Florida has executed a schizophrenic man who believed that he was the immortal prince of God vested with superhuman powers including an ability to control the sun, despite the US constitution’s prohibition against putting mentally ill people to death.
John Ferguson, 65, was killed by lethal injection at 6pm on Monday. Earlier in the evening the US supreme court declined to hear a final petition from his lawyers. Although there was overwhelming evidence that the court’s own interpretation of the US constitution was being disregarded, the justices gave no explanation for their decision to remain on the sidelines and allow the killing to go ahead.
Many SFB readers took a moment to note their support of Ferguson’s execution when we posted the story yesterday afternoon. Anybody think Florida shouldn’t have been allowed to go forward with the execution and/or that the U.S. Supreme Court should have weighed-in on the case?
18:40 // 4 months ago
Florida is preparing to execute a schizophrenic man who believes that he is the immortal prince of God vested with superhuman powers that include an ability to control the sun, despite the US constitution’s prohibition against putting mentally ill people to death.
John Ferguson, 65, will be killed by lethal injection at 6pm on Monday unless his lawyers can convince the US supreme court to intervene. Ferguson’s legal team, backed by a raft of prominent legal and mental health organisations, are appealing on the nation’s highest legal panel to step in on grounds that the execution would be a flagrant violation of the Eighth Amendment of the US constitution that bars “cruel and unusual punishment”.
There is apparently no doubt that Ferguson was involved in the killing of eight people, over the span of several months, nearly 40 years ago; however, there also appears to be zero doubt of the man’s mental stability (or lack thereof). Not only have 30 different doctors confirmed Ferguson’s various diagnoses, beginning with confirmation of visual hallucinations by a prison doctor in 1965, but the convicted killer currently believes his execution to be a state-sponsored conspiracy to prevent him from using superpowers he derives from the sun.
14:55 // 4 months ago
I am schizophrenic. Or rather, I have schizophrenia.
I’ve been told many times by mental health professionals and peers in my situation over my years of recovery that I should not identify myself as the illness. I see their point.
I am still a human being; I still contribute to society and…
In response to recent articles on mental illness, Tumblr user thehedrick wrote about his experiences. “Frankly, I’m more than bothered that the only time mental health comes up in public discourse is in the midst of a horrible tragedy,” he writes. A great post. Worth the read.
10:40 // 11 months ago