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Murderer Jack Jones was executed on Monday. His last letter has been shared.

A death row inmate in the US state of Arkansas has used his final words to address his victim’s family.

Jack Jones was put to death by lethal injection on Monday evening, more than 20 years after he brutally raped and murdered local bookkeeper Mary Phillips and assaulted her then 11-year-old daughter, Lacey.

Before his execution Jones said he wanted to let the family know how sorry he was.

Speaking of Lacey he said, “I can’t believe I did something to her. I tried to be respectful from the time I took and become a better person. I hope I did better. I hope over time you could learn who I really am and [that] I am not a monster.

“There was a reason why those things happened that day. I am so sorry Lacey; try to understand, I love you like my child.”

executed prisoner jack jones
Jack Jones. Image: Arkansas Department of Correction.

The 52-year-old was sentenced to death after confessing to beating and raping Phillips at her Bald Knob office then strangling her to death with the cord from a coffee pot.

The 1995 crime was committed in front of Lacey, who he then bashed unconscious.

When police arrived they found the child in a closet, tied to a chair, unmoving. They presumed her dead, until she suddenly opened an eye.

“I was doing the [crime scene] photographs and at the time I thought that she was deceased,” former chief investigator Bill Lindsey told local outlet THV11. “That's what I had been told. And then when I took the picture, with the flash, I saw her look up with that one eye.”

Without her, Lindsay and the White County Sheriff’s Office doubt Jones would have been caught.

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In a previous parole hearing Jones' lawyer claimed the man was suffering bipolar disorder and medicated himself with methamphetamine at the time of the crime, and said he was remorseful and "haunted" by what he did, reports Arakansas Online.

But speaking after his execution, Lacey Steal (she's since married) said justice had been done.

"I'm glad that part of my life, that chapter, is closed," she told the media.

After his final meal (fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, three Butterfinger chocolate bars, a chocolate Butterfinger milkshake and fruit punch), Jones spent time with his sister before his punishment was carried out at 7:20pm.

Following Jones' death, lawyers for a fellow death-row inmate used his execution as the basis for a last-minute appeal on behalf of their client.

Attorneys for Marcel Williams petitioned the Arkansas Supreme Court with claims that Jones was conscious, moving his lips and “gulping for air” more than five minutes after being issued the sedative midazolam by his executioners, according to local media.

However, the state's attorney general's office disputed the account and the judge permitted Williams' execution for rape and murder to proceed.

He was pronounced dead at 10.33pm Monday, 17 minutes after the procedure began.