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WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2014 -- Mary Gilberti, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), has issued the following statement:
NAMI is grateful to the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for staying tonight's scheduled execution of Scott Panetti, a man who has lived with severe schizophrenia for more than 30 years. The delusions and severe symptoms Mr. Panetti experiences every day have been unremitting since before his crime and have impacted profoundly on the course of this case.
In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas had applied too narrow a standard in assessing Panetti's competence to be executed and sent the case back for further consideration. This year, despite no additional competency evaluation, Texas once again set a date for Mr. Panetti's execution. Now, the Fifth Circuit has intervened expressing concerns about the complicated legal questions raised in the rush to execute Mr. Panetti.
After multiple rulings by courts and statements from individuals on all sides of the political spectrum that the execution of Panetti would offend all standards of modern decency, NAMI urges that the death penalty should be taken off the table once and for all in this tragic case.
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
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