Justice for Joyners

Published 9:19 am Saturday, February 16, 2013

It was quite a surprise to see Joe Charles “Jay” Joyner enter a plea so quickly for the murder of his father and stepmother.

Eight months after shooting Joe Joyner, 62, in the head and then beating to death Sandra Joyner, 58, at their Carrsville-area home, Jay Joyner on Wednesday entered an Alford plea in Isle of Wight County Circuit Court. This type of plea means he didn’t admit to killing the couple on April 26, but agrees there was enough evidence for a conviction.

In exchange, the 37-year-old’s life will be spared. The prosecution agreed to drop the death penalty for the plea. Joyner got four life sentences.

When it comes to the wheels of justice, particularly in a murder, no time was wasted in this case. The sheriff’s office needs commended for finding enough evidence against Joyner that led him to believe a jury would find him guilty.

It’s our understanding paying for Joyner’s imprisonment would cost taxpayers more money than a trial resulting in a conviction. Death row inmates are never put to death that quickly. First, they must exhaust appeals, which can cost more than life behind bars.

The loss of Joe and Sandy is tragic, but we do believe justice was achieved.