Watch out, Republicans!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by bungrider, May 18, 2004.

  1. Stay out of Texas!

    Mentally ill killer executed
    Governor rejects life sentence recommendation
    Tuesday, May 18, 2004 Posted: 8:15 PM EDT (0015 GMT)

    HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A mentally ill killer was executed Tuesday evening after Gov. Rick Perry rejected a parole board's highly unusual recommendation to commute his death sentence or delay the execution.

    Kelsey Patterson, 50, also lost an appeal to the Supreme Court in the hour before he was put to death.

    A diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, Patterson was condemned for a double slaying almost 12 years ago.

    His lethal injection renewed the legal quandary of whether it is proper to execute someone who is mentally ill when the Supreme Court says it is unconstitutional to execute someone who is mentally retarded.

    Strapped to the death chamber gurney, Patterson mumbled, "No kin, no kin, no kin. I'm not guilty of a charge of capital murder. Give me my rights. I'm acquitted of capital murder."

    As the warden leaned over him and asked if he had a final statement, Patterson responded, "Statement to what? Statement to what? I'm not guilty of the charge of capital murder."

    He continued to ramble, saying "give me my life back" as the lethal drugs took effect. He was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m.

    At least three mentally ill prisoners have been executed in Texas since the Supreme Court ruled two years ago that severely mentally retarded inmates should not be executed.

    In a 5-1 vote, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles endorsed a petition from Patterson's lawyers and supporters that he be spared. Texas resumed carrying out executions in 1982, and Monday's board action marked the first time at this late stage in a condemned inmate's case the panel recommended the governor commute a death sentence.

    "State and federal courts have reviewed this case no fewer than 10 times, examining his claims of mental illness and competency, as well as various other legal issues," Perry said in a statement less than an hour before Patterson's execution time. "In each instance the courts have determined there is no legal bar to his execution."

    Patterson was condemned for the 1992 shootings of Dorthy Harris, 41, a secretary at an oil company office in Palestine, and her boss, Louis Oates, 63.

    Evidence showed Patterson left his home in Palestine, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas, shot Oates in the head with a .38-caliber pistol and then shot Harris when she began screaming.

    Then he went home, took off his clothes and was arrested walking on the street.

    In 1980 in Dallas and in 1983 in Palestine, Patterson was ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges related to nonfatal shootings.

    Throughout his trial, outbursts earned Patterson repeated expulsions from the courtroom. He frequently talked about "remote control devices" and "implants" that controlled him.

    While on death row, he wrote nearly incomprehensible letters to courts about having amnesty and a permanent stay of execution.

    In March, Perry for the first time since taking office in 2000 commuted the death sentence of a prisoner. That inmate also is mentally retarded, but was not within hours of a scheduled execution.

    In 1998, four days before former self-confessed serial killer Henry Lee Lucas was to die, then-Gov. George W. Bush commuted Lucas' sentence after questions were raised about his conviction. It was the only death sentence commuted by Bush in his six years in office when 152 executions were carried out.
  2. A conviction and 10 appeals - sounds like no one was buying the mental illness angle.
  3. Lucrum


    Well no one but the "bleeding hearts" anyway.
  4. He most definately is no longer paranoid or schizophrenic.


  5. From the Houston Chonicle:

    "HUNTSVILLE -- Despite a long record of severe mental illness before and since his crime, convicted killer Kelsey Patterson was put to death by injection Tuesday night shortly after Gov. Rick Perry refused to go along with a recommendation by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that his sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.

    Perry said it was a difficult decision given Patterson's mental history, but he noted that numerous courts have reviewed the case and not found a legal reason to bar his execution. He made no mention of the rare recommendation by the board or why he chose to disagree with it.

    "This defendant is a very violent individual," Perry said in a prepared statement. "Texas has no life without parole sentencing option, and no one can guarantee this defendant would never be freed to commit other crimes were his sentence commuted. In the interest of justice and public safety, I am denying the defendant's request for clemency and a stay."

  6. Say what you will about what he did, I am ashamed to be part of a country that executes mental cripples.
  7. I am more ashamed to be a part of a country that votes mental cripples into the presidency.

  8. What was this guy doing wandering around after he had already shot two other people and was found incompetent to stand trial? Do they just let them go after such a finding? Or did some shrink pronounce him "cured?"

    That is the problem with the mental illness defense and the concept of competency to stand trial. There is an issue of the defendant's responsibility, but there is a larger issue of the public's safety. Two people lost their lives, three actually counting the executed guy, because the public's safety was not given a high enough priority.
  9. Don't worry, Kerry will probably lose.
  10. Do you know of some new study that shows years of alcohol and drug abuse generates new brain cells?

    #10     May 19, 2004