STARKE -- John Errol Ferguson, 65, was executed Monday evening after serving three decades on Florida’s death row for eight Miami-Dade murders.
His last words unintelligible to witnesses; he was declared dead at 6:17 p.m.
Just hours before, Ferguson dined on standard inmate fare: a meat patty with white bread, steamed tomatoes, potato salad, diced carrots and iced tea.
About an hour before the scheduled execution, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion to halt the proceedings.
“We are gravely disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court denied John Ferguson’s request to clarify the standard for evaluating an individual’s competence to be executed and denied his request to invoke the Court’s categorical bar on the execution of the insane,” Christopher Handman, Ferguson’s attorney, wrote in a statement.
“Mr. Ferguson has a documented 40-year history of severe mental illness diagnosed repeatedly by state doctors in state institutions. Mr. Ferguson has been profoundly mentally ill for four decades, pre-dating the crimes for which he is scheduled to be executed, but is now deemed suddenly and inexplicably cured.” Story here.