Scott Panetti, schizophrenic murderer, escapes scheduled execution by means of a lethal injection just several hours before the decided time for the penalty of death. Panetti is an inmate at Huntsville
Texas is under the jurisdiction of The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans which decided to defer the execution on Wednesday in order to probe the complexity of legal issues surrounding the matter. US Court suspends the case to prevent any arbitrary executions considering Panetti is mentally ill with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is characterized by abnormal social behaviour and incapability of understanding what it real. Diagnosis is made upon person’s odd behaviour, their own experiences and symptoms. 56 years old Panetti was pronounced mentally ill in a court statement by his estranged wife, Sonja Alvarado in 1999. Alvarado is the daughter of Panetti’s both murder victims. Alvarado based his mental illness as the reason for him not to be executed.
Panetti kidnapped both his wife and daughter, at three years of age, in 1992. He blamed his alter-ego for the crime. He also defended himself dressed as a cowboy in court and called upon over 200 witnesses including John F. Kennedy being one in 1995. Panetti was hospitalized many times for various mental disorders since then.
The decision for execution gained a great amount of attention from several organizations. Panetti’s lawyers, Greg Wiercioch and Katheryn Kase, raised the argument of their client not going through a competency evaluation for more than seven years and that he was suffering from schizophrenia. The State previously has passed sentences that raised questions because of the indicted being mentally ill just as the case with Panetti.
Panetti had three options to evade capital punishment. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is one the remainder two being The Supreme Court and to make an appeal to Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas. In the State of Texas since 1819 to October 28, 2014, 1273 individuals have been executed only nine of them were not men.