Clemency hearing takes unexpected turn, man asks to be executed

The most recent convicted murderer to be scheduled for execution plead to be executed at his clemency hearing today.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., (KTHV) -- Jack Greene, a convicted murderer and the most recent death row inmate to be scheduled for execution, appeared before the parole board Wednesday.
 
In hopes of sparing his life, Jack Greene's attorneys have argued that he has mental health problems and is not competent enough for execution.
 
At his clemency hearing Wednesday, Greene said that couldn't be further from the truth, and his victim's family agrees.
 
Jack Greene stood hunched over, unable to sit still, pushing paper towels in his ear to the point blood runs down his neck, and frantically breathing. Still, he argued, he's not mentally ill.
 
"This is not a competency hearing like these lawyers want to present it to be," Greene said. "This is a clemency hearing. Every court in the land, everywhere my case has been filed, I am totally competent to be executed. I am totally competent to be executed.”
 
He spoke in his own defense, as he said he believes his defense attorneys are working with the Department of Correction to cover up years of torture and injuries that made him this way.
 
"I'm not going to let these people make me out to be something that I'm not," Greene said. "I accept responsibility for my actions. Killing me will be a blessing. It will do one thing. It won't give no closure to this family. I don't see. It won't give no closure to anybody. But killing me will do one thing for sure, it will put an end to the array of torture on me for 13 years."
 
He has admitted to and was convicted of torturing and murdering 69 year-old retired pastor, Sidney Burnett in 1991, days after killing his own brother in North Carolina.
 
"It looks like I purposefully tried to torture the man to death, through physical injury, through cuts," Greene said. "Finally I got to the point where I couldn't do it anymore. I knew what I was doing to him. I couldn't stand what I was doing to him. So I put the gun to his head and killed him.”
 
Greene alleged that he never planned to hurt Burnett, only to steal his truck.
 
"Torture is what my family has gone through," Sidney Burnett's daughter, Irene Burton said. "Torture is my mother finding my dad's body. Torture is waiting 26 years for justice, only to hear it may not happen.”
 
Burton, and two of her sisters spoke during the victim input portion of the hearing.
 
Greene told the board he should be extradited and wants to be returned to North Carolina to serve out his sentence. If that can't happen, he’s prepared to face the executioner's table.
 
"If there were even a chance, which there would be, that he could escape while in transport, or out of the prison that he would go to from here,"  Burton said. "That's the question that haunts my mind: what would he do, what is he capable of? Would we have to find my mother like she found my dad?"
 
Greene's attorneys said he clearly demonstrated his mental illness Wednesday and requested clemency.
 
Burnett's daughters begged the board for the justice, they say, their family deserves.
 
The State said they're not willing to move Greene to North Carolina. The State Parole Board will make a decision about Greene's fate in the next 72 hours.
 

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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