On this date, September 6, 1982, Reserve Deputy John Jamison was killed in the line of duty in Arizona. One of the cop killers, Anthony Lee Chaney was executed by lethal injection 18 years later on February 16, 2000. Let us hear from the fallen cop’s son, who felt justice was served years later after the execution.
John M. Jamison II sits with a portrait of his father, John Bryant Jamison who was murdered by Anthony Chaney in 1982. Chaney spent 17 years on death row before being executed for the elder Jamison's murder. (Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun)
John Milton Jamison II -- "John" is a family name, and he was named for his grandfather -- was 13 when his father died. By the time Chaney was executed in 2000, the younger Jamison was, like his father, a police officer. He is currently a sergeant with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, the same agency his father joined as a reservist.
The younger John was deeply angry about his father's death at Chaney's hands. The first and last time John saw the man that he called an "animal" was on the day of his execution. He looked at him through the glass partition in the death chamber, and he felt like Chaney stared back. And he rued that he did not stop by his father's medical office, like he often did, in the days before his death. Grieved, he rode his bike to the mortuary while his father was being prepared for burial and asked to see his remains. He didn't until the funeral.
But when Chaney was sentenced to death in 1983, it sounded good to the young man. He hated Chaney, and frankly, his feelings didn't change much over time. He reflects now with sadness for his father and a more matter-of-fact tone about Chaney.
QUOTE: "I'm just glad I don't have to deal with it anymore," he said. "It's a load off, to say the least."
There was a roller coaster of emotions: He'd get excited that the execution was around the corner, then deflate when it wasn't. He worried that Chaney would get out, or that his appeals for mercy would be granted, or that the death penalty would be abolished before he was executed. And as a police officer of nearly 20 years now, he understands how the system works.
AUTHOR: John Milton Jamison II is a Sergeant with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office in Arizona. He is the son of Officer John B. Jamison who was murdered by Anthony Lee Chaney on September 6, 1982. Anthony Lee Chaney was executed by lethal injection in Arizona on February 16, 2000.