MENTAL ILLNESS: Federal Court Stays Texas Execution Because of Inadequate Hearing

UPDATE: The U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the stay of execution and Green was executed on Oct. 10. Earlier: Jonathan Green was scheduled for execution in Texas on October 10, but a federal judge issued a stay because the state did not afford him due process in examining his mental competency. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Atlas said, “It is clear from the record that, at a minimum, the trial court prevented Green from presenting testimony by treating mental health professionals, relied on an order solicited from and drafted by the state to which Green had no opportunity to object, and applied at least one incorrect legal standard.” Green’s lawyers argued that the Texas competency hearing was so abrupt that medical personnel from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, who had treated Green, were not available to testify. James Rytting, one of Green’s defense attorneys, said, “Mr. Green is seriously mentally ill; he suffers from schizophrenia and constant hallucinations.” Rytting added that Green’s condition has worsened while on death row because of lack of adequate treatment.

(M. Hennessy-Fiske, “Texas judge stays execution of man who raped, killed 12-year-old,” Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2012). See Mental Illness. Listen to DPIC’s podcast on Mental Illness.