"Ohio set to execute man who killed 3 sleeping sons," is the automatically updating AP post written by Kantele Franko.
Ohio was poised Tuesday to end a nearly six-month break in its use of capital punishment by executing a man who fatally shot his three sons while they slept in 1982, shortly after his wife filed for divorce.
State and federal courts have rejected attorneys' arguments that 66-year-old Reginald Brooks of East Cleveland is not mentally competent and that the government withheld relevant evidence that could have affected Brooks' case.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Brooks' request to halt the execution, as did the Ohio Supreme Court Monday. After a federal appeals court in Cincinnati rejected another appeal late Tuesday morning, Brooks' attorneys decided not to appeal further, said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
The prison system pushed Brooks' execution until 1:30 p.m., just over three hours later than originally scheduled. LoParo said officials needed more time as they prepared.
Prison officials had temporarily postponed the execution until the final appeals were resolved.
The defense contends Brooks is a paranoid schizophrenic who suffered from mental illness long before he shot his 11-, 15- and 17-year-old sons in the head as they slept at their East Cleveland home on a Saturday morning. The defense says Brooks believed his co-workers and wife were poisoning him and that he maintains his innocence, offering conspiracy theories about the killings that involve police, his relatives and a look-alike.
Prosecutors acknowledge Brooks is mentally ill but dispute the notions that it caused the murders or makes him incompetent.
Brooks' execution would be the 40th in the nation this year; Ohio's fifth execution of 2011. It would be the nation's 1,274th post-Furman executions since 1977; Ohio's 46th 2 post-Furman executions since 1999.
The Supreme Court established standards to assess whether severely mentally ill inmates are competent to be executed in a 1986 case, Ford v. Wainwright. Competency to be executed is also an issue in the case of Scott Panetti. StandDown's mental illness index is here.
Earlier coverage from Ohio begins at the link.
The State of Florida is also poised to carry out an execution, today. AP and CBS News post, "Florida set to execute convicted killer Oba Chandler." Texas is scheduled to carry out its 13th execution of the year, tomorrow.