The execution of a person with such diminished capacity would serve no penological purpose and it would only diminish us as a society. Catholic teaching opposes the use of the death penalty as it disregards the sanctity and dignity of human life. Mr. Clayton could be held accountable for his actions if his sentence were commuted to life without parole. Please contact Governor Jay Nixon at 573-751-3222 or by email and ask that he show mercy and spare Mr. Clayton’s life.
Missouri plans to execute Cecil Clayton on March 17. Clayton, a 75-year-old man, lost a significant portion of his brain over 40 years ago due to an industrial accident. A projectile shot from a working saw shattered the frontal lobe of his brain, which controls judgment, intellectual functions, and emotional adjustment. Immediately after the accident his behavior and personality changed. Clayton began suffering from delusions, schizophrenia, and organic personality changes. His IQ also plummeted from 99 to his current 71 and he was no longer able to work. It was after this debilitating injury that the murder of Deputy Christopher Castetter took place. Clayton’s mental stability has worsened with age and his severe impairments have affected his reasoning, judgment, and his grip on reality.