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Whether or not inmate mentally match for execution might trigger delay



CHICAGO (AP) — The person subsequent on the checklist to be executed by the federal authorities after a virtually 20-year hiatus ended this week could have a greater probability of avoiding deadly injection, authorized specialists say, as a result of he suffers from dementia and so, his attorneys say, can not grasp why he is slated to die.

Wesley Ira Purkey, convicted of a ugly 1998 kidnapping and killing, is scheduled for execution Wednesday on the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, the place Daniel Lewis Lee was put to death Tuesday after his personal 11th-hour authorized bids failed.

Lee, who was convicted of killing an Arkansas household in a 1990s plot to construct a whites-only nation, was the primary of 4 condemned males scheduled to die in July and August regardless of the coronavirus pandemic raging each inside and outdoors prisons.

Purkey, 68, of Lansing, Kansas, can be the second, however his attorneys had been nonetheless anticipated to press for a ruling from the Supreme Court docket on his competency.

“This competency concern is a really robust concern on paper,” stated Robert Dunham, govt director of the Dying Penalty Data Heart. “The Supreme Court docket has halted executions on this concern previously. At a minimal, the query of whether or not Purkey dies goes to go right down to the final minute.”

Lee’s personal execution went ahead a day late. It was scheduled for Four p.m. Monday, however the Supreme Court docket solely gave the inexperienced gentle in a slender 5-Four ruling early Tuesday.

The difficulty of Purkey’s psychological well being arose within the runup to his 2003 trial and when, after the decision, jurors needed to resolve whether or not he must be put to dying within the killing of 16-year-old Jennifer Lengthy in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri. Prosecutors alleged that he raped and stabbed her, dismembered her with a chainsaw, burned her, then dumped her ashes 200 miles (320 kilometers) away in a septic pond in Kansas. Purkey was individually convicted and sentenced to life within the beating dying of 80-year-old Mary Ruth Bales, of Kansas Metropolis, Kansas.

However the authorized questions of whether or not he was mentally match to face trial or to be sentenced to die are completely different from the query of whether or not he’s mentally match sufficient now, within the hours earlier than his scheduled execution, to be put to dying.

Purkey’s attorneys argue he clearly is just not, saying in current filings that he suffers from advancing Alzheimer’s illness.

“He has lengthy accepted accountability for the crime that put him on dying row,” one in all this attorneys, Rebecca Woodman, stated. “However as his dementia has progressed, he not has a rational understanding of why the federal government plans to execute him.”

Purkey believes his deliberate execution is a part of an unlimited conspiracy involving his personal attorneys, Woodman stated. In different filings, they describe delusions that individuals had been spraying poison into his room and that drug sellers implanted a tool in his chest meant to kill him.

Whereas numerous authorized points in Purkey’s case have been hashed, rehashed and settled by courts over practically twenty years, the difficulty of psychological health for execution can solely be addressed as soon as a date is ready, in response to Dunham, who additionally teaches regulation faculty programs on capital punishment. A date was solely set final 12 months.

“Competency is one thing that’s all the time in flux,” so judges can solely assess it within the weeks or days earlier than a agency execution date, he stated.

In a landmark 1986 determination, the U.S. Supreme Court docket dominated that the Structure prohibits placing somebody to dying who lacks an inexpensive understanding of why he’s being executed. It concerned the case of Alvin Ford, who was convicted of homicide however whose psychological well being deteriorated behind bars to the purpose the place, in response to his lawyer, he believed he was pope.

Authorized requirements as as to whether somebody has a rational understanding of why an execution is happening could be advanced, Dunham defined.

“I might say I used to be Napoleon,” he stated. “But when I say I perceive that Napoleon was sentenced to dying for against the law and is being executed for it — that might permit the execution to go forward.”

Purkey’s psychological points transcend Alzheimer’s, his attorneys have stated. They are saying he was topic to sexual and psychological abuse as a baby and, at 14, was identified with schizophrenia, bipolar dysfunction, main melancholy, and psychosis.

Final week, three psychological well being organizations urged U.S. Lawyer William Barr to cease Purkey’s execution and commute his sentence to life in jail with out risk of parole. The letter — signed by the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness, Psychological Well being America and the Remedy Advocacy Heart — stated that executing mentally ailing people like Purkey “constitutes merciless and weird punishment and doesn’t comport with ‘evolving requirements of decency.’”

The mom of the teenager he killed, Glenda Lamont, advised the Kansas Metropolis Star final 12 months she deliberate to attend the execution.

“I don’t wish to say that I’m blissful,” Lamont stated. “On the similar time, he’s a loopy mad man that doesn’t deserve, in my view, to be respiration anymore.”

The runup to Lee’s execution demonstrated that lots can nonetheless occur earlier than Purkey’s scheduled one.

On Monday, hours earlier than Lee was set to be put to dying, a U.S. District Court docket choose put the execution on maintain over issues from dying row inmates on how executions had been to be carried out, and an appeals courtroom upheld it, earlier than the Supreme Court docket overturned it early Tuesday.

If jail officers get the go-ahead to execute Purkey, he can be put to dying by deadly injection, as Lee was, and in the identical small room on the Terre Haute jail.


Hegeman reported from Wichita, Kansas. Related Press writers Mike Balsamo in Terre Haute, Indiana, and Mark Sherman and Colleen Lengthy in Washington contributed to this report.

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Coronavirus Australia dwell replace: anxiousness grows over NSW thriller instances as curve begins to flatten in Victoria – newest information



NSW authorities are involved about various Covid-19 instances previously six weeks the place the supply was unknown. Comply with dwell

11.53pm BST

The official announcement is right here

#Covid19VicData for 13 August 2020.
278 new instances of #coronavirus (#COVID19) detected in Victoria within the final 24 hours. Sadly, eight lives have been misplaced.
Extra element will probably be offered this afternoon.

11.52pm BST

The variety of instances has come down from the 410 we noticed yesterday (and the excessive 300s we had seen earlier than) which is good news.

There have been eight deaths. Which continues to be a tragedy

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Russia simply authorized a COVID vaccine—however that’s not essentially excellent news



Russia simply authorized a COVID vaccine—however that’s not essentially excellent news

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Stonehaven prepare crash: three lifeless after derailment in Aberdeenshire | UK information



Three folks have died after a passenger prepare derailed close to Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire following an evening of thunderstorms and torrential rainfall.

The three lifeless have been the driving force, conductor and a passenger. Six different folks have been taken to hospital for remedy. Their accidents should not believed to be severe.

Emergency companies have been known as to the scene at 9.43am after 4 passenger carriages got here off the observe at Carmont, simply west of Stonehaven. About 30 emergency automobiles together with an air ambulance have been reported to have attended the scene.

It’s the first time a passenger has died in a prepare accident on the British railway community for the reason that Grayrigg derailment in Cumbria in 2007. The driving force was primarily based in ScotRail’s Aberdeen depot and was married with three youngsters. He and the opposite two victims have but to be named.

The ScotRail high-speed prepare had left Aberdeen at 6.38am and was travelling to Glasgow Queen Avenue. The TSSA union mentioned there was no indication as but as to what could have precipitated the derailment.

North-east Scotland was badly affected by heavy rain in a single day. Minutes after the derailment is believed to have taken place, Community Rail Scotland tweeted a video of flooding alongside warnings of a landslip at Carmont.

Community Rail Scotland

At Carmont, we’ve had stories of a landslip, which suggests companies can’t function between Dundee & Aberdeen. /2

August 12, 2020

Rail trade sources steered the prepare had stopped forward of a landslide round Carmont and deliberate to return north, however then hit a second landslip because it headed again to Stonehaven. It’s understood that 12 folks have been onboard on the time – six passengers and 6 workers.

Ch Supt Eddie Wylie, of British Transport Police, mentioned: “This can be a tragic incident and in the beginning our ideas are with the households and associates of those that have very sadly died this morning.

“We stay on scene alongside our emergency service colleagues, and a significant incident operation has been beneath method. I want to reassure the general public that this was not a busy service, and from CCTV enquiries and witness statements we imagine all passengers have been accounted for. Nevertheless, as soon as the world has been made secure then a full and thorough search shall be performed, which is more likely to take a while.”

Stonehaven map

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, thanked the emergency companies for his or her work all through the day and said: “My deepest condolences are with the family members of those that misplaced their lives on this tragic incident.”

Boris Johnson mentioned he was “saddened to study of the very severe incident in Aberdeenshire and my ideas are with all of these affected. My due to the emergency companies on the scene.”

The UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps, tweeted: “British Transport Police & Community Rail are on location, together with rail employees who have been close by. The UK authorities will present each assist. My ideas are with these concerned and their households.”

Rainstorms throughout east and central Scotland on Tuesday evening precipitated flooding, journey disruption and faculty closures on Wednesday morning.

The Scottish Environmental Safety Company issued a flood warning for Stonehaven, and water was flowing by the city centre.

Flooding in Stonehaven on Wednesday.

Flooding in Stonehaven on Wednesday. {Photograph}: Martin Anderson/PA

NHS Grampian opened a welcome centre in Aberdeen for household and associates affected by the incident. The well being board’s chaplains will workers the centre and supply a direct hyperlink with A&E at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the place guests should not at the moment allowed owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

Alex Hynes, the managing director of Scotland’s Railway, mentioned: “Our ideas are with those that have been affected by this tragic occasion, notably the households of those that have misplaced their lives. The railway in Scotland is sometimes called a household, and it’s one that’s hurting right this moment.

“Now we have groups on web site and we are going to do all we are able to to assist everybody affected. We’re working carefully with all of the related authorities to determine the reason for this incident.”

Mick Lynch, the assistant normal secretary of the transport union RMT, mentioned: “The information behind this incident will have to be established in the end however at this stage we’re centered on assist and help and our ideas are with all these impacted by this tragedy.”

Emergency services at the scene of the derailment.

Emergency companies on the scene of the derailment. {Photograph}: Newsline Media

HM chief inspector of railways, Ian Prosser, mentioned inspectors have been on web site at Stonehaven aiding within the preliminary investigation. “We’ll work with different businesses, together with the emergency companies, to search out out precisely what occurred and establish the causes of this tragic incident,” he mentioned.

Final month an annual well being and security report by the Workplace of Rail and Highway (ORR) warned Community Rail of the rising hazard from excessive climate. It mentioned there have been six occasions extra flooding occasions on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than within the earlier 12 months.

The report additionally famous an increase in landslips, and located that Community Rail’s plans to handle the local weather disaster and excessive climate have been “not maintaining with the frequency and severity of those occasions”.

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