Scott Panetti

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Friday 25 September 2015 | Dallas Morning News Editorial

Editorial: Execution of mentally ill man serves no greater good

Any reasonable debate over the value and efficacy of the death penalty must eventually return to the greater good.

Those who support the continued application of capital punishment believe a greater good is served by putting to death the worst of the worst, those whose criminal acts forever brand them as evil beyond redemption.

And while recognizing that moral argument, this newspaper disagrees that any greater good can result from a penalty of such irrevocable finality so inconsistently applied.

When the life in question is a schizophrenic who demanded to represent himself at trial dressed as a TV cowboy and sought to subpoena the pope, John F. Kennedy and Jesus Christ, where is the point of contention?

Scott Panetti has struggled with mental illness for four decades. In the six years before he shot his estranged wife’s parents, Joe and Amanda Alvarado, in Fredericksburg, he was hospitalized more than a dozen times, diagnosed with schizophrenia, delusions and hallucinations. On one occasion, he became convinced the devil had possessed his home and buried his furniture in the back yard. Today he believes that prison guards have implanted a listening device in one of his teeth.

If the state of Texas puts him to death, as a jury ruled in 1995, he will take his last breath believing it was the end of a plot to silence his allegations of prison corruption and attempts to preach the gospel.

Panetti is caught in a fatal Catch-22: He has no money to hire an expert to evaluate his condition, yet the state argues that courts already have rejected his claims and that he’s not entitled to funding because he cannot show that he’s too mentally ill to face execution.

He hasn’t been evaluated by a mental health professional in nearly seven years. A neuropsychologist who reviewed his records pro bono at his lawyers’ request concluded that his condition was worsening, exacerbated by age and the stress of living under a death sentence.

In what could be his last hope, a panel of 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals justices heard testimony this week and will decide whether to grant his lawyers access to funding that could prove his incompetence.

So we’re back to that fundamental question: What greater good is served by putting Scott Panetti to death?

This newspaper finds common ground with Richard A. Viguerie, speaking for a group of national conservative thought leaders, and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Tom Price, who dissented from his Republican colleagues on allowing Panetti’s execution to go forward.

Because no matter where you come down on capital punishment, the evidence in this case is clear: Carrying out this sentence, especially in the absence of a complete and timely mental health evaluation, serves neither deterrence nor retribution. It only diminishes us as a state, as a nation and as a people.

There’s no greater good in this. No good at all.

Friday, September 18, 2015 | San Antonio Express-News Column

Why is Texas so adamant about killing Scott Panetti?
By Josh Brodesky

We focus on the wrong things about Scott Panetti’s case.

I keep thinking this as we circle back to yet another round of legal arguments about Panetti’s competency as a paranoid schizophrenic. As if his mental state is really in question, or his death has any punitive value to you, me or anyone else in this world. This time, lawyers on his behalf will be asking for funding for a mental health expert to evaluate Panetti for the first time since 2007.

That is the argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit next week, with the larger question looming about whether he will ever be competent enough to be executed. But really, after all these years, we should be asking why the state has been so insistent about killing a seriously mentally ill man who believes he is being punished for preaching the gospel — and what that says about our humanity and governance. This is a man whose mental illness has likely grown more severe during his time on death row.

Before Panetti killed his parents-in-law at their Fredericksburg home in 1992, he had been hospitalized more than a dozen times for schizophrenia. And yet, somehow back in 1995, Judge Stephen B. Ables chose to let Panetti represent himself at the murder trial. He dressed like a cartoon cowboy, and summoned the pope, John F. Kennedy and Jesus Christ as witnesses. But what else would you expect from a man who once buried his furniture to exorcise the devil from it?

Up and down appeals and rulings have gone since that legal spectacle. His execution was stayed in 2004, and again this past December so the court could “fully consider the late arriving and complex legal questions at issue in this matter.”
It would be nice to know why Panetti’s lawyers weren’t notified of their client’s scheduled execution.

“I had to read about it in the Houston Chronicle,” said Kathryn M. Kase, executive director of Texas Defender Services.

And why?

“Our best understanding is that our client was informed,” she said. “Our client who has had schizophrenia for all these years.”

It would also be nice to know why prosecutors won’t make their argument based on the full extent of Panetti’s illness, instead picking and choosing their spots to assert he is faking the magnitude of his schizophrenia.

To advance this view, prosecutors recently relied on an excerpt of a conversation between Panetti and his parents to show he is grounded enough to reality to be killed. But if you stick with the transcript long enough, he ends up talking about breeding steers with Valerie Plame, the outed CIA operative:

“And this gal comes up. She says, ‘Would you groom my steer like yours?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know if that judge is a touchy-feely guy, but I just spray-painted a white spot on that black steer of mine.’ She was like, ‘Well, mine’s got a spot needs painted, too.’ So, I put some spray paint on hers, put, there was some mineral oil on the fur —”

He also believes he is under surveillance through his tooth. “Bluetooth technology,” he calls it.

“It’s very difficult to have a conversation with him,” Kase said. “It is like riding a horse bareback and going where the horse wants to go and not having any control.”

Yet, here we are, still debating competency. Still pursuing the death penalty even though his ex-wife, whose parents were killed, has said she thinks Panetti is too mentally ill to die. If she gets no justice from his death, just what do the rest of us gain? This is the type of big question the National Conservative Movement Leaders raise in a brief to the court.

“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,” they write.

And later:

“Imposition of the death penalty on an insane person offends humanity as it would be ‘abhorrent to condemn one who has no capacity to come to grips with his own conscience or deity.’”

Or as Kase said, “We don’t kill people because they are defective.”

This is really about us. The government we live with and the bounds of our humanity. Unlike Panetti, we are grounded in reality and can see clearly. We have the grace of understanding the repercussions of our actions. It’s mind-boggling that after decades, we are still debating this execution.

Thursday, September 17, 2015 | Dallas Morning News OpEd

Viguerie: Executing Scott Panetti would be a moral failure for conservatives
By RICHARD A. VIGUERIE

We are still talking about executing Scott Panetti, the lifelong schizophrenic who famously insisted on representing himself while on trial for his life wearing a TV-Western cowboy costume. He attempted to subpoena the Pope, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus Christ.

On Sept. 23, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on a motion submitted on Panetti’s behalf. The motion asks that the case be returned to the federal district court with orders to authorize funds for expert assistance, appoint counsel and allow counsel adequate time to file a petition raising the claim that he is currently incompetent for execution.

Earlier this year, I joined with other leaders of the national conservative movement — some of us are death penalty supporters, while others oppose it — in a friend-of-the-court brief stating that we are united in our belief that the execution of Scott Panetti would serve no purpose to promote public safety.

Rather than serving as a proportionate response to murder, the execution of Mr. 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.

As a conservative, I believe putting Panetti, a severely mentally ill man whose condition has only deteriorated on death row, to death would be senseless. He is not competent to be executed. Instead, he should spend the rest of his days under confinement — a common-sense solution that would keep the public safe and respect human dignity.

Panetti’s severe mental illness pre-dates the crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death. In the decade before the offense, he was hospitalized a dozen times due to his psychotic behavior.

As far back as 1986, the evidence shows, Panetti has believed he was engaging in spiritual warfare with Satan. In an affidavit his first wife signed to have him involuntarily committed, she testified that he engaged in a series of bizarre rituals to exorcise their home. In one instance, Panetti even buried his furniture in the backyard, believing that the devil was in it. If Panetti were executed today, he would be strapped to the gurney believing that he was being put to death for preaching the Gospels and saving souls on death row, not for murder.

Panetti has not been evaluated by any mental health experts since late 2007. The last evidentiary hearing on his competency occurred in February 2008. Records indicate that his mental illness is worse now than it was seven or eight years ago. In any event, the only competency hearing that matters is the one that takes place when execution is imminent.

As a civilized nation, we don’t execute people with severe mental illness for the same reasons we don’t execute people with intellectual disabilities or juveniles. All three categories of offenders have diminished capacities to understand what they have done. They have less moral culpability than the “worst of the worst” offenders who the death penalty is supposedly meant to punish.

The rationales for the death penalty — retribution and deterrence — simply do not apply to a severely mentally ill individual like Panetti, who believes that a listening device has been implanted in one of his teeth.

Panetti is not competent for execution. Others should be given the chance to make that legal argument. Meanwhile, this conservative makes the moral argument.
– – – – –
Richard A. Viguerie is a longtime conservative activist and chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, where he can be reached.

September 17, 2015 | Houston Chronicle Editorial

Editorial: End executions
Bizarre trials make a compelling case to halt the death penalty in Texas.

Television screenwriters have little trouble populating courtroom dramas with plots pulled from the headlines, transcribing real-life legal travails into weekly viewing pleasure. The trial of James Calvert in Tyler, outside Dallas, will be more difficult to convert into easy watching. Calvert, who is charged with murdering his ex-wife and kidnapping his young son, has transformed his own trial into a disturbing spectacle that puts at risk the idea of justice for all.

After firing his court-appointed attorneys early last year, Calvert took to defending himself with a farcical style that likely did more to hurt than help his case. He waived his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, only to ask for it back. He tried to call objections by yelling “foxtrot.” Calvert’s behavior was considered so disruptive that the court even forced him to wear a 50,000 volt shock belt that could be controlled by a nearby jailer, according to KLTV 7, a Tyler news station.

As a man facing the death penalty, Calvert was literally digging his own grave. There’s little sympathy for Calvert if he proves to be a murderer, but the pride we hold in our criminal justice system should be based upon the promise that all people are guaranteed a fair trial. Calvert’s actions worked to undermine that promise not only by failing to put up an adequate defense, but also by prejudicing the jury.

In these sorts of circumstances, judges must carefully balance the Sixth Amendment’s right to represent oneself with the guarantee of competent representation. It is a tough determination, but the trial judge acted wisely Wednesday when he terminated Calvert’s self-representation and reappointed the attorneys that Calvert had earlier fired. The ultimate punishment – death – merits our highest standards of care.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will address a similar question when it hears the case of Scott Panetti next week. Panetti, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, delusions, hallucinations and manic depression, represented himself in a murder trial marked by his own bizarre behavior. The case made headlines when he dressed in a cowboy suit and attempted to subpoena the Messiah. However, the real story came after the guilty verdict, when jurors said they gave him the death penalty for murdering his wife’s parents in 1992 because his behavior in the courtroom was so frightening that they wanted to make sure he would never re-enter society. At the time, Texas did not offer life without parole. Knowing what we know now, it is hard to claim that Panetti received a fair trial or adequate representation. The appeals court stayed his execution at the last minute last December.

The Panetti case also served as a capstone opinion for Judge Tom Price, who sat on the Court of Criminal Appeals from 1997 until this year. In a six-page dissent, Price wrote that his 40 years with a front-row seat to our death penalty process convinced him that Texas should end executions.

“Based on my specialized knowledge of this process, I now conclude that the death penalty as a form of punishment should be abolished because the execution of individuals does not appear to measurably advance the retribution and deterrence purposes served by the death penalty; the life without parole option adequately protects society at large in the same way as the death penalty punishment option; and the risk of executing an innocent person for a capital murder is unreasonably high, particularly in light of procedural-default laws and the prevalence of ineffective trial and initial habeas counsel.”

If our courts must act as machines of death, then they should do so with exact precision. Cases like Calvert and Panetti’s show how something as serious as life and death can easily be turned into a farce.
– – – – –
Copyright 2015: Houston Chronicle

Media Advisory for September 23, 2015
Contact: Laura Burstein at laura.burstein@squirepb.com, 202-626-6868 or 202-669-3411 (c)

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 http://texasdefender.org/scott-panetti/

###

CASE BACKGROUND

Nearly Four-Decade History of Severe Psychosis and Delusions

Mr. Panetti has suffered from extreme mental illness for nearly 40 years. He was hospitalized a dozen times for psychosis and delusions in the six years leading up to the crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death.

The first time Mr. Panetti showed signs of being afflicted with a psychotic disorder was in 1978, over 14 years before the crime. During his multiple hospitalizations, doctors diagnosed him with chronic schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and proscribed antipsychotic medication.

In 1986, Mr. Panetti first succumbed to the delusion that he was engaged in spiritual warfare with Satan. In an affidavit his first wife signed to have him involuntarily committed, she testified that he was obsessed with the idea that the devil was in the house. He engaged in a series of bizarre behaviors to exorcize his home, including burying his furniture in the backyard because he thought the devil was in the furniture.

Two years before the crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death, Mr. Panetti was involuntarily committed for homicidal behavior and was found to be suffering from delusions and psychotic religiosity.

The crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death also had the hallmarks of a severely disturbed mind. While off his antipsychotic medication, Mr. Panetti shaved his head and dressed in camouflage fatigues before going to his in-laws’ home and committing the offense for which he was convicted and sentenced to death.

Detailed information about Mr. Panetti’s medical history can be found in this mental illness timeline starting in 1978 that shows how Mr. Panetti’s mental health degenerated over the years, including how in 1986, the Social Security Administration made a determination that Mr. Panetti was so disabled from schizophrenia that he was entitled to government benefits.

Mr. Panetti’s Trial: ‘A Miserable Spectacle’

Despite being a paranoid schizophrenic, Mr. Panetti represented himself at his capital murder trial in 1995. Wearing a cowboy costume with a purple bandana and attempting to call over 200 people to the witness stand, including the Pope, John F. Kennedy, Jesus Christ and his own alter ego, Mr. Panetti was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Mr. Panetti’s statements in court, at both the guilt and sentencing phase, were bizarre and incomprehensible. He took the witnesses stand and testified about his own life in excessive and irrelevant detail.

Mr. Panetti announced that he would assume the personality of “Sarge” and recounted the gruesome details of the crime in the third person. He gestured as if pointing a rifle to the jury box (visibly upsetting the jurors) and matter- of-factly imitated the sound of shots being fired.

Fixed Delusion that Texas is Trying to Kill Him for Preaching the Gospel

In 2004, Texas tried to execute Mr. Panetti, but a federal court stayed the execution and the United States Supreme Court ultimately found the Fifth Circuit’s standard for determining competency to be executed unconstitutional in Panetti v. Quarterman, 551 U.S. 930 (2007). Notwithstanding that decision, Texas continued to contest Mr. Panetti’s competence to be executed. In 2013, the Fifth Circuit again found him competent to be executed – despite the District Court’s findings that he has a severe mental illness and suffers from paranoid delusions.

If his execution date had not been withdrawn, he would have gone to the execution chamber convinced that he was being put to death for preaching the Gospels, not for the murder of his wife’s parents, and the retributive goal of capital punishment would not be served.

Widespread Support for Clemency

On November 12, 2014, Mr. Panetti’s attorneys filed a clemency petition with Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles along with letters supporting clemency from the leading Texas and national mental health organizations and professionals such as the American Psychiatric Association, Mental Health America and Disability Rights Texas; criminal justice and legal professionals including former Texas Governor Mark White, state Attorneys General and former judges and prosecutors; 55 Evangelical leaders from Texas and nationally and 7 retired and active Bishops from the United Methodist Church and other faith leaders; Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation and the American Bar Association, among others.

On November 18, 2014, worldwide support for Scott Panetti reached a groundswell with new calls for clemency from prominent individuals and organizations from across Texas and the world, including the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy organization on mental illness, National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI); NAMI’s Texas affiliate; ten legislators from Texas; former U.S. Representative Ron Paul; several more Evangelical Christians; and the European Union, which represents twenty-eight nations.

To access the letters supporting clemency, additional legal documents and other case resources, including a video, please go to: http://texasdefender.org/scott-panetti.

To speak with Mr. Panetti’s attorneys, Kathryn Kase of Texas Defender Service and Greg Wiercioch of Texas Defender Service and University of Wisconsin Law School, or if you would like to speak with mental health and other experts, please contact Laura Burstein at Laura.Burstein@Squirepb.com.

Too Mentally Ill for Execution: The Scott Panetti Case

March 9, 2015 – Mother Jones “Of Unsound Mind

Stephanie Mencimer looks at the case of Scott Panetti, and other severely mentally ill death row inmates at Mother Jones. “Executing the insane is against the law of the land. So why do states keep doing it?.

February 4, 2015 – Houston ChronicleConservative group urges court to provide legal help for condemned man,” by Allan Turner

National conservative leaders including former state prosecutors, a Washington, D.C., newspaper editor and a Reagan-era government official Wednesday called on the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of appeals to ensure that Texas double-killer Scott Panetti is given the resources he needs to develop his claim of insanity.

February 3, 2015 – Leading Conservatives Urge Relief at Fifth Circuit for Scott Panetti

Today, leaders from the American conservative movement, including legal experts, former conservative policymakers, and thought leaders from across the United States, filed an amicus brief in support of Scott Panetti, a death row prisoner who has suffered from schizophrenia for three decades and whose case is pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The amici, some who support the death penalty and others who do not, “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” (Amicus brief, p. 2).

The amici national conservative movement leaders are: Mark L. Earley, Sr., Former Attorney General of Virginia and Former President and CEO of Prison Fellowship USA; David A. Keene, Opinion Editor, The Washington Times; James C. Miller III, Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan; C. Preston Noell III, President, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.; Patrick J. Nolan, Director, Center for Criminal Justice Reform, American Conservative Union Foundation; Harold D. Stratton, Jr., Former Attorney General of New Mexico; Patrick A. Trueman, Attorney at Law; and Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com.

On December 3, 2014, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the execution of Mr. Panetti for a careful review of the issues surrounding his competency. Mr. Panetti’s illness, schizophrenia, was present for years prior to the crime, profoundly affected his trial, and appears to have worsened in recent years. Mr. Panetti has not had a competency evaluation in seven years.

On January 28, 2015, Mr. Panetti’s attorneys, Greg Wiercioch of University of Wisconsin Law School and Kathryn Kase of Texas Defender Service, filed their Supplemental Brief with the Fifth Circuit. The brief addresses a number of questions that the Fifth Circuit posed to the parties after it granted the stay of execution, including whether the federal district court erred in refusing to appoint counsel and approve funding for a mental health expert and an investigator. Counsel for Mr. Panetti have argued in the Supplemental Brief that the Fifth Circuit should order the district court to appoint counsel and provide resources so that counsel can present new evidence that Mr. Panetti is currently incompetent to be executed.

The Amicus Brief from National Conservative Leaders, filed today, can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1zBfmMO

Mr. Panetti’s Supplemental Brief at the Fifth Circuit, filed January 28, 2015, can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1DgPXbM

Mr. Panetti’s Opening Brief at the Fifth Circuit, filed November 30, 2014, can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1yLnj2S

January 29, 2015 – News Coverage of Scott Panetti’s Filing

The Houston Chronicle reports, “Lawyers seek investigator, mental health expert to help prove killer client is insane,” by Allan Turner.

Lawyers for Scott Panetti Wednesday asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to take steps ensuring that the convicted double-killer be provided legal counsel, an investigator and mental health expert to help establish that he is insane and, therefore, exempt from execution.  Read more

The San Antonio Current reports, “Schizophrenic Death Row Inmate Asks Court for Funds to Prove Mental Illness,” by Mark Reagan.

Lawyers for a schizophrenic death row inmate are asking a federal appeals court to approve funding for defense attorneys and mental health experts so the man can make a claim that he is insane and should not be executed.  Read more

January 28, 2015 – Supplemental Filing in Scott Panetti’s Case

On December 3, 2014, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the execution of Scott Panetti, a man who has suffered from schizophrenia for three decades, for a careful review of the issues surrounding his competency. Mr. Panetti’s illness, schizophrenia, was present for years prior to the crime, profoundly affected his trial, and appears to have worsened in recent years. Mr. Panetti has not had a competency evaluation in seven years.

Today, Mr. Panetti’s attorneys, Greg Wiercioch of University of Wisconsin Law School and Kathryn Kase of Texas Defender Service, filed their Supplemental Brief with the Fifth Circuit. The brief addresses a number of questions that the Fifth Circuit posed to the parties after it granted the stay of execution, including whether the federal district court erred in refusing to appoint counsel and approve funding for a mental health expert and an investigator. Counsel for Mr. Panetti have argued in the Supplemental Brief that the Fifth Circuit should order the district court to appoint counsel and provide resources so that counsel can present new evidence that Mr. Panetti is currently incompetent to be executed.

Mr. Panetti’s Supplemental Brief at the Fifth Circuit, filed today, can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1DgPXbM

Mr. Panetti’s Opening Brief at the Fifth Circuit, filed November 30, 2014, can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1yLnj2S

CASE BACKGROUND

Three-Decade History of Severe Psychosis and Delusions

Mr. Panetti has suffered from extreme mental illness for over 30 years. He was hospitalized a dozen times for psychosis and delusions in the six years leading up to the crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death.

The first time Mr. Panetti showed signs of being afflicted with a psychotic disorder was in 1978, over 14 years before the crime. During his multiple hospitalizations, doctors diagnosed him with chronic schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and proscribed antipsychotic medication.

In 1986, Mr. Panetti first succumbed to the delusion that he was engaged in spiritual warfare with Satan. In an affidavit his first wife signed to have him involuntarily committed, she testified that he was obsessed with the idea that the devil was in the house. He engaged in a series of bizarre behaviors to exorcize his home, including burying his furniture in the backyard because he thought the devil was in the furniture.

Two years before the crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death, Mr. Panetti was involuntarily committed for homicidal behavior and was found to be suffering from delusions and psychotic religiosity.

The crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death also had the hallmarks of a severely disturbed mind. While off his antipsychotic medication, Mr. Panetti shaved his head and dressed in camouflage fatigues before going to his in-laws’ home and committing the offense for which he was convicted and sentenced to death.

Detailed information about Mr. Panetti’s medical history can be found in this mental illness timeline starting in 1978 that shows how Mr. Panetti’s mental health degenerated over the years, including how in 1986, the Social Security Administration made a determination that Mr. Panetti was so disabled from schizophrenia that he was entitled to government benefits: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1LFfr8Iqz_7c3kzWW5nRFBib1U/view?usp=sharing

Mr. Panetti’s Trial: ‘A Miserable Spectacle’

Despite being a paranoid schizophrenic, Mr. Panetti represented himself at his capital murder trial in 1995. Wearing a cowboy costume with a purple bandana and attempting to call over 200 people to the witness stand, including the Pope, John F. Kennedy, Jesus Christ and his own alter ego, Mr. Panetti was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Mr. Panetti’s statements in court, at both the guilt and sentencing phase, were bizarre and incomprehensible. He took the witnesses stand and testified about his own life in excessive and irrelevant detail.

Mr. Panetti announced that he would assume the personality of “Sarge” and recounted the gruesome details of the crime in the third person. He gestured as if pointing a rifle to the jury box (visibly upsetting the jurors) and matter- of-factly imitated the sound of shots being fired.

Fixed Delusion that Texas is Trying to Kill Him for Preaching the Gospel

In 2004, Texas tried to execute Mr. Panetti, but a federal judge court stayed the execution and the United States Supreme Court ultimately found the Fifth Circuit’s standard for determining competency to be executed unconstitutional in Panetti v. Quarterman, 551 U.S. 930 (2007). Notwithstanding that decision, Texas continued to contest Mr. Panetti’s competence to be executed. In 2013, the Fifth Circuit again found him competent to be executed – despite the District Court’s findings that he has a severe mental illness and suffers from paranoid delusions.

If his execution date had not been withdrawn, he would have gone to the execution chamber convinced that he was being put to death for preaching the Gospels, not for the murder of his wife’s parents, and the retributive goal of capital punishment would not be served.

Widespread Support for Clemency

On November 12, 2014, Mr. Panetti’s attorneys filed a clemency petition with Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles along with letters supporting clemency from the leading Texas and national mental health organizations and professionals such as the American Psychiatric Association, Mental Health America and Disability Rights Texas; criminal justice and legal professionals including former Texas Governor Mark White, state Attorneys General and former judges and prosecutors; 55 Evangelical leaders from Texas and nationally and 7 retired and active Bishops from the United Methodist Church and other faith leaders; Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation and the American Bar Association, among others.

On November 18, 2014, worldwide support for Scott Panetti reached a groundswell with new calls for clemency from prominent individuals and organizations from across Texas and the world, including the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy organization on mental illness, National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI); NAMI’s Texas affiliate; ten legislators from Texas; former U.S. Representative Ron Paul; several more Evangelical Christians; and the European Union, which represents twenty-eight nations.

To access the letters supporting clemency, additional legal documents and other case resources, including a video, please go to: http://texasdefender.org/scott-panetti.

To speak with Mr. Panetti’s attorneys, Kathryn Kase of Texas Defender Service and Greg Wiercioch of Texas Defender Service and University of Wisconsin Law School, or if you would like to speak with mental health and other experts, please contact Laura Burstein, Laura.Burstein@Squirepb.com202-626-6868 (o); 202-669-3411 (c).

Attorney Statement: UPDATE: FIFTH CIRCUIT STAYS EXECUTION OF SCOTT PANETTI READ MORE

petition_315

Scott Panetti was honorably discharged from the Navy at the age of 18. Eighteen months later, he was diagnosed with “early schizophrenia.”

Scott PanettiScott Panetti has suffered from severe mental illness for over 30 years. It first manifested itself at least a decade before the crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death in Texas. His severe mental illness has infected every stage of his capital case and although Mr. Panetti continues to be severely mentally ill, Texas now plans to execute Mr. Panetti on December 3, 2014.

This is the enduring image of Mr. Panetti’s case: a paranoid schizophrenic wearing a TV-Western cowboy costume; on trial for his life, insisting on defending himself without counsel; attempting to subpoena the Pope, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus Christ; and raising an insanity defense. Mr. Panetti’s pro se performance was an abomination and his trial was a mockery of the criminal justice system.

Scott Panetti Case

In 2004, Texas tried to execute Mr. Panetti, but a federal judge stayed the execution and the United States Supreme Court ultimately rejected the Fifth Circuit’s unconstitutional standard for determining competency to be executed in Panetti v. Quarterman, 551 U.S. 930 (2007). Notwithstanding that decision, Texas continued to contest Mr. Panetti’s mental competence to be executed. In 2013, the Fifth Circuit again found him competent to be executed – despite the District Court’s findings that he has a severe mental illness and suffers from paranoid delusions.

Today, Mr. Panetti again stands on the brink of execution. His fixed delusion centers on his belief that his execution is being orchestrated by Satan, working through the State of Texas, to put an end to Mr. Panetti’s preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the condemned.

Case Resources

Letter Asking Governor Perry for a 30-Day Reprieve
Clemency Petition, Supplement to Clemency Petition, and Letters of Support
Panetti Mental Illness Timeline
VIDEO:Executing the Insane: the Case of Scott Panetti
INFOGRAPHIC: Scott Panetti Is Too Mentally Ill for Execution
Storify on Scott Panetti

Attorney Statements & News Releases

Release: New Filing in Scott Panetti Case at Fifth Circuit
Attorney Statement: UPDATE: FIFTH CIRCUIT STAYS EXECUTION OF SCOTT PANETTI
Press Release: Schizophrenic TX Death Row Prisoner Appeals Constitutionality of Scheduled Dec 3rd Execution to U.S. Supreme Court
Attorney Statement: Texas Governor Asked to Stay Execution Following Unanimous Denial by Texas BPP
Press Release: NEW POLL: AMERICANS OPPOSED TO DEATH PENALTY FOR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
Attorney Statement on 6-3 Denial of Stay in Case of Schizophrenic Man
Attorney Statement on 5-4 Denial of Stay in Case of Schizophrenic Man
Press Release: PANETTI NEW FILING: EMERGING CONSENSUS AGAINST DEATH PENALTY FOR SEVERELY MENTALLY ILL
Press Release: Texas High Court Asked to Stay Execution of Schizophrenic Man
Attorney Statement on District Court Denying Stay of Execution to Scott Panetti
Press Release: Worldwide Support Grows for Paranoid Schizophrenic w/ Imminent Execution
Press Release: Imminent Texas Execution of Schizophrenic Widely Opposed; Clemency Petition Filed with Gov. Perry in Panetti Case
Press Release: Attorneys for Schizophrenic Man Ask Court to Stay Execution in Texas for Competency Hearing
Attorney Statement on Texas Court Refusing to Withdraw Execution Date in Scott Panetti Mental Illness Case
Media Release on Scott Panetti’s Filing of an Emergency Motion for Hearing
Statement of Kathryn Kase, Attorney for Scott Panetti, re: Fifth Circuit’s Decision to Uphold District Court’s Ruling that Mr. Panetti is Competent to be Executed.

Legal Documents

Supplemental Brief at the Fifth Circuit, filed January 28, 2015
Order from the Fifth Circuit Staying Execution, issued December 3, 2014
Filing at the U.S. Supreme Court, December 1, 2014
Letter Asking Governor Perry for a 30-Day Reprieve
Clemency Petition, Supplement to Clemency Petition, and Letters of Support
Filing at the Fifth Circuit, November 30, 2014
Order and Dissents from Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, November 26, 2014
Filing in Federal District Court, November 25, 2014
Order and Dissent from Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, November 25, 2014
Affidavit of Sonja Alvarado, July 21, 2001
Filings at Texas CCA, November 24, 2014
Filings at Texas CCA, November 20, 2014
Renewed Motion to Stay Execution
Order Denying Defendant’s Emergency Motion for Hearing
Emergency Motion for Hearing
Petition for Writ of Certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court

Media Coverage

Editorial and Opinion Coverage

New York Times: Editorial: Will Texas Kill an Insane Man? (November 23, 2014)
Amarillo Globe-News: Editorial: Don’t be cruel — and unusual (December 7, 2014)
Baptist Standard: Editorial: Texas should not put mentally ill man to death (November 14, 2014)
Beaumont Enterprise: Editorial: Inmate needs sanity verified before execution (December 2, 2014)
Capitol Times: Editorial: Texas should not kill Wisconsin native Scott Panetti (December 2, 2014)
Daily Texan: Editorial: Texas’ upcoming execution of Scott Panetti, a schizophrenic man, is unjust (November 26, 2014)
Daily Free Press: Editorial: Crime and Capital Punishment (December 4, 2014)
Dallas Morning News: Editorial: Insanity of Panetti execution (December 1, 2014)
Dallas Morning News: Editorial: A Step Towards Judicial Insanity (November 28, 2014)
Dallas Morning News: Editorial: Texas’ plans to execute mentally ill Scott Panetti aren’t fitting for a civilized society (November 23, 2014)
El Diario: Editorial: This punishment is no justice (November 20, 2014)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Editorial: 5th Circuit Court of Appeals justly stops execution (December 3, 2014)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Editorial: Scott Panetti should not be executed (November 28, 2014)
Houston Chronicle: Editorial: End Executions (December 2, 2014)
Houston Chronicle: Editorial: Executing the sick (November 26, 2014)
Idaho Mountain Express: Editorial: Insane Justice (December 5, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Editorial: Federal court should spare Texas death row inmate Scott Panetti (December 5, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Editorial: Texas Gov. Rick Perry should spare Wisconsin native Scott Panetti (December 1, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Editorial: Questions still swirling about Scott Panetti’s case (November 5, 2014)
San Antonio Express-News: Editorial: 5th Circuit right about Panetti case (December 7, 2014)
San Antonio Express-News: Editorial: Stay Panetti’s execution (November 23, 2014)
The Virginian Pilot: Editorial: In Texas, a last chance for justice (December 3, 2014)
West Virginia Gazette: Editorial: Pro-Death Values (December 1, 2014)
ACSblog: Leong: Executing the Mentally Ill (December 2, 2014)
Al Jazeera America: Carasik: Federal appeals court spares mentally ill man from execution – for now (December 4, 2014)
Bloomberg View: Satel: Don’t Execute Schizophrenic Killers (December 1, 2014)
CNN: Powers: The atrocity of Texas killing a mentally ill man (December 2, 2014)
Dallas Morning News: Price: Abolish the death penalty (December 3, 2014)
Dallas Morning News: Johnson: If Texas values life, it shouldn’t execute mentally ill man (November 19, 2014)
Houston Chronicle: Casey: Who’s the insane one, Panetti or the Texas judicial system? (December 6, 2014)
Houston Chronicle: Parnham: Courts sentenced man to death without fairly considering his mental illness (November 14, 2014)
Huffington Post: Francolini: Our Collective Soul (December 5, 2014)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Sanders: Execution of mentally ill man next month must be stopped (November 15, 2014)
Los Angeles Times: Honberg: Texas execution of a severely mentally ill man would be an outrage (November 28, 2014)
Miami Herald (nationally syndicated): Pitts: The case of Scott Panetti — and the true meaning of ‘cruel and unusual’ (December 7, 2014)
Noozhawk: Alcorn: Crazy Justice, and Murder, Mayhem and the Death Penalty (December 7, 2014)
San Antonio Express-News: Chasnoff: Texas Plans to Kill Insane Man (November 24, 2014)
USA Today: Earley: Texas Plans to Kill Insane Man (November 30, 2014)
UTA The Shorthorn: Tran: Mentally disabled people shouldn’t face death penalty (December 2, 2014)
Washington Times: Bozell, Nolan and Viguerie: When the death penalty is immoral (December 1, 2014)
The Week: Laurence: Scott Panetti is insane: will Gov Perry dare spare him? (December 2, 2014)
Dallas Morning News: Letter to the Editor: Going against Christian values (November 20, 2014)

News Coverage

Texas Tribune: Panetti Case Highlights Cracks in Texas Execution Law (October 20, 2015)
Boston Public Radio: Ask The Ethicist: Capital Punishment And The Mentally Ill (December 11, 2014)
New York Times: Federal Appeals Court Halts Execution in Texas Murder Case (December 3, 2014)
Associated Press: Federal court stops Texas inmate’s scheduled execution; attorneys say he’s too mentally ill (December 3, 2014)
Washington Post: Appeals court issues stay for Scott Panetti, mentally ill Texas inmate facing execution (December 3, 2014)
Los Angeles Times: Federal appeals court stays execution of a schizophrenic Texas man (December 3, 2014)
USA Today: Court halts execution of mentally ill Texas inmate (December 3, 2014)
CNN: Court orders Texas killer’s execution postponed (December 3, 2014)
Wall Street Journal: Federal Appeals Court Postpones Execution of Texas Murderer (December 3, 2014)
National Public Radio: Texas Puts Execution Of Mentally Ill Man On Hold (December 3, 2014)
NBC News: Execution of ‘Delusional’ Death Row Inmate Scott Panetti Halted (December 3, 2014)
NBC News: Court Relieves Rick Perry From Death Penalty Dilemma (December 3, 2014)
CBS News: Texas execution stayed amid mental health dispute (December 3, 2014)
Reuters: Texas inmate with severe mental illness gets stay of execution (December 3, 2014)
MSNBC – The Rachel Maddow Show: Execution stayed for mentally ill Texas prisoner (December 5, 2014)
MSNBC: Federal appeals court halts execution for severely mentally ill man (December 3, 2014)
The Guardian: Mentally ill Texas inmate’s execution stayed by federal appeals court (December 3, 2014)
Huffington Post: Appeals Court Orders Texas To Hold Off On Execution Of Scott Panetti (December 3, 2014)
BBC: US court orders execution stay for mentally ill man (December 3, 2014)
Democracy Now!: Federal Appeals Court Postpones Execution of Texas Murderer (December 3, 2014)
Slate: Conservative Appeals Court Stays Mentally Ill Texas Inmate’s Execution in Surprise Move (December 3, 2014)
Slate: Behind the Christian Conservative Push To Save Scott Panetti (December 3, 2014)
Buzzfeed: Scott Panetti Will Not Be Executed In Texas Tonight (December 3, 2014)
U.S. News and World Report: Views You Can Use: A Plea for Panetti (December 3, 2014)
Reason: Social Pressure Works: Court Orders Stay of Execution for Scott Panetti (December 3, 2014)
Reason: The Right Side of Death (December 3, 2014)
Vice: A Court Just Stopped Texas from Executing a Paranoid Schizophrenic (December 3, 2014)
Agence France Presse: Execution stayed for mentally ill prisoner (December 4, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Federal court stays execution of Wisconsin native Scott Panetti (December 4, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Video: Panetti’s attorney speaks on Texas court’s decision (December 3, 2014)
Psychology Today: Execution Stayed in Texas for Mentally Ill Man (December 5, 2014)
Mother Jones: Court Blocks Texas From Executing Mentally Ill Convict—for Now (December 3, 2014)
National Journal: Appeals Court Issues Stay of Controversial Execution for Scott Panetti (December 3, 2014)
The Week: Appeals court stays execution of mentally ill Texas man (December 3, 2014)
New York Magazine: Court Halts the Execution of Mentally Ill Texas Inmate (December 3, 2014)
Quartz: The court just stayed Scott Panetti’s execution. Here’s why his case is so controversial. (December 3, 2014)
The Hill: Court stays controversial Texas execution (December 3, 2014)
Texas Tribune: Federal Appeals Court Issues Stay For Panetti (December 3, 2014)
San Antonio Express-News: Condemned inmate gets stay of execution (December 3, 2014)
Houston Chronicle: Appeals court issues stay in execution of mentally ill man (December 3, 2014)
Austin Chronicle: Appeals court halts execution of schizophrenic Texas inmate (December 3, 2014)
Austin Chronicle: Quote of the Week (December 3, 2014)
Houston Press Blog: Fifth Circuit Issues a Stay of Execution: Scott Panetti Won’t be Executed Tonight (December 3, 2014)
San Antonio Currant: Appeals Court Stops Texas from Killing Mentally Ill Inmate (December 3, 2014)
Christian Post: Mentally Ill Texas Man, Scott Panetti, Granted Last-Minute Stay of Execution; Christian Leaders Urge Gov. Perry to Show Mercy (December 4, 2014)
Christian News: Open Appeal to Gov. Perry to Commute Death Sentence (December 3, 2014)
Christian Science Monitor: Open Appeal to Gov. Perry to Commute Death Sentence (December 3, 2014)
Christian Science Monitor: Open Appeal to Gov. Perry to Commute Death Sentence (December 3, 2014)
Catholic News Agency: Court commended for staying execution of mentally ill man (December 3, 2014)
United Press International: Court issues stay to prevent Texas from executing mentally ill man (December 3, 2014)
Courthouse News Service: Fifth Circuit Stays Execution of Schizophrenic Inmate (December 4, 2014)
Agencia EFE: U.S. court suspends execution of schizophrenic inmate (December 3, 2014)
The Independent (UK): Scott Panetti: US appeals court grants stay of execution for mentally ill death row inmate (December 3, 2014)
Gospel Herald: Scott Panetti Case: Evangelical Leader Writes Open Appeal to Gov. Rick Perry to Commute Death Sentence (December 3, 2014)
The Raw Story: Appeals court stays execution of schizophrenic Texas man (December 3, 2014)
Fox 6 News: Appeals Court postpones execution of Texas death row inmate, a Wisconsin native (December 3, 2014)
Breitbart News: Court Stays Execution of Mentally Ill Texas Man on Death Row (December 3, 2014)
New York Times: Justices Urged to Intervene in Execution (December 1, 2014)
Associated Press: U.S. Supreme Court asked to halt execution of ‘delusional’ Texas inmate (December 3, 2014)
Associated Press: Attorneys: Condemned Killer in Texas Is Delusional(December 2, 2014)
Reuters: Last-ditch appeals made for mentally ill Texas death row inmate (December 2, 2014)
Reuters: U.N. experts urge Texas to halt execution of mentally ill inmate (December 2, 2014)
Los Angeles Times: Texas stirs controversy with plans to execute schizophrenic man (December 3, 2014)
USA Today: On life and death, justices show more divisions (December 2, 2014)
USA Today: Sane enough for Texas: the Lone Star State’s history of executing mentally ill inmates (December 2, 2014)
The Guardian: Killer’s competency in spotlight on eve of execution (December 2, 2014)
National Public Radio: Texas Death Row Case Draws Attention To Mentally Ill Convicts (December 3, 2014)
The Rachel Maddow Show (December 2, 2014)
MSNBC: Conservatives request Rick Perry halt execution of ‘mentally ill’ inmate (December 2, 2014)
Huffington Post: Rick Perry Silent Under Pressure To Delay Execution Of Severely Mentally Ill Man (December 2, 2014)
Huffington Post Live: Will Insanity Save This Texas Death Row Inmate? (December 2, 2014)
Democracy Now!: ‘Mentally ill’ Texas inmate appeals against execution (December 2, 2014)
BBC: Will Texas Execute a Schizophrenic Man Who Tried to Subpoena Jesus, JFK & the Pope at His Own Trial? (December 2, 2014)
Salon: “A mockery”: Conservative group condemns planned execution of mentally ill Texas man
Scott Panetti is set to be put to death tomorrow (December 2, 2014)
ThinkProgress: Texas Is About To Execute A Mentally Ill Man Who Thinks He’s Being Killed Over A War With ‘Demons’ (December 2, 2014)
Reason: Texas to Execute Severely Mentally Ill Man Tonight Despite Public Outcry (December 3, 2014)
Al Jazeera America: UN says Texas execution of mentally ill man would be ‘cruel and unworthy’ (December 2, 2014)
Austin American-Statesman: Why a planned Texas execution is firing broad opposition (December 3, 2014)
Texas Tribune: Schizophrenic Inmate Set for Execution Wednesday (December 3, 2014)
Texas Tribune: The Brief: Broad Opposition Gathers Against Panetti Execution (December 3, 2014)
Houston Chronicle: Killer’s planned execution sparks debate (December 2, 2014)
Jurist: UN rights experts urge Texas not to execute mentally ill man (December 2, 2014)
Policy Mic: Texas Is About to Perform Its Most Controversial Execution Yet (December 2, 2014)
United Press International: Texas prepares to execute mentally ill killer Scott Panetti (December 3, 2014)
International Business Times: Scott Panetti Death Penalty Update: Texas Prepares To Execute Mentally Ill Man (December 3, 2014)
Bustle: UN Calls Texas’ Scheduled Execution of Scott Panetti, a Mentally Ill Inmate, Unworthy of Civilized Societies (December 2, 2014)
The Root: The UN Pleads With Texas Officials to Delay the Execution of a Mentally Ill Man (December 3, 2014)
Agencia EFE: U.N. criticizes scheduled death penalty for schizophrenic inmate in U.S. (December 3, 2014)
The Telegraph UK: US Supreme Court urged to spare schizophrenic ‘Purple cowboy’ killer (December 2, 2014)
UN News Centre: UN rights experts call on US to commute death sentence of mentally ill prisoner (December 2, 2014)
Catholic News Agency: Texas Catholics to Gov. Perry: Don’t Execute Mentally Ill Inmate (December 3, 2014)
Courthouse News Service: Mentally Ill Death Row Inmate Scott Panetti Isn’t Too Mentally Ill To Be Executed Wednesday (December 2, 2014)
Houston Press Blog: Schizophrenic Man Hours From Execution in Texas (December 3, 2014)
Conservative HQ: Conservative Opposition to Panetti Death Penalty Intensifies (December 3, 2014)
Associated Press: US Supreme Court asked to halt execution of Texas inmate who lawyers say is too mentally ill (December 1, 2014)
NBC News: ‘Delusional’ Killer Scott Panetti Asks Supreme Court to Halt Execution (December 1, 2014)
TIME: Texas Plans to Execute a Schizophrenic Man Who Tried to Subpoena Jesus (December 1, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Texas Governor Rick Perry Asked to Stop Scott Panneti’s Execution (December 1, 2014)
Huffington Post: Conservatives Call On Rick Perry To Halt Execution Of Scott Panetti (December 1, 2014)
The Atlantic: Will Texas Execute a Mentally Ill Man? (December 1, 2014)
The Marshall Project: A Plea from the Right (December 1, 2014)
Democracy Now!: Will Texas Execute a Schizophrenic Man Who Tried to Subpoena Jesus, JFK & the Pope at His Own Trial? (December 2, 2014)
The Week: Diverse coalition opposes execution of mentally ill convict in Texas (December 1, 2014)
Al Jazeera America: Attorneys petition Supreme Court to stay mentally ill man’s execution (December 1, 2014)
Christian Post: Texas Denies Stay of Execution for Mentally Ill Man; Lawyers Plead Supreme Court to Intervene (December 1, 2014)
Texas Tribune: Panetti Fate in Hands of Perry, Appeals Courts (December 1, 2014)
San Antonio Express-News: Schizophrenic killer who addressed jury as ‘Sgt. Ironhorse’ set to die (December 1, 2014)
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Cuccinelli, Earley ask Texas to spare life of mentally ill killer (December 1, 2014)
The Hill: Conservatives to Perry: Commute sentence of mentally ill death row inmate (December 1, 2014)
Christian Newswire: Conservative Leaders Ask Gov. Perry to Spare Life of Severely Mentally Ill Man (December 1, 2014)
The Independent UK: Scott Panetti execution: Activists in last-ditch bid to halt death of mentally ill killer in Texas (December 1, 2014)
Daily Mail UK: Left-wing activists, conservatives and Christian leaders in bid to save life of ‘delusional’ Texas death row inmate ahead of Wednesday execution (December 2, 2014)
Latin Post: Conservative Leaders Petition Texas Governor Against Execution of Severely Mentally Ill Death Row Inmate (December 1, 2014)
Gospel Herald: Scott Panetti Execution: Conservatives Urge Texas Gov. Perry to Reconsider Death Sentence of Mentally Ill Man (December 1, 2014)
Conservative HQ: Conservative Leaders Ask Gov. Perry to Spare Life of Severely Mentally Ill Man (December 1, 2014)
Breitbart News Network: Texas Set to Execute Man Lawyers Argue is Mentally Ill (December 1, 2014)
Sputnick News: UN Experts Urge US, Texas Authorities Not To Execute Mentally Ill Prisoner (December 1, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Clock ticks toward Scott Panetti execution in Texas (December 1, 2014)
Vice: Texas Plans to Execute a Paranoid Schizophrenic Man This Wednesday (December 1, 2014)
Associated Press: Texas Set To Execute Scott Panetti, Man Who Says He’s Being Executed For Preaching Gospel(November 30, 2014)
Buzzfeed: This Is The Schizophrenic Man Texas Wants To Execute This Week (November 30, 2014)
Associated Press: Texas death row inmate’s case headed to US appeals court (November 29, 2014)
Daily Mail UK: Lawyers try to save ‘delusional’ death row murderer, 56, who tried to subpoena Jesus Christ and JFK at his trial, from Wednesday execution (November 29, 2014)
San Antonio Express-News: Mentally ill inmate set to die Wednesday for Hill Country double slaying (November 29, 2014)
National Public Radio: Texas Execution Nears For Murderer Whose Competence Was Debated (November 26, 2014)
The Marshall Project: Crazy or Faking It? (November 26, 2014)
The Raw Story: Texas says Scott Panetti is sane enough to execute, and that is insane (November 26, 2014)
San Antonio Current: Texas Set to Execute Schizophrenic (November 26, 2014)
Texas Tribune: Court Declines to Stay Panetti’s Execution (November 25, 2014)
Mother Jones: Can Ron Paul and Conservative Evangelicals Save a Texas Death-Row Inmate?
Orlando Sentinel: Pastor Boldly Opposes Execution
San Antonio Express-News: Texas’ highest court upholds scheduled execution in 5-4 split (November 25, 2014)
Austin Chronicle: Deathwatch: Executing the Mentally (and Physically) Ill (November 28, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Texas appeals court declines to cancel Scott Panetti’s execution (November 25, 2014)
Houston Chronicle: Texas’ highest appeals court takes no action to save double-killer from execution (November 25, 2014)
Al Jazeera America: Texas Court Refuses To Stop Execution Of Schizophrenic Man (November 25, 2014)
Buzzfeed: Texas Court Refuses To Stop Execution Of Schizophrenic Man (November 25, 2014)
Young Americans for Liberty: Executing Scott Panetti: An Abuse of Power in Texas (November 26, 2014)
Burnt Orange Report: Mentally Ill Texas Prisoner Denied Stay of Execution Again (November 25, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lawyers try again to block Panetti execution (November 24, 2014)
Amicus (Slate podcast): Mental Illness and the Death Penalty (November 22, 2014)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Texas prepares to execute schizophrenic inmate despite call for clemency (November 24, 2014)
Texas Tribune: Panetti Attorneys File Stay Request With CCA (November 20, 2014)
Christian Post: Sister of Mentally Ill Texas Man Sentenced to Die in December Pleads to Rick Perry to Spare His Life (November 21, 2014)
Patheos: Sekulow, Rodriquez, and Panetti (November 20, 2014)
Agence France Presse: Texas judge approves execution of mentally ill man (November 19, 2014)
Slate: The Massive Failures of Justice That Will Allow Texas To Put A Mentally Ill Man to Death. (November 19, 2014)
Patheos: If God Still Smites Places, Texas Is Begging To Be Messed With (November 18, 2014)
Christian Post: Evangelical Leaders Ask Rick Perry to Stop Execution of Mentally Ill Texas Man Who Believes He’s Being Punished for Preaching the Gospel (November 17, 2014)
Associated Press: 2nd request to delay delusional inmate’s execution (November 14, 2014)
Texas Matters: How Crazy is Too Crazy For Execution (November 14, 2014)
ABA Journal: ABA President Asks Governor For Stay To Consider Inmate’s Competence For Execution (November 13, 2014)
Charisma News: Texas Evangelicals Warn Gov. Rick Perry Not to ‘Cross Moral Line (November 13, 2014)
Houston Press Blog: Is Scott Panetti Too Mentally Ill for Execution? Does Texas Care? (November 13, 2014)
Execution Of Scott Panetti, Inmate With Schizophrenia, ‘Would Cross A Moral Line’: Lawyer (November 13, 2014)
Daily Mail UK: Supporters Of ‘Delusional’ Texas Double Murderer On Death Row Ask State Officials To Commute His Sentence To Life In Prison (November 13, 2014)
Business Insider AU: Texas Is Going To Execute A Schizophrenic Who Represented Himself In Court Wearing A Cowboy Costume (November 12, 2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Supporters ask Texas officials to stop Scott Panetti’s execution (November 12, 2014)
Baptist News Global: Baptist leaders join plea to spare mentally ill man on death row (November 12, 2014)
NBC News: Delusional’ Killer Scott Panetti Asks Texas To Delay Execution (November 4, 2014
ABA Journal: Lawyers for death-row inmate say they learned of execution date in news article (November 4, 2014
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lawyer for Wisconsin Native Learned of Execution Order in News Article (November 4, 2014
Fox 26 Houston: ATTORNEYS SAY MENTALLY ILL KILLER’S LIFE SHOULD BE SPARED (November 3, 2014
Texas Tribune: Lawyers Seek New Exam For Death Row Client (November 3, 2014)
Mother Jones: We’re Going to Execute a Man Who Subpoenaed Jesus While Representing Himself Wearing a Purple Cowboy Suit (October 15, 2014)
The New York Times: A Growing Plea for Mercy for the Mentally Ill on Death Row. (November 23, 2006)