Convicted murderer appeals death sentence to MS Supreme Court

Convicted murderer appeals death sentence to MS Supreme Court

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Convicted murderer Richard Gerald Jordan is asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn his death sentence.

Attorneys representing Jordan filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the state supreme court Wednesday. The petition argues Jordan's death sentence should be overturned based on two claims.

First, the petition claims the chemical cocktail used in Mississippi for lethal injection executions does not comply with state law.

Mississippi law requires drugs used in lethal injection executions must be an "ultra short acting barbituate" or "other similar drug." Jordan's petition contends midazolam is not a drug authorized for lethal injection executions, because it is a benzodiazepine, not a barbiturate.

Next, the petition claims carrying out the death sentence four decades after Jordan was first sentenced violates his Eighth Amendment right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

Jordan, along with two other death row inmates, previously filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, LA.

The appeals court granted an injunction staying the executions on Feb. 1, but that injunction was vacated and remanded to the U.S. District Court Southern District of Mississippi on Wednesday.

On two occasions, a jury found Jordan guilty of kidnapping and murdering Edwina Marter in 1976. At one point, Jordan's death sentence was reduced to a life sentence, but the death sentence was reinstated in 1998.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.