arrested a day after the murders, and were found with an assortment of items that connected them to the crime scene, court records show, including the suspected murder weapons in their car.

Jamie Mills asserted that the physical evidence collected not only proved his innocence, but supported the theory that he was framed by a local drug user he says had access to his vehicle on the night the Hills were killed.

He says it calls into question “not only the reliability of the capital trial verdict in this case, but also the integrity of the court,” according to the April 5 motion. About two weeks later, Jamie Mills filed another motion alleging that he might be strapped to the execution gurney for an extended period of time, which he says is “unnecessarily cruel.”

There is an “imminent risk” at play, his attorneys argue in the April 26 filing, saying that he could be subject to an “ unnecessarily prolonged and tortuous execution at the hands of state officials” with unreviewable authority.

Jamie Mills has asked the court for access to his attorney over the course of the execution, citing examples of four inmates were either executed or were subject to attempted executions that he argues were carried out improperly and caused unnecessary suffering.

All of the allegations Jamie Mills has brought forth in the weeks leading up to his execution could have been made earlier, according to a May 17 response by Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall.

“For a condemned inmate without the law or facts on his side, the best chance of delaying his execution is by filing multiple lawsuits in hopes of overwhelming the Eleventh Circuit and Supreme Court at the last minute,” causing the execution to be carried out under a “compressed or untenable timeline,” according to court records.

Jamie Mills has yet to provide any new evidence that could actually help clear his name, and instead he is “unwilling to believe that JoAnn might have simply done the right thing in testifying against him,” according to Marshall.

JoAnn Mills was only offered a life sentence instead of the death penalty because of the “sincerity and remorsefulness” she showed on the stand, according to Marshall.

Claims by Jamie Mills about the validity of JoAnn Mills’ testimony were “improper, untimely, and meritless,” serving as a way to a “further delay the execution,” Marshall wrote.

He also dismissed concerns of unnecessary cruelty that Mills could face at the hands of the corrections department, saying there’s no data to support the claim that he could be strapped to a gurney for an “unconstitutionally long time.” Marshall says that there is no constitutional right that would grant Jamie Mills the ability to have lawyers in the execution chamber.

Two federal judges denied Mills’ petitions for relief last week, both stating that he could have brought the information forward “several years ago.”

Emily Marks, a judge for the Middle District Court of Alabama, wrote in a May 21 response that the claims made against the the corrections department were “barred by statute of limitations.”

The delay in making these claims known recently is “unreasonable, unnecessary, and inexcusable … The practice of filing lawsuits and requests for stay of execution at the last minute where the facts were known well in advance is ineffective, unworkable, and must stop,” Marks wrote.

Marks did acknowledge that the correction department has been known on “several occasions” to subject inmates − including Joe James, Alan Miller, and Kenneth Smith − to “prolonged executions or execution attempts during which those inmates were unnecessarily strapped to the execution gurney.”

But it was up to Mills to bring the allegations forward sooner, Marks wrote.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2024/05/30/jamie-mills-execution-what-to-know/73806153007

Jamie Mills Execution

An Alabama man received a lethal injection Thursday for the 2004 deaths of an elderly couple who police said were attacked with a hammer, machete and tire tool during a robbery at their home.

Jamie Ray Mills, 50, was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m. after a three-drug injection at a southwest Alabama prison, authorities said.

Mills was the first inmate put to death by the state since Alabama became the first in the nation to execute an inmate using nitrogen gas months ago. Lethal injection remains Alabama’s default execution method unless a condemned inmate requests nitrogen gas or the electric chair.

Mills was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Floyd Hill, 87, and his wife Vera Hill, 72. Prosecutors said they were attacked on June 24, 2004, at their home in Guin about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Birmingham during a robbery where $140 and prescription drugs were stolen.

“Tonight, two decades after he committed these murders, Jamie Mills has paid the price for his heinous crimes. I pray for the victims and their loved ones,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.

As the execution began, Mills gave a thumbs up to family members, who were watching from a witness room.

“I love my family. I love my brother and sister. I couldn’t ask for more,” Mills said as he looked in the direction of his brother and sister. He also thanked his attorney, Charlotte Morrison of the Equal Justice Initiative. “Charlotte, you fought hard for me. I love y’all. Carry on.”

Some of his relatives cried softly through the execution.

As the first execution drug — a sedative — flowed, Mills appeared to quickly lose consciousness as a spiritual adviser prayed at the foot of the gurney.

In 2007, a jury convicted Jamie Mills of capital murder and voted 11-1 for the death sentence that was imposed by a judge.

Floyd Hill was the primary caregiver for his wife, who was diabetic and in poor health. He kept her medications in a tackle box in the couple’s kitchen. The Hills regularly held yard sales to supplement their income. When the couple’s granddaughter couldn’t reach them, officers arrived to find them in pools of blood in the backyard shed where they stored yard sale items.

Floyd Hill died from wounds to the head and neck and Vera Hill died about 12 weeks later from complications of head trauma, according to court filings. Investigators said the tacklebox, murder weapons and bloody clothes were later found in the trunk of Mills’ car.

Members of the victims’ family witnessed the execution and issued a statement that “justice has been served” after a 20-year wait.

“Our family now can have some closure to this heinous crime that he committed and our loving grandparents can rest in peace. Let this be a lesson for those that believe justice will not find you. Hopefully, this will prevent others from committing future crimes. God help us all,” the statement from the Hill and Freeman families read.

At the 2007 trial, JoAnn Mills became the key witness against her common-law husband. She testified that after staying up all night smoking methamphetamine, her husband took her along to the victims’ home where she testified she saw her husband repeatedly strike the couple in the backyard shed, court documents indicate.

In final appeals, attorneys for Mills, who maintained his innocence at trial, had argued newly obtained evidence showed the prosecution lied about having a plea agreement with Mills’ wife to spare her from seeking the death penalty against her if she testified against her husband.

JoAnn Mill’s trial attorney wrote in a February affidavit that before the 2007 trial, he met with the district attorney, who agreed to let her plead guilty to a lesser charge if she testified. On the stand, JoAnn Mills said she was only hoping to gain “some forgiveness from God” by testifying.

The Equal Justice Initiative said after the execution that prosecutors “lied, deceived and misrepresented the reliability of the evidence against Jamie Mills for 17 years.”

“There will come a day when governments recognize the perverse injustice of this process and the wrongfulness of this punishment. It will be a day that is too late for Jamie Mills which makes his death tragically regrettable and mournfully unjust,” the statement added.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday afternoon declined the request to halt the execution.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said there was a trove of evidence against Mills. “His actions were cold and calculated, and his assigned punishment has never been more deserved,” Marshall said.

On Jan. 25, Alabama executed inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith with nitrogen gas, a first-of-its-kind method that stirred fresh debate over capital punishment. The state said the method was humane, but critics called it cruel and experimental.

Smith was executed by breathing pure nitrogen gas through a face mask, causing oxygen deprivation. It was the first new execution method used in the U.S. since lethal injection, now the most commonly used method, was introduced in 1982. Smith was convicted in the 1988 murder-for-hire killing of Elizabeth Sennett.

https://apnews.com/article/alabama-execution-elderly-couple-murder-lethal-injection-c7677a5fdf91312b6860c94de2afa565

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