death penalty execution Ford v. Wainwright Jonathan Green severe mental illness Texas Texas Attorney General U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit U.S. Supreme Court

State of Texas Executes Jonathan Green

Late last night, October 10, 2012, the State of Texas executed Jonathan Marcus Green for the 2000 rape, abduction, and murder of 12-year-old Christina Neal in Montgomery County.  The execution occurred after much legal wrangling over Green’s mental competency.  He reportedly suffered from schizophrenia, including severe hallucinations, for which he received no medication.  In 2010, Green received a last-minute stay of execution due to issues surrounding his competency.

Earlier in the week, a federal judge stayed the execution on an appeal from Green’s attorneys challenging a state district judge’s decision two years ago that he was mentally competent for execution.  According to the Associated Press (“Texas inmate executed for killing 12-year-old girl,” October 10, updated October 11, 2012), “U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas ruled Monday that attorneys for Green weren’t properly allowed at a state competency hearing to present testimony from mental health professionals who treated him.”  The Texas Attorney General’s office appealed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals, which then lifted the stay.  The U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene.   The AP reports that “11th-hour appeals delayed the punishment nearly five hours past the initial 6 p.m. execution time and as the midnight expiration of the death warrant neared.”

Green is the 10th person to be executed in Texas this year, out of 31 executions nationwide.  He is among more than 25 documented cases of people who have been executed in Texas despite being diagnosed with a severe mental illness.  The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which considers cases from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, has never found a death row inmate incompetent for execution.

Three more executions are scheduled to take place in Texas this month.

Read more in the Houston Chronicle.

Read previous posts here and here.

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