Tuesday 24 April 2018

'Delusional' rapist put to death for 12-year-old's murder

Michael Graczyk Huntsville, Texas

A MAN whose lawyers argued he was mentally ill and incompetent for execution has been put to death for killing a 12-year-old girl more than a decade ago.

Jonathan Green (left), aged 44, received a lethal injection after the US Supreme Court rejected last-day appeals to spare him. A judge earlier this week stopped the punishment, but an appeals court overturned the reprieve.

Asked by the warden if he had a statement from the death chamber gurney, Green shook his head and replied, "No."

But seconds later he changed his mind, saying: "I'm an innocent man. I never killed anyone. Y'all are killing an innocent man."

He then looked down and said his left arm, where one of the needles carrying the lethal drug was inserted, was "hurting me bad". But almost immediately he began snoring. The sounds stopped after about six breaths.

Green was pronounced dead 18 minutes later at 10.45pm.

His lethal injection is the 10th this year in Texas and the first of four scheduled for this month in the nation's most active death penalty state.

Green's lawyers argued that his hallucinations made him ineligible for the death penalty and said a state competency hearing for him two years ago was unfair.

That led to a reprieve from a federal district judge in Houston, but the Texas attorney general's office persuaded the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the stay of execution late on Tuesday.

Green's lawyer, James Rytting, said his client hallucinated about the "spiritual warfare between two sets of voices representing good and evil".

The appeals court found the procedures at Green's competency hearing were proper, that no Supreme Court precedents were violated and it was reasonable to find Green competent for the death penalty.

Green told a psychiatrist who examined him before the competency hearing that he did not and could not have killed Christina, that false evidence was used against him.

Irish Independent

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