UPDATE: Burns asks court for execution stay

By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

JACKSON – Joseph D. Burns, facing execution by lethal injection Wednesday, today asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to stop his death.

“The reason is simple,” wrote his attorneys in their motion to stay execution. “Joseph Burns did not make a knowing and intelligent waiver of his fundamental constitutional right to present mitigating evidence at sentencing.”

They mean that he did not give up his right to present a Lee County jury with evidence that might have changed their decision that he should die at the hands of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Today, Burns’ attorneys also asked for permission to take his case back to Lee County for a re-hearing.

Burns was convicted in 1994 in the stabbing the death of a Tupelo motel manager committed during a robbery.

Read more in Tuesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.