AR Death Row Inmate Calls Himself 'Totally Competent' for Upcoming Execution

"They started making me out to be a total idiot and retard from day one."

VARNER, Ark. - The oldest Arkansas death row inmate and his victim's family agreed on one thing Wednesday: Jack Greene is "totally competent" for his upcoming execution. 

However, Greene's attorneys have argued he is too mentally ill to legally be put to death.

Now the decision is in the hands of the Arkansas Parole Board, who will send its recommendation to Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the next 72 hours. 

"I've been jacked up like this for 12 out of the last 13 years," Greene told the board during his clemency hearing at the Varner Unit Wednesday morning. 

Instead of sitting in a chair next to his attorney, the 62 year old stood for the entire hour and a half, breathing heavy, contorting his body in pain and leaning against the table in front of them. He frequently touched his left ear and nose, which were both clogged with tissue. 

"They [attorneys] started making me out to be a total idiot and retard from day one," he said. "I am totally competent to be executed. This is not a competency hearing. It's a clemency hearing." 

Greene's attorney, John Williams, was on a different page, arguing conspiracy theories dominate his client's thoughts so much that he does not understand the world or his scheduled Nov. 9 execution. 

"I want to object verbally to everything this attorney is saying," Greene interrupted. 

A forensic psychologist, Dr. Dale G. Watson, told the board he has never seen anyone as delusional as Greene. 

"I believe him to be psychotic," Watson said. "His pain could be a physical hallucination."

Dr. Watson explained he examined Greene first in 2009. When he returned to Arkansas for further examinations in 2011 and 2015, Greene refused to see him. 

The next time they saw each other was at a competency hearing when Dr. Watson said Greene was "doing headstands literally in court." 

Greene also interrupted Dr. Watson, calling him a "nut doctor." He argued he has never received the proper medical treatment for his sharp ear pain and brain and back injuries.  

"I have been tortured nearly to death," he said. "It's by the grace of God and sheer will that I've lived this long." 

Greene was sentenced to death for the murder of 69-year-old Sidney Burnett, a husband, father, WWII Air Force veteran and preacher from Johnson County. 

"I knew what I was doing to him," he said. "I couldn't stand what I was doing to him. And I put the gun to his head and killed him." 

"He brutally murdered my father," Carolyn Walker, who came in from Indiana, told the parole board Wednesday afternoon. "He shot him, stabbed him and cut him from his mouth to his ear. Jack Greene has no integrity, no morals, no respect for life and no remorse."

Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons said Greene inflicted injury on Burnett for the sole purpose of torture and mental anguish. 

"I am not opposed to the death penalty," Gibbons told the board. "But I think it should be reserved for the worst of the worst. This case presents the worst of the worst." 

Burnett's daughters said their dad gave Greene money, a job, even a place to stay.  

"He treated him like family," said Irene Burton. "Dad gave him life. What did he give my dad?"

Their torture continues 26 years later. 

"This really hits me today," said Linda Miller, who came in from Michigan. "It hits me because I am now the age that my dad was when he was cruelly taken away from us. It invaded our emotions, our souls and stole more from us than you could even imagine. I still weep when I think of the torture dad was put through and I wonder what his thoughts were, what his last words were. I will not know. I'll never know."

An act of murder Burnett's daughters will never blame on Greene's mental state. 

"Jack is doing this because he fears death," Burton said. "I believe that with my whole heart. I don't believe he's mental. He, to me, his whole life has manipulated people. If he could not get his way, he took revenge. He threw a fit like a little child."

Burton read a message to Greene from her mother, Edna:

"I hope Jack repents so that he doesn't burn in Hell. He needs to be dead so this never happens again. No one, not our family or even Donna Johnson, his girlfriend, can find peace until he is dead." 

"These are good, God-fearing Christian people," Greene said. "None of this should have ever happened. What I did was horrible. What I did to Mr. Burnett was horrible. What I did to my own brother was horrible, too."

Greene also killed his brother in North Carolina before moving to Arkansas.  

"It wasn't out of hate but hurt," he told the board. "I swore upon my mother's grave that I would kill Tommy and anyone else for letting her die."

The parole board asked him if he wants clemency.

For Greene, it came down to two options. If he can go back to a North Carolina prison for medical treatment, he will take clemency. If not, he will see them Nov. 9. 


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