The 11th-hour reprieve for convicted double murderer Scott Panetti made no one feel good about the case or about justice itself.
Panetti was scheduled to die by lethal injection last Wednesday at 6 p.m. Around 11 a.m., the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay, “to allow us to fully consider the late arriving and complex legal questions at issue in this matter.”
Panetti was convicted of the Sept. 8, 1992 murders of his in-laws, Joe and Amanda Alvarado (roughly one block from where this is written).
Cases involving mental illness do deserve additional attention. But to claim Panetti has not had his day in court is a stretch.
In 1995, a jury of his peers in Kerr County rejected his insanity defense.
Panetti was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Feb. 5, 2004, but a stay of execution was issued one day before to examine his competency for execution.