We’ve posted about the case of the man who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and who sits on Texas’ Death Row awaiting execution. Read the details about the case here (you may recall Scott Panetti as the man who defended himself at his criminal trial, and tried to call as witnesses — among others — the Pope and John F. Kennedy).
Tomorrow at two o’clock in the afternoon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in an oral argument set in Dallas and not New Orleans (the “home” of the Fifth Circuit), will consider the motion filed on behalf of Death Row inmate Scott Panetti which seeks to overturn the decision of a federal district court judge regarding adequacy of the legal representation that Panetti had.
The federal appeals court will consider whether or not allow the case to be reconsidered at the trial court level with appointed counsel as well as:
- funds for investigative and expert assistance for the appointed defense counsel; and
- time allowed for the preparation of a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus as a vehicle to challenge the constitutionality of the pending execution of Scott Panetti given his mental illness diagnoses which have spanned a 40 year time period.
For those interested in the mental illness issues of those sitting on Death Row in the United States, the following briefs may be of interest:
- The Amicus Brief from National Conservative Leaders
- Mr. Panetti’s Opening Brief and Supplemental Brief at the Fifth Circuit.
Note: As those who follow this blog know, the psychological issues that face many defendants who are either on Death Row or in trial with the state seeking the death penalty are areas in which Terence Lenamon has extensive knowledge and experience. Terry often deals with mitigation fights that involve severe mental illness of the person charged with a capital crime.