The State of Texas was set to execute Scott Panetti today at six o’clock – but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a stay of execution – here is the single page issued from the federal appellate court this morning:
Terry Lenamon deals with the issues of death penalty sentencing and the seeking of capital punishment for those defendants who suffer from mental illness as part of his practice.
Panetti is diagnosed to suffer from schizophrenia. Should the death penalty apply in his case?
Key to this case is the Texas legal perspective regarding cognition of right vs wrong on the part of the defendant and the federal constitutional prohibition against execution of the mentally ill via the Eighth Amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment.