The Texas Tribune posts, "Lawyers Seek New Exam for Death Row Client," by Terri Langford.
A schizophrenic Texas death row inmate set for execution in December hasn't been evaluated in nearly seven years, and his mental state may not allow him to be legally put to death, his attorneys argued in an emergency court motion filed Monday.
Scott Louis Panetti, 56, was sentenced to death for the 1992 shooting deaths of his in-laws, Joe Gaitan Alvarado Jr. and Amanda Carrion Alvarado of Kerr County. At the time, Panetti was a diagnosed schizophrenic and collected federal disability checks because he could not work.
"The currently scheduled execution date must be withdrawn," lawyers Gregory W. Wiercioch of the University of Wisconsin Law School and Kathryn M. Kase of the Texas Defender Service in Houston told the Kerr County court where Panetti was convicted.
"Lawyers for death-row inmate say they learned of execution date in news article," is by Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal.
Lawyers for a death-row inmate who represented himself at trial dressed in a purple cowboy suit say they learned of his execution date in a newspaper article.
An emergency motion for a hearing filed on behalf of Texas inmate Scott Panetti says his lawyers learned of the Dec. 3 execution date from an Oct. 30 newspaper article that was published two weeks after the date was set. The motion says Panetti has a compelling constitutional claim that he is not competent to be executed.
Defense lawyer Kathryn Kase tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that prosecutors never contacted her about the date. “We have telephones and working emails,” she said. “They know how to get ahold of us.”
"'Delusional' Killer Scott Panetti Asks Texas to Delay Execution," is by Tracy Connor of NBC News.
Lawyers for a Texas killer went to court Monday to try to get his execution day changed, complaining he hasn't had a competency hearing in seven years even though he's so delusional he thinks Satan is orchestrating his death. Scott Panetti's attorneys also contend the state set a Dec. 3 date for his lethal injection in secret and didn't tell them for two weeks. The Texas attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing.
Scott Panetti, 56, fatally shot his in-laws in front of his estranged wife and their kids in 1992. He represented himself at trial, where he wore a cowboy outfit and tried to subpoena President Kennedy, Jesus Christ and Anne Bancroft. His lawyers say he doesn't even understand why he's being executed and thinks the devil is punishing him for preaching, but the state contends he has enough of a grasp on the situation to be put to death.
"Lawyer for Wisconsin native learned of execution order in news article," is by Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Hayward native Scott Panetti learned the date of his impending execution two weeks after the order had been signed when one of his lawyers read about it in a newspaper, a motion filed Monday in Texas alleges.
"It was appalling to pick up the newspaper and learn this," said Kathryn Kase, who has represented Panetti for 10 years.
The Thursday story in the Houston Chronicle said an execution date had been set for Dec. 3. The order — submitted by District Attorney E. Bruce Kerr — was signed by the judge on Oct. 16.
Kase said no one from Kerr's office or the court contacted her office.
"We have telephones and working emails," she said. "They know how to get ahold of us."
Kerr was not available for comment Monday. Lucy Wilke, Kerr's assistant, said he had instructed her not to comment.
Earlier coverage of Scott Panetti's case begins at the link. All prior coverage is in the Scott Panetti category index. 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. The Court revisited the ruling in 2007 in Panetti v. Quarterman is via Oyez.