Back in May 1991, witnesses saw a Pennsylvania tourist, 32-year-old Lorraine Barrett, talking with a man at the Elbo Room on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Another witness saw Barrett and the man board an elevator at the Days Inn on Seabreeze Boulevard. Barrett was strangled to death, and there was evidence that she had also been sexually assaulted. In 2005, DNA evidence put a name to her murderer: Jack Harold Jones.
But that 2005 conviction came too late to save another life: Mary Phillips, a bookkeeper in Bald Knob, Arkansas, who was raped and murdered in 1995. Phillips' 11-year-old daughter was tied up, her head fractured and her body left for dead. But she survived. Jones was already sentenced to death for that murder when a Florida court convicted him of killing Barrett.
This week, a U.S. Appeals Court in St. Louis upheld Arkansas' lethal injection protocol, which had been challenged by Jones and two other inmates. It means that Jones is likely to die on March 16, as scheduled.