A man who has fought the death penalty he received for a 1991 Johnson County slaying does–or doesn’t– want to die for his crime.

It really depends on who you ask and when you ask them.

Jack Gordon Greene, who was convicted in 1992 of killing Sidney Burnett, 69, of Knoxville in Johnson County and has had the legal system tied up in knots for years in an effort to beat the system said on Wednesday in an unsuccessful clemency hearing he would rather die than to remain a prisoner in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

But he would also have liked to have been extradited back to North Carolina where he faces a life sentence for the murder of his brother the week before he killed Burnett.

The clemency board voted 6-0 to not support clemency and the matter is now in the hands of Governor Asa Hutchinson.

In 1991, Burnett, a retired minister, was bound and gagged, beaten and stabbed twice and had his throat slit from ear to ear. Burnett and his wife had given shelter and comfort to Greene and his  girlfriend years before helping her escape an abusive relationship. After the Burnetts opened their home to the girlfriend, they became part of a list by Greene of people to be killed.

Authorities say the only thing that allowed Hazel Burnett to escape death that fateful day was the fact that she was out on an errand an not at home at the time of the killing.

Greene was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in the Johnson County Circuit Court on October 15, 1993. The Arkansas Supreme Court remanded the Johnson County Circuit Court for re sentencing multiple times, however, each time Greene was sentenced to death.

In November 1998, Greene’s death sentence was overturned and he was given a new trial. He  was sentenced to death for the third time  in July. Greene is now set to be executed November 9 after Governor  Asa Hutchinson followed through on a request to set the date by state attorney general Leslie Rutledge in late August.

But Greene, whose attorney’s requested the clemency hearing because they say he is mentally incompetent to understand the proceedings against him said he’s not crazy by standing throughout the hearing, gyrating and gesturing wildly and stuff tissues in his ears.

Family members told the press that Greene has had decades to perfect his act and “feared death” for his crimes. He originally had an agreement with the state of Arkansas when he as tried for Burnett’s death that if convicted and his punishment was less than the death penalty that he wanted to be able to return to North Caroling to serve his sentence.

Hutchinson is expected to announce his decision on Friday.

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Dennis McCaslin has been a longtime news and sports reporter for several media outlets in the Fort Smith area. He has also been a well known radio personality and play-by-play announcer for several years prior to joining InsideFortSmith.Com. He is the voice of the ArklahomaSports High School Game of the Week. E-mail: dennis@greatplainsdigital.com

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