National support continues to grow opposing the execution of Texas inmate Scott Panetti set for December 3. Among the groups raising alarm are National Alliance on Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association, the American Bar Association, disability groups, mental health experts, former prosecutors, legislators, Christian leaders, and murder victim family members.Panetti, a man who has suffered from schizophrenia for over thirty years, was sentenced to death for the murder of his in-laws in 1992. Panetti has a long history of severe delusions, numerous hospitalizations, and has even received disability from the government for his mental illness. At his 1995 trial, in which he was allowed to represent himself, Panetti came to court in cowboy attire and tried to subpoena JFK, the pope, and Jesus.
Noting Panetti’s severe and persistent illness, the opposition notes Texas would “cross a moral line” if this execution is carried out. They are urging the Texas Parole Board to recommend clemency and for Texas Governor Rick Perry to grant it.