CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, July 1, 2007

CrimProf Alan C. Michaels Discusses the Limitations of Panetti

Michaels_alanFrom Ohio University Moritz College of Law CrimProf Alan C. Michaels recently discussed the limitations of the Panetti Supreme Court decision. 

"The ruling was quite narrow and there are probably not very many defendants who will be able to stop their executions on the basis of this decision,'' said CrimProf Alan C. Michaels.

Panetti's lawyers say he believes that he is on death row because he preaches the word of God. The inmate says the state of Texas is in league with the devil and is using the murder of his wife's parents as a pretext to silence him.

Four courts have said he was competent when he fired his trial lawyers. A jury and two courts rejected his defense of not guilty by reason of insanity. Panetti personally argued that only an insane person could prove the insanity defense. He dressed in cowboy clothing and submitted an initial witness list that included Jesus Christ and John F. Kennedy.  Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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