The US has no ban on the execution of people with mental illnesses. Many states have considered legislation to exclude the mentally ill from execution, but none have taken that step yet. The Supreme Court has stated a defendant’s mental illness “must be taken into consideration as an important reason to spare his or her life.” Those with mental illness cannot necessarily understand their defense, even if they are declared competent to stand trial. Additionally, many death row inmates will waive their appeals and “volunteer” to be put to death. Today, we are discussing a man who was put to death, despite his well-documented mental illness.
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This episode was written by Suzy St. John
Research: Brittney Martinez and Suzy St. John
Content Editing by Brittney Martinez
Production: Nico at Wetalkofdreams.com