Execution of Mentally Ill Killer Scott Panetti Scheduled in Texas

© Flickr / Ken PiorkowskiUS Navy veteran Scott Panetti, who suffers from several mental illnesses, including chronic schizophrenia, hallucinations and homicidal ideation toward his family, is scheduled to be put to death on Wednesday.
US Navy veteran Scott Panetti, who suffers from several mental illnesses, including chronic schizophrenia, hallucinations and homicidal ideation toward his family, is scheduled to be put to death on Wednesday. - Sputnik International
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US Navy veteran Scott Panetti, who suffers from several mental illnesses, including chronic schizophrenia, hallucinations and homicidal ideation toward his family, is scheduled to be put to death on Wednesday.

MOSCOW, December 3 (Sputnik) - Mentally ill convicted murderer Scott Panetti, 56, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection in Texas on Wednesday, according to the state's Department of Criminal Justice schedule of executions.

It is a violation of death penalty safeguards to impose capital punishment on individuals suffering from psycho-social disabilities, a UN human rights expert said the day before a mentally ill prisoner is set to be executed in Texas. - Sputnik International
UN Experts Urge US, Texas Authorities Not To Execute Mentally Ill Prisoner
A US Navy veteran, Pannetti was diagnosed - and repeatedly hospitalized - with several mental illnesses, including chronic schizophrenia, hallucinations and homicidal ideation toward his family, prior to shooting dead his parents-in-law in 1992.

On November 25, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled 5 to 4 against issuing a stay of execution. Despite his mental health condition, Pannetti was denied clemency on Monday. The execution is planned to take place at 6 p.m. local time (1 a.m. GMT). If the death sentence is carried out, Panetti will be the 11th person to be institutionally killed in Texas this year, Deutsche Welle reported.

A Texas district judge has refused to postpone the scheduled execution of a mentally ill Texan man who has suffered from schizophrenia for over 30 years and is set to face lethal injection on December 3. - Sputnik International
Texas Judge Refuses to Stop Execution of Mentally Ill Man
At his 1995 trial, Panetti chose to represent himself, making the case that his alternate personality, "Sarge," was responsible for the murders. He was convicted and sentenced to death.

Subsequently Panetti has appealed the verdict on the basis of his mental health condition. The death sentence, however, has been upheld. According to media reports, no court has deemed him mentally ill nor ordered a psychiatric evaluation.

The Panetti case has attracted broad-based criticism, with human rights experts pointing to a 1986 Supreme Court ruling (Ford v. Wainwright) that prevents states from executing murderers whose insanity makes them incapable of understanding why they are being put to death. In 2002, the Supreme Court prohibited the execution of the mentally impaired, deciding that it violated the Eight Amendment of the US Constitution prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments.

Numerous human rights organizations have called on the US federal government and the state of Texas to halt the execution, with Amnesty International referring to the decision to put Panetti to death as "shameful" and United Nation's Special Rapporteurs stating that the measure runs counter to the international prohibition of torture and other inhuman punishment.

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