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May 30, 2008

Scott Panetti deemed competent for execution

As reported here at DPIC linking to this local story, "U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks in Texas has ruled Scott Panetti mentally competent enough to be executed."  Here are more details from the local story:

Nearly one year after a reprieve was ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court for Fredericksburg convicted killer Scott Panetti, 50, the U.S. District Court in Austin has determined that Panetti is competent to be executed for the 1992 shooting deaths of his wife’s parents.

The recent order by Presiding Judge Sam Sparks of the U.S. District Court for the Western District now sends the case before the 5th Circuit Court, setting up a chain of legal proceedings that could ultimately return it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

District Attorney Bruce Curry of the 216th Judicial District in Kerrville confirmed Friday that Judge Sparks had re-heard the case and that he had issued “some fairly extensive findings of fact” in declaring Panetti competent to be executed.

UPDATE:  Providing a fitting companion this this story is this extended post at DMIblog entitled "Mental Illness and the Death Penalty."

May 30, 2008 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The underlying problem in Panetti, applying the Faretta rule to allow marginally competent people to represent themselves, will be addressed next month in Indiana v. Edwards. Stay tuned.

http://www.cjlf.org/briefs/Edwards.pdf

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | May 30, 2008 5:18:13 PM

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