More on US Supreme Court arguments this week in Panetti mental illness case: Patty Reinert and Mike Tolson have this story in the Houston Chronicle, entitled "Court asked to define insanity in death row case," on this week's arguments to be heard by the US Supreme Court in the Texas death case of Scott Panetti." (Earlier coverage here.)
In the decade before he shot his in-laws dead in the Texas Hill Country, Scott Panetti was hospitalized 14 times for schizophrenia and psychotic delusions. He heard voices and fought with various personalities in his fractured mind. He once planted his furniture in the ground and watered it, believing it to be possessed.
Yet a Gillespie County jury deemed him fit to stand trial for capital murder in the 1992 slayings, and a judge allowed him to represent himself despite objections from even the prosecutor. Dressed in a purple cowboy outfit with a hat dangling from a string around his neck, Panetti flipped a coin to choose his jurors, ranted incomprehensibly and tried to subpoena everyone from President Kennedy to Jesus Christ.
The jury rejected his insanity defense and sentenced him to death. ...