Scott Panetti, a death row inmate, understands that the state says it means to execute him for the murder of his wife's parents.
But Panetti, 48, who represented himself in court despite a long history of mental illness, says he thinks that the state's real reason is a different one. He says the State of Texas, in league with Satan, wants to kill him to keep him from preaching the Gospel.
That delusion has been documented by doctors and acknowledged by judges and prosecutors. It poses what experts call the next big question in death penalty law now that the Supreme Court has barred the execution of juvenile offenders and the mentally retarded: What makes someone too mentally ill to be executed?
Texas Moratorium Network (TMN) is a non-profit organization with the primary goal of mobilizing statewide support for a moratorium on executions in Texas. Significant death penalty reform in Texas, including a moratorium on executions, is a viable goal if the public is educated on the death penalty system and is encouraged to contact their elected representatives to urge passage of moratorium legislation.
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