Mississippi executes man who killed wife, terrorized family

This undated photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Corrections shows David Neal Cox. The Mississippi Supreme Court has set a Nov. 17, 2021, execution date for Cox, who withdrew his appeals. He pleaded guilty in September 2012 to shooting his wife Kim in May 2010 in the town of Sherman, sexually assaulting her daughter in front of her, and watching Kim Cox die as police negotiators and relatives pleaded for her life. (Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP)
Caption
This undated photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Corrections shows David Neal Cox. The Mississippi Supreme Court has set a Nov. 17, 2021, execution date for Cox, who withdrew his appeals. He pleaded guilty in September 2012 to shooting his wife Kim in May 2010 in the town of Sherman, sexually assaulting her daughter in front of her, and watching Kim Cox die as police negotiators and relatives pleaded for her life. (Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

Mississippi has executed a man who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and terrorizing their family

PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.

David Neal Cox, 50, abandoned all appeals and filed court papers calling himself "worthy of death" before the state Supreme Court set his execution date. He appeared calm as he received a lethal injection. A coroner pronounced him dead at 6:12 p.m. CST at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Cox pleaded guilty in 2012 to capital murder for the May 2010 shooting death of his estranged wife, Kim Kirk Cox. He also pleaded guilty to multiple other charges, including sexual assault. A jury handed down the death sentence.

Cox wore a red prison jumpsuit and was covered by a white sheet during the execution. Wide leather straps held him down on a gurney.

“I want my children to know that I love them very much and that I was a good man at one time,” Cox said just before the injection started. “Don't ever read anything but the King James Bible."

Cox thanked the state corrections commissioner, Burl Cain, for "being very kind to me. And that's all I got to say.”

Cox appeared to take several deep breaths after the lethal chemicals started flowing through a clear plastic tube into his body, and his mouth moved some. He was pronounced dead within a few minutes.

Among those who witnessed the execution was Cox’s now 23-year-old stepdaughter. She was 12 when he sexually assaulted her three times in front of her wounded mother as he held them and one of her younger brothers hostage on the night of May 14 and May 15, 2010, in the small town of Sherman.

Mississippi carried out six executions in 2012. The state does not have any others scheduled among the more than 30 people currently on its death row.

States have had difficulty finding lethal injection drugs because pharmaceutical companies began blocking the use of their products to carry out death sentences.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections revealed in court papers earlier this year that it had acquired three drugs for the lethal injection protocol: midazolam, which is a sedative; vecuronium bromide, which paralyzes the muscles; and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.

Cain told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the drugs listed in the court records were the ones being used for the execution. He would not say where the department obtained them.

Cain, the onetime head of the Louisiana state penitentiary in Angola, witnessed several executions in that neighboring state before he took up his new role in Mississippi. He stood by Cox during the execution.

“You couldn’t make it more picture perfect than we had tonight," Cain told reporters afterward.

A group that opposes executions, Death Penalty Action, said earlier that killing an inmate who surrendered all appeals would amount to "state-sponsored suicide." The group had petitioned Republican Gov. Tate Reeves to block the execution of Cox, but Reeves' spokeswoman said the governor declined to intervene because Cox admitted to "horrific crimes."

Attorneys from the Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel represented Cox in recent years. After the state Supreme Court set his execution date, Cox sent a handwritten statement strongly objecting to their continued involvement. The office director, Krissy C. Nobile, said Tuesday that after "considerable and difficult deliberation, and out of respect for David Cox's autonomy and stated desire," the office did not plan any more appeals for him.

Kim Cox’s father, retired law enforcement officer Benny Kirk, said David Cox called during the night of the attack and said he had shot Kim. Benny Kirk spoke on the phone with his daughter and she told him: ”‘Daddy, I’m dying.’”

Police surrounded the house and tried to get David Cox to release his wife and the two children. Kim Cox was dead by the time the ordeal ended after more than eight hours.

The Associated Press does not usually identify victims of sexual assault but Cox’s stepdaughter, Lindsey Kirk, agreed to be interviewed and talk about what happened to her. She told The Associated Press last week that David Cox had sexually assaulted her for a few years when her mother was out of the house, and that he threatened to kill them if she told anyone.

While staying with her grandparents in the summer of 2009, Kirk texted her mother and told her of the assaults by her stepfather. Soon after that, David Cox was arrested and charged with statutory rape, sexual battery, child abuse and possession of methamphetamine. He was released in April 2010 without standing trial. Kim Cox obtained a restraining order against him, and she moved to her sister’s home.

Kim Cox’s family did not issue a statement after the execution.

Questions remained about whether David Cox was responsible for the 2007 disappearance of his brother's wife, Felicia Cox, who was last seen in a neighboring county. Her daughter, Amber Miskelly, recently told WTVA-TV that David Cox was the last person to see her mother alive. After the execution, Cain said David Cox had not spoken about his sister-in-law's disappearance.

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Emily Wagster Pettus was a witness to the execution of David Neal Cox.

Caption
Lea Campbell, of the Mississippi Rising Coalition, reads a poem during a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Lea Campbell, of the Mississippi Rising Coalition, reads a poem during a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Lea Campbell, of the Mississippi Rising Coalition, reads a poem during a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Lindsey Kirk looks at childhood photographs of herself and her late mother Kim Kirk Cox, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in New Albany, Miss. She was 12 years old when her stepfather, David Neal Cox, terrorized her family, sexually assaulted her, and killed her mother, Kim Kirk Cox, in May 2010 at a home in Sherman, Miss. The Mississippi Supreme Court set an execution date of Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, for Cox after he said he wanted to surrender all appeals. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Lindsey Kirk looks at childhood photographs of herself and her late mother Kim Kirk Cox, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in New Albany, Miss. She was 12 years old when her stepfather, David Neal Cox, terrorized her family, sexually assaulted her, and killed her mother, Kim Kirk Cox, in May 2010 at a home in Sherman, Miss. The Mississippi Supreme Court set an execution date of Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, for Cox after he said he wanted to surrender all appeals. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Lindsey Kirk looks at childhood photographs of herself and her late mother Kim Kirk Cox, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in New Albany, Miss. She was 12 years old when her stepfather, David Neal Cox, terrorized her family, sexually assaulted her, and killed her mother, Kim Kirk Cox, in May 2010 at a home in Sherman, Miss. The Mississippi Supreme Court set an execution date of Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, for Cox after he said he wanted to surrender all appeals. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Lindsey Kirk shows childhood photographs of herself and her late mother Kim Kirk Cox, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in New Albany, Miss. She was 12 years old when her stepfather, David Neal Cox, terrorized her family, sexually assaulted her, and killed her mother, Kim Kirk Cox, in May 2010 at a home in Sherman, Miss. The Mississippi Supreme Court set an execution date of Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, for Cox after he said he wanted to surrender all appeals. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Lindsey Kirk shows childhood photographs of herself and her late mother Kim Kirk Cox, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in New Albany, Miss. She was 12 years old when her stepfather, David Neal Cox, terrorized her family, sexually assaulted her, and killed her mother, Kim Kirk Cox, in May 2010 at a home in Sherman, Miss. The Mississippi Supreme Court set an execution date of Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, for Cox after he said he wanted to surrender all appeals. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Lindsey Kirk shows childhood photographs of herself and her late mother Kim Kirk Cox, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in New Albany, Miss. She was 12 years old when her stepfather, David Neal Cox, terrorized her family, sexually assaulted her, and killed her mother, Kim Kirk Cox, in May 2010 at a home in Sherman, Miss. The Mississippi Supreme Court set an execution date of Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, for Cox after he said he wanted to surrender all appeals. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, holds a protest sign at the small prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, holds a protest sign at the small prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, holds a protest sign at the small prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Traffic leaves the front gate to the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Traffic leaves the front gate to the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Traffic leaves the front gate to the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Death penalty opponents participate in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Death penalty opponents participate in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Death penalty opponents participate in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Death penalty opponent Sheila O'Flaherty, speaks about her participation in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Death penalty opponent Sheila O'Flaherty, speaks about her participation in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Death penalty opponent Sheila O'Flaherty, speaks about her participation in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain addresses media in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain addresses media in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain addresses media in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, right, addresses reporters, while Jeworski Mallett, deputy commissioner in charge of institutions listens, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, right, addresses reporters, while Jeworski Mallett, deputy commissioner in charge of institutions listens, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, right, addresses reporters, while Jeworski Mallett, deputy commissioner in charge of institutions listens, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, left, confers with Karei McDonald Jr., executive deputy commissioner, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, left, confers with Karei McDonald Jr., executive deputy commissioner, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, left, confers with Karei McDonald Jr., executive deputy commissioner, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain addresses media in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain addresses media in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain addresses media in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, reacts as Lea Campbell, center, reads a poem before a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. These three women were part of a small group of death penalty opponents that participated in the vigil. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, reacts as Lea Campbell, center, reads a poem before a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. These three women were part of a small group of death penalty opponents that participated in the vigil. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, reacts as Lea Campbell, center, reads a poem before a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. These three women were part of a small group of death penalty opponents that participated in the vigil. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, cries at a secured gate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Bosler was denied entrance to a protest/prayer vigil setup on the penitentiary campus because she arrived after the gate was secured. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, cries at a secured gate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Bosler was denied entrance to a protest/prayer vigil setup on the penitentiary campus because she arrived after the gate was secured. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, cries at a secured gate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Bosler was denied entrance to a protest/prayer vigil setup on the penitentiary campus because she arrived after the gate was secured. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, right, reads the final words of David Neal Cox, as Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Leo Honeycutt, left, presents them on his laptop, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, right, reads the final words of David Neal Cox, as Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Leo Honeycutt, left, presents them on his laptop, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, right, reads the final words of David Neal Cox, as Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Leo Honeycutt, left, presents them on his laptop, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain tells reporters in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., of the final words from David Neal Cox, 50, who was executed by lethal injection, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain tells reporters in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., of the final words from David Neal Cox, 50, who was executed by lethal injection, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain tells reporters in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., of the final words from David Neal Cox, 50, who was executed by lethal injection, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, center, confers with Karei McDonald Jr., executive deputy commissioner, right, as Corrections chief general counsel Leonard Vincent listens, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., following the scheduled execution by lethal injection of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, center, confers with Karei McDonald Jr., executive deputy commissioner, right, as Corrections chief general counsel Leonard Vincent listens, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., following the scheduled execution by lethal injection of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain, center, confers with Karei McDonald Jr., executive deputy commissioner, right, as Corrections chief general counsel Leonard Vincent listens, during a news briefing in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., following the scheduled execution by lethal injection of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain tells reporters in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., that he was pleased with the smoothness by which the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, was carried out, as Leonard Vincent, general counsel for the department of corrections listened, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain tells reporters in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., that he was pleased with the smoothness by which the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, was carried out, as Leonard Vincent, general counsel for the department of corrections listened, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain tells reporters in the Visitation Center on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., that he was pleased with the smoothness by which the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, was carried out, as Leonard Vincent, general counsel for the department of corrections listened, Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Lea Campbell, of the Mississippi Rising Coalition, reads a poem during a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Lea Campbell, of the Mississippi Rising Coalition, reads a poem during a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Lea Campbell, of the Mississippi Rising Coalition, reads a poem during a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Parchman, Miss., moments before the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox. The group, allowed on the penitentiary grounds, held the vigil for the victims and the condemned. Cox, 50, who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, and Greg Spore, participate in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, received a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and became the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, and Greg Spore, participate in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, received a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and became the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Sally Fran Ross, a retired United Methodist minister, left, and Greg Spore, participate in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, received a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and became the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
A Mississippi Department of Corrections official, left, informs SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, that she is being denied entrance to the protest area at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., because she arrived after the announced time for securing the area prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

A Mississippi Department of Corrections official, left, informs SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, that she is being denied entrance to the protest area at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., because she arrived after the announced time for securing the area prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
A Mississippi Department of Corrections official, left, informs SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, that she is being denied entrance to the protest area at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., because she arrived after the announced time for securing the area prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, cries at a secured gate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. Bosler was denied entrance to a protest/prayer vigil setup on the penitentiary campus because she arrived after the gate was secured. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, cries at a secured gate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. Bosler was denied entrance to a protest/prayer vigil setup on the penitentiary campus because she arrived after the gate was secured. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent, cries at a secured gate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. Bosler was denied entrance to a protest/prayer vigil setup on the penitentiary campus because she arrived after the gate was secured. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
Sheila O'Flaherty, left, participates in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Sheila O'Flaherty, left, participates in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
Sheila O'Flaherty, left, participates in a prayer vigil at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., prior to the scheduled execution of David Neal Cox, 50, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the penitentiary and become the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Caption
A Mississippi Blues historical marker is posted across the highway from the front gate to the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. David Neal Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. He'll be the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

A Mississippi Blues historical marker is posted across the highway from the front gate to the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. David Neal Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. He'll be the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Caption
A Mississippi Blues historical marker is posted across the highway from the front gate to the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. David Neal Cox, who killed his estranged wife and terrorized their family in 2010, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday evening at the penitentiary. He'll be the first person executed in Mississippi since 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis

Credit: Rogelio V. Solis