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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Amnesty International Report: 10% of Executed Inmates since 1977, Severely Mentally Ill

According to a report Amnesty International issued yesterday, at least 10 percent of the first 1,000 people executed in the United States since 1977 (the year the Supreme Court lifted the 10-year moratorium on the death penalty) were severely mentally ill.  The report cited the case of Scott Panetti, an inmate with a lengthy history of hospitalizations for mental illness and hallucinations, who was sentenced to death in 1995 for killing his parents-in-law.  Panetti represented himself at his trial where he "dressed as a cowboy, rambled, asked irrational questions and scared jurors." His case remains under appeal. Amnesty also reports that some defendants who volunteer to be executed have been and are mentally ill.  Furthermore, some death row inmates have to be medicated to reach a level of lucidity necessary to be aware of what was happening at the time of their own executions. More from MSNBC.com. . . [Mark Godsey]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2006/01/amnesty_interna.html

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