Mississippi is set to carry out its second execution of the week, this time for 61-year-old William Mitchell. Mitchell’s execution is set for 6 p.m. local time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. If carried out, it will be the third execution this year in Mississippi and the eleventh in the nation.
Mitchell was convicted of murdering a convenience store clerk in 1995. Mitchell had been out of prison on parole for less than a year for a 1975 murder when he was charged with raping and killing 38-year-old Patty Milliken after she disappeared from her job in Biloxi toward the end of her shift in November 1995.
On Tuesday, Mitchell asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution. Documents filed by Mitchell said his previous attorneys didn’t do a good job and Mississippi courts have refused to give him a hearing and an expert to prove his “intellectual disability.”
Mitchell argues the Mississippi Supreme Court twice refused to consider his ineffective counsel claims stemming from actions by his lawyers during the penalty phase of his trial and during his post-conviction petitions.
He said at no time did his attorneys try to develop evidence of his “intellectual disability” when evidence was available or could be available if he was given a psychological evaluation.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said issues raised by Mitchell have been addressed by other courts and should be rejected.
Jim Craig of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, a nonprofit law office, does not represent Mitchell but has handled other death penalty appeals in Mississippi. Craig said Mitchell has a long history of mental illness and that was never considered in the normal course of his appeals.
According to court records, Mitchell, as a young adult, served in the Army but by the 1990s, he had a long criminal record and had spent much of his adult life behind bars. He was charged twice with beating women in 1973. In 1974, he was charged with killing a family friend and stabbing her daughter.