Entries tagged with “Scott Panetti

State & Federal Info

Military

,

Nov 10, 2023

A Veterans Day Review: Uneven Progress Understanding the Role of Military Service in Capital Crimes

In 2015, DPIC’s Battle Scars report brought world­wide atten­tion to the issue of mil­i­tary vet­er­ans on death row. DPIC found approx­i­mate­ly 300 vet­er­ans incar­cer­at­ed under a sen­tence of death, rep­re­sent­ing at least 10% of death row, and many more who had been exe­cut­ed. Since that report, research and under­stand­ing about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), trau­mat­ic brain injury (TBI), sub­stance use dis­or­ders, and men­tal ill­ness among vet­er­ans has only grown. A 2023 sur­vey of mem­bers of the Wounded Warrior Project found that 76% of ser­vice­mem­bers who incurred a men­tal or physical…

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

,

Nov 03, 2022

Federal Court Holds Competency Hearing for Scott Panetti

A fed­er­al dis­trict court in Texas has heard evi­dence on, and now must decide, whether a severe­ly men­tal­ly ill man is com­pe­tent to be exe­cut­ed. On October 24, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas began pre­sid­ing over the com­pe­ten­cy hear­ing of Scott Panetti (pic­tured), whose case estab­lished the con­sti­tu­tion­al stan­dard for com­pe­ten­cy to be exe­cut­ed, to deter­mine whether he has a ratio­nal under­stand­ing of his death sen­tence and the rea­son for it or is so men­tal­ly ill that he has become men­tal­ly incompetent.

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

,

Sep 29, 2023

Federal District Court Finds Scott Panetti Not Competent for Execution

On September 28, 2023, the Western District Court of Texas ruled that the state can­not exe­cute Scott Panetti (pic­tured), a death row pris­on­er with a decades-long his­to­ry of seri­ous men­tal health issues and a diag­no­sis of schiz­o­phre­nia. Despite a state expert con­ced­ing Mr. Panetti’s seri­ous men­tal ill­ness, Texas argued that he is com­pe­tent to face exe­cu­tion because he has some degree” of ratio­nal under­stand­ing. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ruled, how­ev­er, that “[Mr.] Panetti is not sane enough to be exe­cut­ed” and that he lack[s] a ratio­nal under­stand­ing of the…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

,

Mental Illness

,

United States Supreme Court

,

Mar 26, 2015

States Struggle with Determinations of Competency to Be Executed

A recent arti­cle in Mother Jones exam­ines lin­ger­ing ques­tions in the deter­mi­na­tion of which inmates are exempt from exe­cu­tion because of men­tal incompetency.

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

,

Recent Legislative Activity

,

United States Supreme Court

,

Nov 02, 2023

Under Recent State Legislation, Courts in Ohio and Kentucky Rule Four Men Ineligible for Execution Due to Serious Mental Illness

Though the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution for­bids the death penal­ty for a per­son who is insane” at the time of exe­cu­tion, it has nev­er held that the exe­cu­tion of peo­ple with seri­ous men­tal ill­ness is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al. Experts have found that two in five peo­ple exe­cut­ed between 2000 and 2015 had a men­tal ill­ness diag­no­sis such as bipo­lar dis­or­der, schiz­o­phre­nia, or PTSD. Since 2017, at least eleven states have attempt­ed to strength­en pro­tec­tions for vul­ner­a­ble pris­on­ers by intro­duc­ing bills bar­ring the exe­cu­tion of those with seri­ous men­tal illness…