Thursday, June 28, 2007

Death Penalty for Schizophrenic Murderer Blocked

Death Penalty for Delusional Murderer Blocked - New York Times

HOUSTON, June 28 — Enforcing its edict against execution of the insane, a split United States Supreme Court today overturned the death sentence of a delusional Texas murderer who insisted he was being punished for preaching the gospel.

In a sharp rebuke to lower courts, the justices ruled 5 to 4 that the defendant, Scott Louis Panetti, was not shown to possess sufficient understanding of why he was to be put to death for gunning down his wife’s parents in 1992...

In a harsh dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas called the ruling "a half-baked holding that leaves the details of the insanity standard for the District Court to work out." He was joined in the minority by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, and Samuel A. Alito Jr...

In an interview with The New York Times last November, Mr. Panetti, clutching verses from scripture, declared, "The devil has been trying to rub me out to keep me from preaching." Until restrained by a guard, he started to strip off his prison uniform to show scars from burns he said were inflicted by demons and healed by President John F. Kennedy with coconut milk after the sinking of his torpedo boat in World War II.

Folks, this is scary. Even for Texas it's obvious this guy shouldn't be executed. Look at the vote - a 5 to 4 vote with the dissents coming entirely from the conservative side.

We often don't fully realize the long-term impact a president can have. The nominations of radically conservative justices almost allowed this man to die. It would have been a criminal act, and as Americans in our system we would all have been complicit in his death.

Get active. Be an advocate. Demand compassion and tolerance in our elected officials and their appointees. As individuals we CAN make a difference.

5 comments:

BamaGal said...

I've been watching this case for a number of years. To see the real stupidity behind his convinction. You need to know the whole story. Not only was he tried for this crime with his long, long history---BUT HE WAS ALLOWED TO ACT AS HIS OWN COUNSEL. That's right, he defended himself. Dressed as a cowboy no less.

check this out on the amnesty website....

http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR510112004

also this is Scott's own website, done by family members, with tons of info

http://www.rapnrockthedeathclock.com/index.html

Mark said...

You speak of compassion, maybe the compassionate thing WOULD be to end his life.

gen said...

i wrote about it too.
and all i have to say is thank god.

Jon said...

Bamagal - thanks for the links. Not that you mention it,I have heard about this before. Only in Texas...

Mark - You must be from Texas.

Gen - I agree.

viagra online said...

I can't believe that such a crazy person like him could be able to do something like that. I don't think killing people, not even animals is okey