Saturday, September 01, 2007

Executing the Insane - The Case of Scott Panetti

In 1984 the Supreme Court ruled in Ford vs. Wainwright, that it is unconstitutional to execute an inmate who is mentally insane. Since this decision the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to find a single death-row inmate incompetent to be executed in Texas. Three months ago the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Panetti v. Quarterman. As Capital Defense Weekly mentions,
The opinion is rather straightforward: Texas failed to afford Panetti a meaningful opportunity to test whether he was competent enough to be executed.
Here is a short documentary produced by Texas Defenders Services that covers the case of Scott Panetti. It is Narrated by Phil Donohue.

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