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Fifth Circuit To Hold Oral Arguments in Scott Panetti’s Case

Fifth Circuit to Hold Oral Argument this Month Re: Scott Panetti’s Incompetency for Execution
Schizophrenic Man on Texas’ Death Row Represented Himself at Trial and Attempted to Subpoena the Pope, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus Christ.

On September 23, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will hold oral argument on Scott Panetti’s motion to reverse a federal district court ruling and return his case to the lower court with orders to appoint counsel, authorize funds for investigative and expert assistance, and provide counsel with adequate time to prepare a habeas corpus petition raising the claim that Mr. Panetti is currently incompetent to be executed.

The case will be heard in Dallas, Texas at the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at 2 p.m. Central time.

Mr. Panetti is a schizophrenic who suffers from fixed delusions and has a nearly 40 year documented history of severe mental illness. The Fifth Circuit stayed Mr. Panetti’s execution on December 3, 2014 to further review the issues surrounding his competency.

Mr. Panetti has not been evaluated by any mental health experts since late 2007 and the last evidentiary hearing held on his competency took place in February 2008. A review of the most recent records shows that he has deteriorated since that time.

An amicus brief submitted on behalf of national conservative movement leaders, some who support the death penalty and others who do not, stated they “are united […] in their belief that the execution of Scott Panetti would serve no penological purpose and would in no way promote public safety. Rather than serving as a proportionate response to murder, the execution of Panetti would only undermine the public’s faith in a fair and moral justice system. And it would be a glaring and unwelcome example of excessive governmental power.”

The Amicus Brief from National Conservative Leaders, filed February 4, 2015, can be accessed here.

Mr. Panetti’s Supplemental Brief at the Fifth Circuit, filed January 28, 2015, can be accessed here.

Mr. Panetti’s Opening Brief at the Fifth Circuit, filed November 30, 2014, can be accessed here.

For more information about Mr. Panetti’s case, please go to the TDS Scott Panetti page.

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