Press Releases

Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals Stays Execution Of Man With Schizophrenia

Statement by Laurie Flynn, Executive Director, The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Aug 17 1999

The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals decision provides a breath of hope into a process that should never have come as far as it already has.

Both the five victims of senseless murder 17 years ago and Larry Robison highlight a mental health system's failure to provide adequate treatment when it was needed. The case also reveals the fundamental injustice of sentencing to death any person who suffers from a severe mental illness.

The Court's decision may mean only that Texas will be forced to provide the treatment previously denied Larry Robison until he becomes well enough to be executed. There will be no justice in such an outcome--only barbarism. The case will stand as an indictment of moral bankruptcy in both the mental health and criminal justice systems of the state.