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Wesley Ira Purkey: Judge suspends federal execution, orders further evaluation of competency requirements



Wesley Ira Purkey was originally scheduled to execute at 4 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, but U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued an injunction prohibiting the Federal Prison Administration from continuing to execute Purkey’s scheduled execution. Chutkan pointed out that Purkey suffered from progressive dementia, schizophrenia and severe mental illness, but did not make a ruling on Purkey’s competence and ordered the court to further evaluate these claims.

The Ministry of Justice immediately appealed.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has placed a separate temporary stay on Purkey’s death sentence.

Purkey was sentenced to death in January 2004 after he was convicted by federal court for the kidnapping and killing of 1

6-year-old Jennifer Long in 1998.

Last week, three mental health organizations wrote to US Attorney General William Barr urging him to stop the execution of Puke and reduce his sentence to no parole. The letter was signed by the head of the National Psychiatric Union, the American Center for Mental Health and Therapeutics Advocacy.

The letter said: “We believe that the execution of him would violate the United States Constitution’s ban on the execution of people who are unable to understand the reason for the execution.” He said that Puke’s mental health during his death row deteriorated.

The Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to execute “crazy” people in a landmark 1986 judgment. In 2007, the court further ruled that the execution of persons who cannot understand the cause of death due to their mental condition is prohibited.

Rebecca Woodman, a lawyer for Puke, said he is “a 68-year-old man with severe brain damage and mental illness who has advanced Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”

Woodman said on Wednesday: “Although he has long been responsible for his crimes, he no longer has a rational understanding of why the government plans to execute him.” “By maintaining Weiss’s death sentence, the court’s actions showed that he was allowed to show a wide range of , The available medical evidence proves the importance of its powerlessness.”

Ron Honberg, the former director of policy and legal affairs of the National Psychiatric Union, advocated the suspension of Purkey’s execution, arguing that Purkey’s mental health issues were not raised during the trial and were not properly resolved in sentencing.

Humboldt said: “If the problem is not formally resolved at least in some form, the execution of the death penalty is really a distress.”

The Ministry of Justice demanded that the appeal be settled promptly, believing that if the execution is delayed, the Federal Prison Service will suffer.

The last-minute legal dispute is similar to the 11th hour legal bid for Daniel Lewis Lee, which was finally executed on Tuesday morning, the first federal execution since 2003.

A few hours before Li Ding was executed on Monday, the same judge in Chutkan (now Purkey’s execution was stopped) ruled that Lee’s execution was suspended after the ruling that the issue of the lethal injection was not properly resolved. But the Supreme Court cleared the way for Lee’s death sentence in the early hours of Tuesday with 5 to 4 opinions. The four liberals of the court disputed this, saying that the controversial drug pentobarbital has been executed more than 100 times without Any event occurred.

This is the story has been updated.


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