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Jason Matthew JOSEPH

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 26, 1992
Date of birth: 1972
Victim profile: Jeffrey Anderson, 22 (sandwich shop clerk)
Method of murder: Shooting (.45-caliber pistol)
Location: Portsmouth, Virginia, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Virginia on October 19, 1999
 
 
 
 
 

United States Court of Appeals
For the Fourth Circuit

 

opinion 98-35

 
 
 
 
 
 

clemency petition

 
 
 
 
 
 

Jason Joseph was convicted of the October 26, 1992 robbery and murder of Jeffrey Anderson, 22, who worked at a Subway sandwich shop in Portsmouth, Virginia. 

According to a Virginia Supreme Court summary of evidence, an accomplice gave Joseph his .45-caliber pistol. 

Joseph and his accomplice Kaisi Powell entered the sub shop and Joseph ordered a sandwich.  After the sandwich was made, Joseph took the gun out of his pocket and ordered Anderson to open the cash register and give him the money. 

Anderson complied and Joseph ordered him to get down on the floor behind the counter.  Joseph reached over the counter and shot Anderson in the back. 

Prosecutors told jurors at a sentencing hearing that Joseph had committed other crimes, including the armed robbery and abduction of 2 convenience store clerks.  The cold-blooded murder was caught on the store's video camera system. 

In addition to the death sentence, Joseph also received a life sentence and an additional 100 year sentence.

 
 

Jason Joseph

In May of 1994, Jason Joseph was sentenced to death for the October 26, 1992 murder of Jeffrey Anderson as he was working at a subway Sandwich restaurant.  Joseph was 20 years old when the crime was committed. 

Joseph was raised by his mother because his father abandoned the family when he was only three years old.  He did not graduate from high school and was unemployed at the time the crime was committed.  While incarcerated for this act, Joseph participated in a substance abuse program, successfully finishing it. 

The defense psychological expert stated that `the absence of a father figure in Joseph's life and the lack of "emotional nurturance" with other people left Joseph with "a sense of emptiness," which caused him to be `at risk for making unfortunate choices in an effort to fill that emptiness." 

The expert also noted that Joseph's mental condition could be improved if he was allowed to participate in the prison's psychotherapy program. The Commonwealth's psychologist disagreed, and found nothing wrong with Joseph. Joseph was convicted and given the death penalty.

In the early evening on the night of the murder, Joseph, his partner in the robbery, Kaisi Powell, Joseph's brother, and his sister ingested marijuana and cocaine.  

The Commonwealth claims that when they ran out of drugs Joseph and Powell decided to rob a convenient store in order to get money to buy more narcotics. 

The Commonwealth also alleges that Joseph and Powell entered the Subway store, forced Anderson to lie down behind the counter while they took the money, and, right before they were going to exit, Joseph leaned over the counter and shot Anderson.  Joseph contests these statements.  

He believes that the prosecution's primary witness, Powell, was unbelievable.  Joseph attempted to illustrate that Powell was not credible by stating his, ˘prior felony record, his involvement in these crimes, his motive for blaming Joseph, his inconsistent statements about the crimes, and the fact of his `extremely generous "plea agreement." 

However, the Appellate court ruled that Powell's credibility remained in the hands of the jury and that they were correct in finding him believable. Joseph also contends that the shooter could not be determined from watching the videotapes or listening to the audio soundtrack of the tape. However, once again the Appellate court ruled that if the evidence was strong enough for the jury to convict than the decision should stand.

Joseph also believes that there was no premeditation for the crime.  The intent was not to kill anybody, but instead to rob the store.  The Appellate court ruled against Joseph, stating that the killer had taken "extra effort" to lean over the counter to shoot Anderson and that constituted premeditation.

Jason Joseph entered death row on May 25, 1994 and was executed on October 19, 1999.

 
 

Jason Matthew Joseph, 27, 99-10-19, Virginia

A man who robbed and then shot a sandwich shop clerk in the back after the clerk had given him the money apologized to the victim's family and was executed Tuesday night, hours after losing a U.S. Supreme Court appeal and a plea for clemency.

Jason Matthew Joseph, 27, was put to death by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center. He was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m.

Asked for a final statement, Joseph said, "No more pain."

In a signed statement released after the execution, Joseph said he hoped the victim's family and friends "can finally find some closure and peace. I am truly sorry for the pain I've caused your family and mine. I've brought so much pain to so many people. All that I can say to both families is I wish you all NO MORE PAIN."

4 death penalty opponents waited outside the rural prison about 50 miles south of Richmond as the execution hour approached.

The U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 on Tuesday morning to reject Joseph's request for a stay of execution. Late Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Jim Gilmore turned down Joseph's clemency request.

Joseph was convicted of the 1992 robbery and murder of Jeffrey Anderson, 22, who worked at a Subway restaurant in Portsmouth.

According to a Virginia Supreme Court summary of evidence, an accomplice gave Joseph his .45-caliber pistol. The two men then entered the sub shop and Joseph ordered a sandwich.

After the sandwich was made, Joseph took the gun out of his pocket and ordered Anderson to open the cash register and give him the money.

Anderson complied and Joseph ordered him to get down on the floor behind the counter. Joseph reached over the counter and shot Anderson in the back.

Prosecutors told jurors at a sentencing hearing that Joseph had committed other crimes, including the armed robbery and abduction of 2 convenience store clerks.

Joseph's lawyers argued in the clemency petition to Gilmore that their client should not be executed because jurors were influenced "by false and highly inflammatory media reports."

The lawyers said newspapers incorrectly reported that after the verdict Joseph made a profane, disparaging remark to the victim's family. Two jurors later admitted that they read the article.

The clemency petition also said jurors were not told that Joseph went on a crime spree in part because he was on crack cocaine and had a brain injury "triggering immature judgment and violent reaction to stress."

Gilmore, in denying clemency, said Joseph robbed Anderson to get drug money. He noted that the case had been upheld on multiple appeals.

Joseph becomes the 12th condemned inmate to be put to death in Virginia this year, and the 71st overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982.

(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)

 

 

 
 
 
 
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