News Update 07.25.08
Judge James Spencer ruled today that Antonio Chance will not receive a pre-trial hearing on mental retardation. Chance is charged with the 2006 murder of Cynthia Moreland. Chance’s IQ has tested in the mentally retarded range since he was 5 years old. Chance’s trial is scheduled to begin in Wake County on the same day as another potentially mentally retarded defendant, Joseph Sanderlin.
In Haywood County, Edwardo Wong III will face the death penalty for the shooting of State Trooper David Shawn Blanton.
The only doctor ever officially deemed too incompetent to participate in an execution has apparently been hired by the state of Arizona for that purpose. Dr. Alan Doerhoff supervised some 54 executions in Missouri before the state supreme court barred him from further practice. Aside from his troubles in the prison system, Doerhoff has been sued for malpractice over 20 times and banished from multiple hospitals.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has authorized the forced medication of mentally ill death row inmates to make them sane enough to be executed. It is believed to be the first decision of its kind.
In Oklahoma, Governor Brad Henry followed the recommendation of the Pardon and Parole Board and granted clemency to Kevin Young. The Board and the Governor were persuaded to mercy by members of the jury who said they would have voted differently if they’d known Young would serve life without parole.