Wednesday, October 24, 2012

John Errol Ferguson's execution stayed

He was set to be executed last night at 6pm, but the 11th Circuit stayed the execution at 8pm (?!!?) and the Supreme Court upheld the stay.  It's been a roller coaster though for the last few days.  From the AP:

Following a slew of conflicting court rulings, a federal appeals court has blocked the scheduled execution of a mass killer convicted of eight killings that jolted South Florida in the 1970s. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the stay.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision Tuesday came during a flurry of legal decisions over claims that 64-year-old John Errol Ferguson suffers from mental illness so severe he cannot be executed. Ferguson, a paranoid schizophrenic with delusions he's the "prince of God," had faced a planned lethal injection at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Florida's death chamber.
The Supreme Court rejected an earlier Ferguson emergency appeal Tuesday – as did the 11th Circuit – but the high court would not agree to the state of Florida's request to overturn the later ruling. The appeals court set a schedule for motions that will likely delay the execution at least until the first week of November, if not longer.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office argued in court papers that the late ruling "makes a mockery of the state's compelling interest in finality" in Ferguson's case. He has been on death row for 34 years.


Rumpole said...

And killing a crazy man doesn't make a mockery of the 8th amendment?

Anonymous said... He was crazy enough to kill 8 people - including 6 in a drug execution and two teenage girls. To me that makes it perfectly fine to execute him.

The death penalty is worthless as a deterrent, but it has some value as an instrument of vengeance on behalf of the victim's families. For that reason alone, I am okay with this man being killed by the state, so long as that is what at least one of the victim's family members wants.

Anonymous said...

C'mon already. Fry him!

Anonymous said...

The State of Florida could balance its budget and have enough money to splurge on some whimsical luxury like education by abolishing the death penalty. The family of the victims here would have had closure back in the 70's knowing he would never be set free just like the family of all murder victims in cases where the death penalty is not imposed.

Rumpole said...

People kill for all sorts of reasons. Some people who are mentally ill kill because they hear voices telling them to kill and thus their actions appear appropriate to them.

When people act bizzarely and commit mass murder and later show signs of hearing voices and being mentally unstable, killing them isn't vegence. Its like killing a diabetic for having a sugar craving. Mental illness makes some people do horrible things. Killing them be because they are ill seems even worse, because while they don't know better, we should.

GB said...

Rumpole is no bleeding heart. He is spot on here.