"Stay issued for Okla. death row inmate set for execution today," is the breaking news from the McAlester News-Capital. It's by Rachel Petersen.
A stay was issued for an Oklahoma State Penitentiary death row inmate who was scheduled to be executed today at 6 p.m. in the prison’s death chamber.
“A federal judge stayed Garry Allen’s execution Wednesday afternoon,” said OSP Warden’s Assistant Terry Crenshaw. U.S. District Judge David L. Russell issued the stay, ruling that Allen’s claims that he is insane and ineligible for the death penalty should be reviewed, the Associated Press reported. Allen has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and his attorneys argue his mental state deteriorated on death row.
“Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has filed a notice of appeal to the stay of execution,” Crenshaw said. If the appeal to the stay of execution is granted by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, officials at OSP have “measures in place to carry out the execution according to court orders.”
Garry Thomas Allen, 56, was previously set for execution on Feb. 16, but Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin granted a 30-day stay of execution for the condemned man. She said the stay was issued so her legal team could have more time to consider a 2005 recommendation by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to commute his sentence to life.
“Having thoroughly reviewed the arguments and evidence presented in this case, I have determined that clemency should be denied in this case, and that the sentence of death be carried out,” Fallin wrote in an executive order filed March 13.
The U.S. Supreme Court and state law prohibit execution of inmates who are insane or mentally incompetent.
UPDATE - On Friday the Suprme Court refused to lift the district court stay. The AP post is, "US Supreme Court declines to lift stay of execution for Oklahoma death-row inmate," via the Washington Post.
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a stay of execution for a convicted Oklahoma killer who says he is insane and ineligible for the death penalty.
A federal court ordered the stay Wednesday and gave Garry Allen’s attorneys 15 days to appeal. An appeals court approved that ruling Thursday. Oklahoma’s attorney general referred the case to the nation’s highest court, which upheld the stay Friday.
The Supreme Court established standards to assess whether severely mentally ill inmates are competent to be executed in a 1986 case, Ford v. Wainwright. more via Oyez.
In its next term, the Court will hear two cases dealing with competency to be executed. Earlier coverage of these Arizona and Ohio cases begins at the link.
Earlier coverage of the Allen case in Oklahoma begins at the link.