"Mississippi’s oldest death row inmate Richard Jordan continues appeals of 1976 sentence in Harrison County," is by Jack Elliott Jr. of Associated Press. It's via the Mississippi Link.
Richard Gerald Jordan is the oldest inmate on Mississippi’s death row at 68.
He is also the longest serving death row inmate at 37 years.
Jordan was convicted of capital murder committed in the course of a kidnapping and was sentenced to death on four separate occasions. Following the first three convictions, Jordan challenged his death sentence successfully, was re-tried, and was again re-sentenced to death.
In 1991, after a third successful challenge to his sentence, Jordan entered into an agreement with the prosecution to serve a sentence of life imprisonment without parole in exchange for not further contesting his sentence.
Jordan appealed to the Supreme Court, saying he had agreed to the sentence but it was invalid under state law.
The Supreme Court in 1997 agreed, ruling life without parole as a sentencing option did not exist until July 1, 1994. The justices said the only sentences available to Jordan were death or life imprisonment with parole. The justices ordered a new sentencing hearing.
Thereafter, Jordan sought to a life with parole sentence. The prosecutor refused. The prosecutor said that, because Jordan “violated” the first agreement by asking the court to change his earlier sentence, the prosecutor would not again enter into a plea agreement with Jordan for a life sentence.
The prosecutor instead successfully sought the death penalty for the fourth time in a 1998 sentencing trial.