NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness Home | About NAMI | Contact Us | En Espanol  | Donate  
Find
  Advanced Search  
 

Sign In
myNAMI
Communities
Register and Join
Donate
What's New
State & Local NAMIs
Advocate Magazine
NAMI Newsroom
NAMI Store
NAMIWALKS
National Convention
Special Needs Estate Planning
NAMI Travel

 NAMI Newsroom
  Press Release Archive
  Bios

Print this page
Graphic Site
Log Out
 | Print this page | 
 | 
Press_Release_Archive

  Thank You Governor Gilmore!

NAMI Applauds Virginia Decision To Grant Clemency to
Death Row Prisoner with Severe Mental Illness

Contact:
Mary Rappaport 703-312-7886
Bob Carolla (703) 516-7963
For Immediate Release
12 May 99

ARLINGTON, VA - The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) today praised Virginia Governor James S. Gilmore III for his decision to grant clemency to convicted murderer Calvin Swann, originally scheduled to die Wednesday night, converting his sentence from death to life without parole.

"Governor Gilmore has distinguished himself tonight as a man of honor and compassion," said NAMI Executive Director Laurie Flynn. "He has chosen to protect both the public safety and the interests of fundamental human justice. Morally, he made the right choice. We hope that the decision will become a national precedent for other death-penalty cases that involve persons with severe, biologically based brain disorders."

Since age 19, Swann has suffered from schizophrenia, a chronic illness that includes delusions and hallucinations among its symptoms. Prior to diagnosis, Swann had never exhibited criminal propensity or behavior. In a series of hospitalizations and short-lived community placements, he received inadequate care and treatment, leading to involvement in the criminal justice system

In a May 11 letter to Governor Gilmore appealing for clemency, NAMI argued that Swann's psychiatric condition had "continued to deteriorate since his last conviction" and confinement on death row. The letter also pointed out that "serious questions" existed over whether or not Mr. Swann truly comprehended "the reality and implications" of his impending execution. Furthermore, NAMI noted that Gilmore, as attorney general, was a leader in amending Virginia's criminal code to provide life without parole as a sentencing option. The prosecutor in the Swann case has acknowledged that he would have recommended that option if it had been available at that time.

 


 | Print this page | 
 | 

Donate

Support NAMI to help millions of Americans who face mental illness every day.

Donate today

Speak Out

Inspire others with your message of hope. Show others they are not alone.

Share your story

Get Involved

Become an advocate. Register on NAMI.org to keep up with NAMI news and events.

Join NAMI Today
Home  |  myNAMI  |  About NAMI  |  Contact Us  |  Jobs  |  SiteMap

Copyright © 1996 - 2011 NAMI. All Rights Reserved.