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Old 07-22-2013, 11:07 AM
Willove Willove is offline
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Default State of Alabama Plans to Execute Mentally Ill Man

Andrew Lackey is a young man on Alabama’s death row who has suffered from mental illness his entire life. The Alabama Supreme Court has ordered him to be executed on July 25 even though no state or federal court has completed appellate review in the case to determine whether his trial was fair or his sentence appropriate.

Read more here:
http://eji.org/node/787

Here you can ask Gov. Bentley to stop this unconstituional execution:
http://governor.alabama.gov/contact/contact_form.aspx
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:00 PM
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I thought this issue was settled. I thought they found it was illegal to execute any mentally ill person who was diagnosed and proven they were indeed mentally ill. when committing their crimes. There seems to be alot of states struggling with this issue.

Hope somehow it can and will get resolved.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:57 PM
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It is unbelievable that this can happen in a nation of law:

"Despite the extensive evidence of serious mental illness, however, the trial judge refused to order an expert competency evaluation of Mr. Lackey, failed to inquire about which psychotropic medications he is taking and how they affect his mental state, and did not even ask state officials what mental illness they have diagnosed Mr. Lackey as suffering from."

And now, instead of providing medical treatment to him for healing his mental illness, they give him active support in committing suicide. Shame.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:26 AM
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Sadly it seems that because Mr Lackey has dropped all appeals the state wont intervene, even though there could be evidence that he is not mentally able to make this decision
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by lisainengland View Post
Sadly it seems that because Mr Lackey has dropped all appeals the state wont intervene, even though there could be evidence that he is not mentally able to make this decision
That's the point. This man is not able to make sane decisions. He does not really want to die but cannot stand the suffering any longer. He needs help not death.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:21 PM
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That's the point. This man is not able to make sane decisions. He does not really want to die but cannot stand the suffering any longer. He needs help not death.
How can you possibly make that determination from 5000 miles away. You don't know him, have never talked to him or anyone he knows. You know almost nothing about his case but you think you know better than he does what is best for him.

May God protect us from do-gooders!
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:21 PM
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This is a tough call because I get willove, and I get lucindamet as well.

But lucindamet, just like you point out that willove can't make a determination, the same goes for you.
Which is why it is important to take into account the mental state of the person who volunteered for execution. There is a reason (okay, many reasons) why the supreme court has ruled that it's unconstitutional to execute the mentally retarded.

At the very least there should have been an investigation to determine whether or not he was competent to waive his appeals. He attempted suicide. He is being treated with psychotropic medications. I don't know how many people you have known who have tried unsuccesfully to commit suicide... all those that I know are now, at a later stage, happy that they didn't succeed. If a man who is completely sane wants to die by suicide or volunteering for the execution I will accept that without question. If there are any questions about sanity, they should be investigated first. And if this execution takes place it'll be one that leaves me extra uncomfortable. Not because of a 'do gooders' attitude, but because the state just might have put a man to death who should have been protected by the US constitution.

Let's face it, there's no way to determine exactly who the do gooder is and it's no use going there either. Those who feel like the execution should be stopped are free to follow the link, those who feel like it should go through because Mr. Lackey volunteered are free to let the link be, sit back and wait.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:07 PM
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willove View Post
Andrew Lackey is a young man on Alabama’s death row who has suffered from mental illness his entire life. The Alabama Supreme Court has ordered him to be executed on July 25 even though no state or federal court has completed appellate review in the case to determine whether his trial was fair or his sentence appropriate.

Read more here:
http://eji.org/node/787

Here you can ask Gov. Bentley to stop this unconstituional execution:
http://governor.alabama.gov/contact/contact_form.aspx
Lackey's own defense team hired a psychologist, Dr. Frankie L. Preston, prior to trial to determine if he was mentally competent to stand trial for the two murders he has now been convicted off and to evaluate Lackey's competency to assist in his own defense. After Lackey filed to have his death sentence appeals terminated and to represent himself pro se, his defense council again went to the same psychologist in an attempt to show Lackey was mentally incompetent and lacked the ability to represent himself. Both of these claims rejected by the Court of Appeals based on the defenses own psychological examination and experts testimony and given Lackey has for years written to his lawyers, the State, prosecutors office and appellate courts in an intelligent manner, obviously understanding the nature of his charges and sentence and has not wavered in his demand to drop his appeals and proceed pro se.

The defenses own psychological examination found Lackey to have low-level mental illness but not of the sort or level that made him incapable of understanding the procedures/charges/sentence handed against him nor did it make him incompetent to represent himself or assist in his own defense. In fact, his defense attorneys (whom he has tried to fire for years) did not raise the issue of mental incompetency until AFTER Lackey attempted to remove them from his case numerous times and proceed pro se as is his constitutional right. His defense teams original appeals was on the grounds of racial bias at his trial/sentencing and made no mention of mental illness.

Another interesting fact the Alabama Criminal Appeals Court found is how lawyers, not asked for by Lackey, not paid for by him or his family, not appointed by any court to represent Lackey are the same people who are now claiming Lackey is mentally incompetent to drop his appeals. These are the same people Lackey has been trying to fire since right after his initial sentencing. Lackey himself testified that when he attempted to remove these lawyers from his case they informed him he was "messing up their case".

From the Appellate Court decision

Lackey stated that he wishes to terminate his appellate counsel and to represent himself because he has consistently told them since shortly after he was sentenced that he did not want to challenge his convictions or sentences. According to Lackey, appellate counsel have ignored his wishes and told him that he was “messing up their case.” (Supp. R. on return to remand 43.)

From the courts Footnotes #1

James Barry Abston was appointed to represent Lackey on appeal. At some point shortly thereafter, Randall S. Susskind and Kristen M. Nelson, with the Equal Justice Initiative, joined Lackey's appellate defense team. It does not appear that the attorneys from the Equal Justice Initiative were appointed to represent Lackey; instead, they appear to have injected themselves into the litigation.

Further from the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals decision:

Before trial, defense counsel had Lackey evaluated by Frankie L. Preston, a licensed clinical psychologist, to determine whether Lackey suffered from a mental disorder at the time of the offense and to determine whether Lackey was competent to participate in his defense and to stand trial. (C. 336.) Dr. Preston described Lackey as “socially awkward, probably shy and anxious in unfamiliar surroundings, but sufficiently confident in his abilities to communicate verbally and in writing, to strategize, and financially achieve beyond most others his age.” (C. 337.) After interviewing Lackey multiple times and having Lackey perform multiple tests and questionnaires, Dr. Preston reported that Lackey has an IQ score of 84. He stated that Lackey was angry, depressed, anxious, and uncertain about his future and suffered from low morale. According to Dr. Preston, Lackey was highly introverted and uneasy in close interpersonal involvements. Dr. Preston explained that Lackey was emotionally detached and had long endured suicidal preoccupations. Dr. Preston did not, however, state that Lackey suffered from any serious mental disease or disorder.

In relation to Lackey's competency to stand trial, Dr. Preston administered the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool. The results of the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool indicated that:

“[Lackey] appears to have an adequate understanding of the legal process and charges. Likewise, he should be able to consult with his attorney in a reasonable way. He has the capacity to seek, identify, weigh, and balance more relevant and less relevant information, as well as to use this data to make decisions about his own case.”

(C. 341.) Dr. Preston explained his own clinical diagnostic impressions as follows:

“Within a reasonable degree of evaluative certainty, [and] based on history (personal and collateral), interviewing, and testing, Mr. Lackey was not suffering from nor experiencing a mental disorder which would compromise his consciousness, mood, or thoughts as to being able to morally distinguish right from wrong or distinguish and understand ‘legal’ from ‘illegal’ behavior. He is able to understand the legal charges he faces; participate in his defense; conduct himself properly during Court proceedings; and appreciate the range of possible sentencing outcomes.”

(C. 342.) (Footnote omitted.) At trial, Dr. Preston testified that his examination of Lackey indicated that Lackey is an introvert who lacks confidence in social situations and becomes anxious around other people. According to Dr. Preston, Lackey “has experienced repeated episodes of persistent depressed mood and sleep disturbance accompanied by a significant weight change and social withdrawal.” (R. 1166.) At other times, Lackey “experienced repeated episodes of persistent elated mood or increased mood, increased energy level, racing thoughts and uncontrollable talkativeness accompanied by heavy spending and inflated self confidence.” Id. Lackey, however, had no experience with “thought broadcasting, thought insertion, thought withdrawal, auditory distortions or hallucinations, grandiose beliefs, persecutory beliefs or feelings of being uncontrolled.” Id. While in jail awaiting trial, Lackey thought that other people were spying on him and talking about him. Dr. Preston explained that those thoughts are “not an uncommon response for someone that's in jail because they typically are watching you.” (R. 1167.) Dr. Preston testified that Lackey indicated that he had special powers, but it was later discovered that Lackey was referring to his skills in computer games.

Dr. Preston stated that Lackey has suffered from generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia for a large portion of his life. Dr. Preston “concluded that [Lackey] was experiencing some depression, anxiety, hopelessness[, and] pessimism about his legal situation.” (R. 1170.) Dr. Preston, however, testified that Lackey did not suffer from any severe mental disorder and concluded that Lackey was sane at the time of the offense and was competent to stand trial and to aid in his defense.2

(further down the decision)

Lackey stated that he wishes to terminate his appellate counsel and to represent himself because he has consistently told them since shortly after he was sentenced that he did not want to challenge his convictions or sentences. According to Lackey, appellate counsel have ignored his wishes and told him that he was “messing up their case.” (Supp. R. on return to remand 43.) Lackey's testimony is supported by letters he has sent to the Alabama Attorney General and this Court. Further, this Court notes that, although Lackey informed appellate counsel shortly after he was sentenced to death that he did not want to challenge his convictions and sentences, appellate counsel did not raise any concerns relating to his competency until Lackey sought to represent himself and to terminate appellate counsel's services.

At the hearing, Lackey informed the circuit court that he believed he had sufficient mental health to tell the court what he desires. He admitted that in August 2011 he attempted to commit suicide by cutting his wrists, but he explained that at that time, he was under a great deal of stress as a result of being on death row and his insomnia. Since that time, however, he has been on medication, and the medication has helped him, but it does not affect his judgment.3 He further testified that his decision to proceed pro se, to terminate his counsel's representation, and to strike all documents filed on his behalf is not an attempt to commit suicide. He explained that he is “just accepting guilt for what [he] did[, and, although his appellate counsel say] its suicide, ․ it's not.” (Supp. R. on return to remand 47.)

Court of Criminal Appeals decision can be read in its entirety at
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/al-court-...s/1613417.html
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
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At the very least there should have been an investigation to determine whether or not he was competent to waive his appeals. He attempted suicide. He is being treated with psychotropic medications. I don't know how many people you have known who have tried unsuccesfully to commit suicide... all those that I know are now, at a later stage, happy that they didn't succeed. If a man who is completely sane wants to die by suicide or volunteering for the execution I will accept that without question. If there are any questions about sanity, they should be investigated first. And if this execution takes place it'll be one that leaves me extra uncomfortable. Not because of a 'do gooders' attitude, but because the state just might have put a man to death who should have been protected by the US constitution.
Lackey has been examined psychologically. His own defense psychologist found him competent to stand trial, to aid in his own defense, that the medications he has been placed on have not impaired his ability to understand what is taking place - basically every point you have brought up has already been answered by his own defense team and Lackey himself.

This is the biggest problem with the entire DP debate, from both sides. The pro-side is going to say anything possible to demonize the person, make them appear to be a wild animal who if given a chance to get a hold of another person will certainly kill again. Any fact that seemingly mitigates a persons responsibility for their actions will not be mentioned as it may persuade someone to be against an execution.

The anti-DP side attempts to make the convicted person into a pussy cat who has all these great qualities and should not be executed because of them. They also, as in this case, fail to provide accurate information or to disclose anything that may go against their agenda as in this case.

Only when someone takes the time to delve into the court record do facts come out and this case is no different. The first mention of mental illness as a mitigating factor was not brought up until other appeals had failed and when Lackey attempted to drop his appeals. At that point, going against their own experts testimony, his self-appointed defense team ran with the mental illness angle for a man found to be competent, literate, a high-school graduate, college attendee with an average IQ who, as his own expert testified, had clear understanding and knowledge at all levels of his trial, defense and sentencing.

I don't know if Lackey deserves to be executed for the crimes he has admitted he committed and the evidence shows he is guilty of. What I do know and is very clear is that Lackey has accepted his guilt, accepted his punishment and accepts his sentence. This isn't a new revelation to him either, he has been trying to drop his appeals literally since he was sentenced.

I also know both sides of the DP argument are guilty of eliminating, falsifying and obscuring facts that go against their beliefs and chosen agenda. Both sides give people a distorted view of our criminal justice system, especially to those living outside the US. Few people are willing to take the time to look at the facts of a case and delve into court records, testimony and evidence presented. It helps nobody, not the families of the victims and most especially those sitting on DR when people make up their minds on a case based on faulty information, emotion and biased reporting of the "facts".

Sorry, hoping off my soapbox and burning it to the ground on this issue now. Excuse the length of my replies on this thread.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pruppie View Post
This is a tough call because I get willove, and I get lucindamet as well.

But lucindamet, just like you point out that willove can't make a determination, the same goes for you.
Which is why it is important to take into account the mental state of the person who volunteered for execution.
preppie, I am not making a determination in this case. As a researcher I deal in facts.

Kimbo has most eloquently presented the facts of this case as clearly as it is possible to.

The Court of Criminal Appeals decision in its entirety serves to clarify the determination on Andrews competence to make his own decisions and his previous appointed and volunteer attorneys attempts to remain as his representatives. It also gives a total review to the background of the case.

I would urge all to read it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:45 AM
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PTO is a support site and I think this thread has been discussed enough. This thread is now closed.
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