Arthur Lee Jones Jr., who came within 16 hours of execution in 1984, died in the electric chair early today for murdering a store clerk and a cab driver.

Jones, 47, was pronounced dead at 12:13 a.m., said Holman Prison Warden Willie Johnson.

Jones became the 53rd person put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to restore the death penalty in 1976.

The execution came after the U.S. Supreme Court refused Thursday on a 5-4 vote to delay it and Gov. George C. Wallace failed to commute the sentence to life in prison.

On death row Thursday, Jones visited relatives and began eating a last meal of pink salmon, cole slaw, candied yams, chilled peaches and a grape drink.

Jones had been calm in his waiting cell beside the death chamber, Prison Commissioner Freddie Smith said.

Jones first went to prison at age 17. He received two death sentences, one for killing William Hosea Waymon, a 71-year-old cab driver, and the other for killing a 21-year-old storekeeper, Vaughn Thompson, in separate robberies in 1981.

Jones, who also went by the name Abdul Sibar Baaque, claimed he is innocent and that he was framed by police. He said it was against his Muslim religion to steal or kill.