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Scott temporarily stays execution of 6-time murderer to allow for psych evaluation

From The Associated Press:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is asking a panel of psychiatrists to determine whether a convicted murderer is insane.

Scott on Wednesday agreed to temporarily stay the pending execution of John Errol Ferguson in order to let doctors decide whether or not he understands the death penalty and why he is about to be executed.

The governor in an executive order called for the examination to take place on Oct. 1. Scott says if Ferguson is competent he will proceed with the already-scheduled execution on Oct. 16.

Sixty-four-year-old Ferguson was convicted of murdering six people execution-style in a drug-related crime. Ferguson was also convicted for the murders of two Hialeah teenagers.

Ferguson's attorneys say that he has long exhibited symptoms of schizophrenia and has been plagued by hallucinations and delusions.

Read here

Ferguson has been on death row for 34 years, far longer than the average stay of about 12 years. Defense attorneys are arguing before the Supreme Court that to execute Ferguson now, after more than three decades, would be cruel and unusual, a violation of the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. Ferguson also is described by his defense attorneys as an "untreated paranoid schizophrenic" who "hallucinates that snakes come out of his cell walls to torment him."

Oral arguments before the Supreme Court are scheduled for Thursday, October 4. 

See our story on Ferguson's execution order and grisly crimes, here.



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Let's see now ... did any of this murderers victims, in separate criminal events, get a chance to understand what was happening to them?

Did this murderer give his victims a chance to be evaluated by psychiatrists to determine whether they were "sane" enough to be murdered?

I would suggest that if this murderer is exhibiting signs of insanity now, it might well be because he's been on death row for 34 years ... and so he might have been driven nuts by having been housed, fed, gotten health care, and otherwise cared for over 3 decades, even though he had murdered several people.

That surely might well have caused a sane man to go insane because of the absurd incongruity between what evil he did and how well we have treated him since.

This overlong delay of justice is absolute nonfeasance by government that causes most citizens to despise the justice system.

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