USA: Supreme Court tightens standard on ‘competence’ for execution

In a 5-4 decision issued on 28 June 2007, the United States Supreme Court blocked the execution of Scott Panetti, a Texas death row inmate who suffers from severe delusions. Amnesty International welcomes the ruling as a step towards ending the use of the death penalty against this and other criminal offenders with serious mental illness in the USA. The Supreme Court’s ruling also drew attention once more to the shoddy standards of capital justice in Texas, which accounts for more than a third of executions in the USA.

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