[DP] Fwd: [TCADP-BOARD01] U.S. Supreme Court refuses to halt
execution of mentally ill killer
Marie des Neiges Leonard
mariesnows99 at yahoo.com
Fri May 14 11:02:41 CDT 2004
Rick Halperin <rhalperi at mail.smu.edu> wrote:To: TCADP-BOARD01
From: Rick Halperin
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 11:00:05 -0500 (Central Daylight Time)
Subject: [TCADP-BOARD01] death penalty news----TEXAS
Mentally ill killer's stay bid rejected
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday refused to halt the execution next week
of a convicted killer who has repeatedly been diagnosed as mentally ill.
Kelsey Patterson, 50, is set for lethal injection Tuesday evening in
Huntsville for the fatal shootings of a man and woman in the East Texas
town of Palestine.
An appeal to the high court asked that Patterson's execution be delayed
and that the court formally review his case. The court denied both
requests. Additional appeals in the federal courts were planned,
Patterson's lawyer said.
The Supreme Court, in a 2002 ruling in a Virginia case, barred the
execution of mentally retarded people. The same prohibition has not been
extended to those considered mentally ill.
A request for clemency for Patterson was pending Thursday before the Texas
Board of Pardons and Paroles, but a vote by the panel wasn't expected
until Monday, said J. Gary Hart, Patterson's attorney.
Patterson left his home in Palestine the afternoon of Sept, 25, 1992,
carrying a .38-caliber pistol. He walked about a block to an oil company
office where he shot the owner, Louis Oates, in the head. Oates' secretary
was fatally shot after she walked outside, saw his body on the ground and
In 1980 in Dallas and in 1983 in Palestine, Patterson was ruled mentally
incompetent to stand trial on charges related to nonfatal shootings.
He was found competent to be tried for the double slaying, however, and
was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.
In his request to the Supreme Court, Hart noted that Patterson, diagnosed
as a paranoid schizophrenic, had to be expelled from his murder trial
because of outbursts "almost certainly fueled by his delusional system"and
missed nearly half of the testimony against him.
At least a half-dozen prisoners claiming mental illness have been put to
death in Texas over the past 2 years.
(source: Associated Press)
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