By Dan Davis Hattiesburg American
Rebecca Blissard wants to be a vocalist, just like her grandmother.
In fact, the University of Southern Mississippi junior is such a good singer, she said she has signed a contract with Capitol Records.
But her grandmother, Mary Bounds, will never hear her sing professionally.
She was beaten to death in 1987 after leaving church choir practice in Chickasaw County.
Earl Wesley Berry, 48, confessed to killing Bounds and dumping her body on a rural road near Houston. A Chickasaw County jury convicted Berry and sentenced him to death.
Barring a court delay, Berry will die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Blissard, 25, and her mother, Jena Watson of Grenada, will be there to watch him die.
Blissard was 5 when Bounds was killed. She has trailed Berry's case from courts in Houston, Greenville and New Orleans.
The latest came Friday when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans denied his appeal. The court said Berry waited too late to challenge the constitutionality of lethal injection.
"Well-established Fifth Circuit precedent is clear: death-sentenced inmates may not wait until execution is imminent before filing an action to enjoin a state's method of carrying it out," the court ruled.
Berry's attorney, Jim Craig, is expected to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Berry wants his execution stopped until the Supreme Court decides a Kentucky case that questions whether lethal injection is unconstitutional.