Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mentally Ill on Death Row in USA

Great news! Ohio did not kill Abdul Awkal, the mentally ill man who was scheduled to be executed June 6, 2012.
The governor granted him a two-week stay. "Mr. Awkal, who was convicted of killing his estranged wife and brother-in-law in 1992, has a long history of severe mental illness and has been found mentally incompetent by three courts in the past 20 years." Abdul is so sick that he thinks he is a main adviser for President Obama and former president George Bush. Abdul believes he collaborates with the CIA and runs the nation's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is very sick, and I hope they put the poor man in a mental hospital like they used to do with sick people.

America has 1.25 million mentally ill inmates. Texas has at least two mentally ill people on death row: Andre Thomas and Jeff Wood. Read about Jeff Wood at one of a few articles I wrote about him:
"Scheduled for Texas Execution: Jeff Wood, a Mentally Challenged Young Man"
Some of Jeff's family members wrote comments to the article. Jeff was sentenced to death under the "law of parties." That means the State of Texas knows Jeff never killed anyone. In fact, officials know that Jeff was not even at the scene of the murder. Jeff was a retarded teen, and a cunning friend got Jeff to drive with him to a store. The man went into the store while Jeff waited in the truck like he had been told. He robbed and shot the store manager. Poor Jeff is on death row, although Texas already executed the shooter in that robbery.

See the Petition for Andre Thomas launched by Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill at this link
Target: Governor Rick Perry
ANDRE THOMAS, an acute mental patient on Texas Death Row, pulled out his only eye and ate it on January 9.  An officer at the Polunsky Unit found Thomas in his cell with blood streaming down his face and took him to the infirmary.  The schizophrenic inmate had already eaten his left eye in 2004 while in jail awaiting trial after killing his wife and two young children before stabbing himself in the chest. 

Following the murders, this sick man walked to the Sherman Police Department and told a dispatcher what he had done.  Thomas explained that he cut his family's hearts out and put them in his pocket.  He then took his family's hearts home and put them into plastic bags.

A judge subsequently ruled that Thomas was competent to stand trial.
Bobbie Peterson-Cate, Thomas' trial attorney, said, "He is insane and mentally ill."
We, the undersigned petitioners, hereby make the following demands:

1)  Andre Thomas must be immediately removed to a secure mental hospital and prohibited from eating any more of his body parts; and 

2)  Andre Thomas and all other condemned persons with a history of mental illness must be immediately and permanently rendered ineligible for capital punishment and reassigned to mental institutions for permanent containment and psychiatric treatment.

We strongly object to imprisoning people because they are mentally disturbed and executing people whose criminal offenses were caused by mental illness.
Thank you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don't Execute the Mentally Ill, America

It is illegal to execute the mentally ill, but laws are selectively ignored. Awkal Abdul is a Muslim man with brown skin and disqualified from whatever criterion one must meet to be spared from capital punishment like wealthy people are and certain police officers who the public has seen kill without provocation on videos. Awkal is scheduled to be executed on June 6, and there are six links in this article.

Youngstown News reports:"Awkal was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. He is reported to have had delusions that included a belief that he managed the U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that he has been in direct communication with the CIA and Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama." See the entire article at this link to Youngstown News The reporter reminded readers about Ohio's Romell Broom execution debacle in September 2009. Broom was tortured for hours while executioners tried to find his veins to infuse his body with poison. Broom became so distraught that he started to cry and tried to help the guards find his veins and kill him. Finally, Gov. Strickland stopped the barbaric execution. Brommel's torture was one of the horror stories in my article entitled: "Prison Torture in the USA, by Mary Neal" at this link

Experts recently determined that another innocent man was executed.The Atlantic carried the report on May 14, 2012: "Carlos DeLuna was put to death in December 1989 for a murder in Corpus Christi. But he didn't commit the crime." He was killed for a crime done by another Carlos: Carlos Hernandez. To read more about the case in The Atlantic, use this link

These are the circumstances that We the People permit by allowing capital punishment to continue: (1) Mentally ill people like Awkal are killed, (2) condemned people like Broom are sometimes tortured in horrible acts of barbarism sanctioned by the State and funded by taxpayers, and (3) occasionally, innocent people like Carlos Deluna die. A fourth consideration is that race and class matter in deciding which accused murderers face capital punishment as their penalty. This is partly because poor and working class people are less able to afford good legal counsel. Public defenders continue to be underfunded and overwhelmed by heavy caseloads. All of those circumstances can be eliminated only by repealing the death penalty. Furthermore, Ohio residents likely need the extra money that death penalty cases require.

People who do not want to repeal capital punishment to save lives may be interested repealing it to save money. According to Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), it costs states an average of $70,000 more per year for each condemned inmate than it would cost for the inmate to LIVE in a maximum security prison. This is outrageous, since $70k is more money than most American families of four have as their annual income. It is more humane, fair, and economical to repeal capital punishment like Connecticutt recently did when it became the seventeenth state to say "DEATH TO THE DEATH PENALTY." DPIC offers an audio presentation related to the cost of capital punishment at its online site and this link

It is not likely that Ohio will repeal capital punishment in time to save Awkal. But there is still time for some righteous judge or for the Board of Pardons and Paroles in Ohio to call off the murder of a sick man. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. made a simple request over four decades ago. He said, "All we say to America is, 'Be true to what you said on paper.'" Our law says it is illegal to execute the mentally ill because of their compromised sense of reason. Let us insist that the justice system must obey its own laws. A petition to stop the execution is at this link

Thank you in advance for calling and emailing Ohio's justice officials and governor. Use this link for any officials.

A man is about to be executed today. I would protest even if he were not mentally ill, because government officials and systems are too corrupt to have power over who lives and who dies.

Mary NealAssistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
Dog Justice for Mentally Ill