Lethal injection decision affects man who killed Gulfport banker's wife


A federal appeals panel has struck down a lower court's temporary injunction against Mississippi's efforts to execute a man found guilty of murdering a Gulfport woman in 1976.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday that a U.S. district judge in Mississippi should not have granted the plaintiffs an injunction in a case contesting whether one of the drugs used in the state's lethal injection process conforms to state law.

One of those plaintiffs is Richard Gerald Jordan, who was convicted in the 1976 kidnapping and shooting death of Gulfport banker's wife, Edwina Marter, for a $50,000 ransom. Jordan learned Marter's husband, Charles Marter, was a senior vice president at Gulf National Bank in Gulfport, found his home address and went there to kidnap his wife. He tried to extract a ransom from her husband, but Jordan shot her in the back of the head when she tried to escape in DeSoto National Forest.

At 69, Jordan is the longest-serving inmate on Mississippi's death row. He has been given the death penalty four times, having successfully challenged the first three convictions in court.

In his latest challenge, backed by the MacArthur Justice Center in New Orleans, Jordan and two other inmates say the first drug in a three-drug cocktail that Mississippi now uses for lethal injections is not an "ultra short-acting" barbiturate, as required by state law.

Read more at The Advocate.

Margaret Baker, Sun Herald staff writer, contributed to this report.