« "Roman Polanski faces 2 years in prison if returned to L.A., Swiss officials say" | Main | "Arizona May Put State Prisons in Private Hands" »

October 24, 2009

Mental illness cited by lawyers as reason to grant clemency to DC sniper

This Washington Post article, which is headlined "Sniper's lawyers ask for clemency, saying he's mentally ill," reports on the efforts by lawyers to prevent the execution of a high-profile capital defendant in Virginia.  Here are the basics:

Attorneys for convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad said their client is mentally ill and they have asked Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) to spare his life.  Thirteen people were shot, 10 fatally, when Muhammad and accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, went on a random shooting rampage around the Washington region in 2002.

Muhammad's lawyers said in a statement they asked Kaine on Thursday to commute Muhammad's sentence to life in prison.  They said Muhammad's illness is "illustrated by brain damage, brain dysfunction, neurological deficits as well as his psychotic and delusional behavior."

The defense team said Muhammad's mental illness was exacerbated by his military service in the first Iraq war.  They presented Kaine with audio interviews of attorneys, mental health experts and a witness.

Muhammad, now 48, is scheduled to be executed Nov. 10.  His lawyers said they plan to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3.  The U.S. Supreme Court has banned executing the mentally ill.

I would be truly shocked if Muhammad was granted clemency, unless perhaps every member of every victim's family supported clemency.  And that itself would be shocking.

October 24, 2009 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e20120a6722999970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mental illness cited by lawyers as reason to grant clemency to DC sniper:

Comments

Paranoid schizophrenics murder 2000 people a year, thanks to the criminal lover lawyer. One may not force a disturbed person into treatment until after they hurt themselves or others. The dumbass Supreme Court made it impossible to hekp pepople like that, then impossible to execute them. Why? To generate three lawyer jobs before anyone gets treated. Then to generate lawyer jobs after these patients have slaughtered thousands of random innocent people.

The mentally ill murderer needs to be executed the most because he is the most dangerous of all. Kills for delusions. Can't be deterred or intimidated. Only the dumbass, rent seeking incompetents on the Supreme Court could decide the opposite.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 24, 2009 5:13:54 PM

"The U.S. Supreme Court has banned executing the mentally ill."

No, the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited the execution of those who are mentally retarded. Significant difference.

Posted by: JC | Oct 25, 2009 4:09:13 AM

JC is mostly correct. Review by biased criminal lovers here:

http://www.aclu.org/capital/mentalillness/39541res20090505.html

Not a word from the criminal lovers of the 2000 people who get the death penalty at the hands of the mentally ill, many randomly chosen.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 26, 2009 6:53:53 AM

Actually, the US Supreme court has banned the death penalty for the mentally retarded and the execution of those whose mental illness is so acute that they cannot understand why they are being executed. The mentally ill can still receive the death penalty, it just cannot actually be "executed" until their illness is somewhat under control.

Posted by: Talitha | Oct 26, 2009 1:56:06 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB