Friday, December 05, 2014
5th Circuit Stays Execution of Man Who Believes His Sentence Is A Satanic Plot
On Wednesday, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the execution of Scott Panetti in order to "fully consider the late arriving and complex legal questions at issue...." (Full text of court's decision.) As reported by Newsweek, Panetti (who was convicted of murdering the parents of his second wife) suffers from schizophrenia, and his case brings back the question of when it is constitutionally permissible to execute someone who is mentally ill. (Background.) According to Texas Defender Service, Panetti (acting without a defense lawyer) attempted at his trial to subpoena the Pope, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus. He believes that his execution is being orchestrated by Satan, working through the State of Texas, to end his preaching the Gospel to condemned prisoners.