Charles Singleton, a man with severe, longstanding schizophrenia, is scheduled for execution on Tuesday, January 6 at 8:00 pm. Mr. Singleton is so ill that the State has found it necessary to medicate him involuntarily in order to make him competent to be executed. Despite compelling testimony offered by NAMI-Arkansas and other organizations against his execution, the Clemency Board of Arkansas voted 5 to 1 to proceed with the execution in December. Now, the only person who can stop tonight's scheduled execution is Governor Mike Huckabee. You can help by sending an email to Governor Huckabee and urgently request that he stay the execution of Mr. Singleton and commute his death sentence to life without parole. Governor Huckabee's email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send copies of your email to email@example.com and RonH@nami.org.
* Charles Singleton has a long, clearly documented history of severe schizophrenia, with symptoms that include hallucinations, delusions, and seriously impaired judgement. While in prison, he has been frequently psychotic. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that it is unconstitutional and cruel to execute people who are "insane."
* The laws of most states recognize mental illness as a significant factor that should be considered in mitigation of the death penalty. All experts who have examined Mr. Singleton (whether for the state or the defense) agree that he suffers from a severe mental illness. The symptoms of schizophrenia, a chronic, biologically-based brain disorder, can be controlled with medications, but schizophrenia cannot be cured.
* Imposing the ultimate punishment of death on an individual as severely ill as Mr. Singleton does not comply with the norms and moral of a civilized society, or with international law.
* Carrying out the execution in this case would be the equivalent of state assisted suicide. According to his attorney, Mr. Singleton has asked to be executed because he is "tired of being mentally ill." Suicide rates for people with schizophrenia are extremely high, because the symptoms of these brain disorders can be very painful and difficult to live with. Treatment is the best way to alleviate these symptoms. There is compelling evidence that, when adequately treated, Mr. Singleton has expressed a desire to live.
Read CNN's story about the pending execution.
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