Florida death row inmate John Ferguson's case is back in the news.
The following is a statement from Christopher Handman, Attorney for John Ferguson, in response to Florida's setting of an execution date for Monday, August 5, 2013:
"We are disappointed that the State of Florida has rushed to reschedule Mr. Ferguson's execution. Even after a federal appeals court judge recognized that Mr. Ferguson's mental competency was evaluated under a "patently incorrect" standard, the State has shown no reservations about this unconstitutional execution. We will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review Mr. Ferguson's case and to stay this execution. Killing an elderly man who has languished on Florida's death row for 35 years with a debilitating and documented history of severe mental illness would be both senseless and unconstitutional."
"Death row inmate to appeal to US Supreme Court," is the AP report, via the News & Observer.
The attorney for a man scheduled to die by lethal injection says he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
John Errol Ferguson is set for execution on Aug. 5.
Ferguson's attorney Christopher Handman wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday that his client has a "documented history of severe mental illness" and shouldn't be executed.
The Miami Herald reports, "New execution date set for Miami mass killer Ferguson," by David Ovalle.
Miami mass killer John Errol Ferguson, whose execution was delayed for nine months over questions of his sanity, will be put to death at 6 p.m. on Aug. 5, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.
Ferguson, 65, has been on Death Row for more than three decades following convictions in eight murders.
He originally was scheduled to die by lethal injection in October but was issued a last-minute stay as defense lawyers insisted he was schizophrenic and his execution amounted to “cruel and unusual” punishment.
His defense team has pointed to Ferguson’s belief that he is the “Prince of God” as evidence that mental illness should keep him from execution.
The new execution date came as a federal appeals court Tuesday affirmed a May decision upholding a Bradford County judge’s ruling that Ferguson indeed understands why is being put to death.
Earlier coverage of John Ferguson's case begins at the link.
Related posts are in the competency and mental illness category indexes. The Supreme Court established standards to assess whether severely mentally ill inmates are competent to be executed in the 1986 case, Ford v. Wainwright; more via Oyez.