Execution Appeal

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN (AP) - An Austin judge has determined that death row inmate Scott Panetti is mentally competent and can be executed.

Panetti wore a purple cowboy costume during his 1995 trial and wanted to subpoena Jesus Christ and President John F. Kennedy. Panetti was spared from execution in February so the courts could explore his claim of mental illness.

U-S District Judge Sam Sparks, who earlier held a hearing, ruled Thursday that Panetti meets the standard set by an appeals court of knowing he killed two people, knows he's to be executed -- and why.

Sparks left intact the stay of execution -- as his ruling will likely be appealed.

Panetti was condemned for the 1992 slayings of Amanda and Joe Alvarado in Fredericksburg. The victims were the parents of his estranged wife.

Panetti, in the decade leading up to the slayings, was hospitalized for mental illness 14 times.


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