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Sun Oct 14, 2012, 04:53 PM

Florida inmate found fit to be executed despite history of mental illness

Source: Guardian

Florida inmate found fit to be executed despite history of mental illness

Florida judge rules John Ferguson can be put to death despite US supreme court ruling barring execution of the mentally ill

Ed Pilkington in New York
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 14 October 2012 14.43 EDT

A Florida judge has ruled that a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who believes he is the "Prince of God" and is convinced that he will be resurrected to sit for eternity at God's right hand is sane and can put to death next week.

David Glant, a judge with Florida's eighth circuit, has found that John Ferguson, 64, can be given lethal injections next Thursday despite a US supreme court injunction that prohibits executions of the insane. In his concluding remarks, the judge agrees with the prisoner's defence lawyers that Ferguson is a paranoid schizophrenic who genuinely believes he is "Prince of God".

The judge accepts that the prisoner has a "long history of mental illness" and finds there is no evidence to support the prosecution contention, made over several years, that Ferguson was pretending to be mentally ill in order to avoid execution. Yet he goes on to conclude that "there is no evidence that his mental illness interferes, in any way, with his 'rational understanding' of the fact of his pending execution and the reason for it".

Astoundingly, the judge goes on to say that the prisoner's "grandiose delusion" of himself as being akin to Jesus at the point of his resurrection is in fact "relatively normal Christian belief". He writes: "There is no evidence that Ferguson's belief as to his role in the world and what may happen to him in the afterlife is so significantly different from beliefs other Christians may hold so as to consider it a sign of insanity."



Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/14/florida-inmate-executed-mental-illness

15 replies, 2228 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Florida inmate found fit to be executed despite history of mental illness (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 2012 OP
originalpckelly Oct 2012 #1
msanthrope Oct 2012 #10
The Magistrate Oct 2012 #2
Jumping John Oct 2012 #3
The Magistrate Oct 2012 #11
jerseyjack Oct 2012 #13
harmonicon Oct 2012 #14
Angry Dragon Oct 2012 #5
msanthrope Oct 2012 #7
classykaren Oct 2012 #4
treestar Oct 2012 #6
msanthrope Oct 2012 #9
ladjf Oct 2012 #8
HockeyMom Oct 2012 #12
Tom Ripley Oct 2012 #15

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 05:24 PM

1. The real question:

Is the judge crazier than the guy he's OK killing?

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Response to originalpckelly (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 07:52 PM

10. This dude mass killed 6 people. Florida judges???

This guy could be flinging his poo in the courtroom and would still be found competent to be executed.

I'm anti-death penalty, but this dude hasn't a chance in hell.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 05:29 PM

2. Must Confess, Ma'am, I Kind Of Like This Judge....

"There is no evidence that Ferguson's belief as to his role in the world and what may happen to him in the afterlife is so significantly different from beliefs other Christians may hold so as to consider it a sign of insanity."

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:00 PM

3. So the judge equates religious beliefs to mental illness. nt

 

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Response to Jumping John (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:06 PM

11. If You Substituted 'My Neighbor's Dog' For 'God' Sir

Substantial numbers would be judged in need of medical intervention, and people who do not credit the existence of any deity may see no need for the substitution to reach the same conclusion....

"Death --- it's like sleep, only better!"

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Response to Jumping John (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 10:42 PM

13. So do I.

 

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Response to Jumping John (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 11:48 PM

14. No, it's the opposite, and it's well established precedent.

The precedent is that religious belief will not be held as evidence of mental incapacity. If it were, then it would be up to the courts to decide which religious beliefs were and which were not insane.

All of that said, what's insane is that there's a discussion about killing people at all. This is not something that is done in educated, modern societies.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:08 PM

5. +78,892

'is a paranoid schizophrenic who genuinely believes he is "Prince of God".'


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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 07:32 PM

7. Yeah, I'm liking that reasoning, too. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:07 PM

4. Why is he spiting at the Federal Courts again ?

Is Rick Scott behind this? This is so wrong

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:26 PM

6. That is not what Christians believe

They don't think they will be at the right hand of God. In fact that's where Jesus is. Being akin to Jesus is not the normal Christian belief.

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Response to treestar (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 07:44 PM

9. Isaiah 41:10, Hebrews 10:12, the Psalms are lousy with references to people sitting at the right

hand of their god.

Colossians 3:1 is also a pretty good example, as is John, 10:28.

I find that the myth of Jesus tends to expand when needed.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 07:41 PM

8. It's a shame that such a beautiful state is being "hijacked" by some very ugly people. nt

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Response to ladjf (Reply #8)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:13 PM

12. Sun and Heat

fries their brains.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 12:24 AM

15. I am anti-death penalty, but find no fault with the judge's reasoning

"Astoundingly, the judge goes on to say that the prisoner's "grandiose delusion" of himself as being akin to Jesus at the point of his resurrection is in fact "relatively normal Christian belief". He writes: "There is no evidence that Ferguson's belief as to his role in the world and what may happen to him in the afterlife is so significantly different from beliefs other Christians may hold so as to consider it a sign of insanity."

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