Convicted Texas killer nears execution

Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:29 PM
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CONROE, Texas, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The lawyer for a Texas man convicted of killing a 12-year-old girl says he is hopeful his client will get a stay of his execution, scheduled for Wednesday.

Jonathan Green, 44, a mentally ill inmate found guilty of the 2000 abduction, rape and slaying of a Dobbin, Texas, girl found buried in his back yard, received a last-minute stay of execution in 2010 so appeals courts could evaluate if he was competent to be executed.

His attorney, James Rytting, said Green's condition has deteriorated and that he suffers from hallucinations, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday.

"Mr. Green is seriously mentally ill. He persists in the delusional belief he was convicted by judge, who along with the prosecutor, engaged in sexual misconduct during the trial," Rytting said, adding his client is schizophrenic and borderline mentally retarded.

A Montgomery County judge in Conroe ruled last year Green met the standards for competence, although health experts offered differing testimony on Green's fitness. A state expert accused Green of malingering, while a Texas Department of Criminal Justice mental health report concluded "it does not appear ([Green] is exaggerating his symptoms," the newspaper said.

Mental illness is not a bar to executions but the law requires a condemned person understand the reason he is being put to death. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the ruling, saying a literal connection between a conviction and an execution is inadequate; a delusional defendant, the court reasoned, could recognize the connection but have a distorted view of the crime or why he was convicted.

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