“Why Is It So Easy for States to Execute the Mentally Ill?”


The Intercept discusses the vagueness of the concept of “competency” and why people on death row who are deemed to be mentally ill get little sympathy.

“When we do a competency exam, it’s always competency to do such-and-such,” psychiatrist Terry Kupers tells The Intercept. “And there are standards that are different. For instance, there is a standard for competency to stand trial; it’s spelled out legally. Then there’s another issue: if an individual wants to stand trial and act as their own attorney, then we have another level of competency. Well, the lowest standard there is, is the standard to be executed — it’s just, basically, minimal.”

Why Is It So Easy for States to Execute the Mentally Ill? (The Intercept, May 20, 2015)

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