I guess the SCOTUS had a brief moment of clarity after the last few days and came up with this:
Amplifying its ban against execution of the insane, a closely divided United States Supreme Court on Thursday overturned the death sentence of a delusional Texas murderer who insisted that he was being punished for preaching the Gospel.
In a rebuke to lower courts, the justices ruled 5 to 4 that the defendant, Scott Louis Panetti, had not been shown to have sufficient understanding of why he was to be put to death for gunning down his wife’s parents in 1992.
A schizophrenic who served as his own lawyer in court and mounted an often incoherent defense, Mr. Panetti claimed that his body had been taken over by an alter ego he called Sarge Ironhorse and that demons were bent on killing him for his Christian beliefs.
In a prison interview last November, Mr. Panetti, clutching verses from Scripture, declared, “The Devil has been trying to rub me out to keep me from preaching.” He tried to strip off his prison uniform to show scars from burns that he said John F. Kennedy healed with coconut milk after the sinking of Kennedy’s torpedo boat in the Pacific in World War II.
During the previous decade, medical records showed, Mr. Panetti had been hospitalized 14 times for schizophrenia, manic depression, hallucinations and delusions of persecution. Claiming to have seen visions of the Devil, he nailed shut the curtains of his house, buried his furniture and threatened to kill his family.
One Texas jury deadlocked on his competence to stand trial, but a second jury found him sane enough. Proclaiming himself healed by God as “a born-again April fool,” he refused further antipsychotic medication, dismissed his lawyers and won approval from the trial judge, Stephen B. Ables, to represent himself in court in 1995.
He appeared with a Tom Mix cowboy hat slung over his back, wearing purple western shirts and cowboy boots. He tried to subpoena Jesus and repeatedly ignored Judge Ables’s orders. But it was his often brutal cross-examination of his estranged wife, Sonja, forcing her to relive the murders in graphic detail, that clearly terrified the jurors, who convicted him in 90 minutes and sentenced him to death.
A few things..
How in the world can a judge allow a person like this to go to trial unrepresented? That's just appalling.
Second, how can a jury possibly find him to be sane? I question their sanity.
Third, the dissenting 4 justices are ridiculous. The SCOTUS has become nothing but a political farce. I don't even know how in the world you can possibly write that strong of a dissent with a straight face.
Texas solicitor general:
“Texas,” he added, “will now return for further proceedings” in the lower courts, “where we will continue working to carry out the jury’s unanimous capital sentence for Scott Louis Panetti’s premeditated double homicide.”
Are there even any words?