UPDATE: He’s dead, Jim.
- Thug: Jerry Duane Martin (37 at time of offense)
- Date of Execution: December 03, 2013
- Date of Crime: September 24, 2007
- Victim(s): Susan Canfield (59)
- Last Meal: I hope he enjoyed his turkey day dinner on the row — because he won’t be around for the Christmas ham.
- Final Words: Martin told relatives of the slain corrections officer that he was sorry. “I wish I could take it back, but I can’t,” he said. “I hope this gives you closure. I did not murder your loved one. It was an accident. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it happened. I take full responsibility.”
I wrote about Jerry Martin back in 2007 when he initially escaped from a Huntsville prison, where he was serving 50 years for two charges of attempted capital murder. Martin and another inmate, John Ray Falk Jr. killed a prison guard during the escape.
His two charges of attempted capital murder didn’t get him the death sentence. This subsequent capital murder did. And tomorrow evening, some time just after 6:00 p.m. HTT, he’ll pay for his crimes with his life.
Martin and an accomplice, John Ray Falk Jr., were part of a work detail in the prison onion field at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville when Martin used a ruse to get near a guard, stole the guard’s .357 revolver and tossed it to Falk. The two inmates then climbed a fence where, on the other side, 59-year-old Canfield was on horse-mounted patrol. Falk struggled with her and stole her rifle while Martin stole a pickup truck parked nearby. Martin drove that truck into Canfield and her horse, pitching her onto the windshield. She sustained head injuries and reportedly died immediately. Martin and Falk then drove a short distance, abandoned the pickup truck, and carjacked a woman in a bank parking lot. After police shot out a tire in that vehicle, the pair fled on foot. Falk was picked up within the hour and Martin was found three and a half hours later, hiding in a tree.
It’s not often (ever?) that I write about a crime when it happened, and then also get to write about the execution of the convicted criminal. I mean, my blog’s only been around for just a bit over 10 years, and most inmates spend a lot longer than that on death row. Apparently murdering one of the guards paid to watch over you gets you a date with the needle a little quicker than most crimes.
Again, this crime is a perfect reason why I support the death penalty over “life” for these dangerous animals:
There’s a lot of folk on the anti-side who think that we should just lock these dangerous animals up for the rest of their lives instead of putting them to death for their capital murders.
The problem with that is that good, honest, and innocent people have to guard them, provide them medical care, feed them, and counsel them. And every so often, if given even a moments opportunity, they will kill these innocent people too.