Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Oklahoma Executes Jemaine Cannon on July 20, 2023

Jemaine Cannon, Oklahoma

Updated: Thursday, July 20, 2023

Jemaine Cannon

Oklahoma executed Jemaine Cannon on Thursday, July 20, 2023.  Jemaine was pronounced dead at 10:13 am local time, inside the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma.  He was convicted of murdering Sharonda White Clark on February 3, 1995, in her Tulsa, Oklahoma apartment.  Jemaine spent the last 26 years of his life on death row in Oklahoma.

Jemaine Cannon alleged he was physically, mentally, and emotionally abused as a child.

In 1991, Jemaine Cannon received a 15-year prison sentence for shattering the skull of an 18-year-old woman during an attack. While serving that sentence he was placed in a minimum security work center in southwestern Oklahoma. On January 13, 1995, Cannon managed to escape from prison by stealing a vehicle from the work site. A few days later, the vehicle was found abandoned in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Two weeks later, on February 5, 1995, the body of Sharonda Clark, Cannon’s girlfriend, was found in her apartment. It was later determined that she had died two days prior. Cannon fled to Flint, Michigan the day after Sharonda’s death.

Before his arrest, Cannon confessed to his mother that Sharonda was dead, claiming that she had fallen on the knife during an argument in which she attacked him. Later, while talking with police, Cannon admitted to stabbing Sharonda after she attacked him, causing him to snap. However, no defensive injuries were noticeable on Cannon’s body after his arrest.

Cannon was convicted by a jury and sentenced to death on April 11, 1996.  In June 2023, the Oklahoma Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected a request for clemency from Cannon.

Cannon was scheduled to be executed on March 9, 2023.  At the request of Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, his execution is rescheduled to July 20, 2023.  Cannon’s execution was one of several execution dates that Drummond requested be rescheduled to allow more time between executions.  Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections is currently understaffed and preparing for an execution is time intensive.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board rejected a request for clemency.  Cannon and his attorney argued that he should be granted clemency because he was acting in self-defense at the time of the murder.  The argument was rejected.  Cannon has also requested a stay of execution from the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Please pray for healing for the family of Sharonda Clark. Please pray for strength for the family of Jemaine Cannon. 

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