TCASK Statement in Response to Upholding the Stay for Paul Reid
“Today, both the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the stay for Paul Dennis Reid put in place yesterday by Federal District Judge Todd Campbell.
Paul Reid presents a clear case of severe, long-term, diagnosed mental illness. Reid’s diagnoses, going back to the 1970s, include schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, and temporal lobe dysfunction. These produce, according to the affidavit of Dr. George Woods, ‘a chronic schizophrenia-like psychosis which has severely impaired (Reid’s) ability to weigh, deliberate, inform, and cooperate.’ Reid’s delusion ‘impels, invades, and guides his daily activities as well as decision-making processes.’
To assert, as the state has done, that Paul Reid, who believes that he is being tortured by secret government “scientific technology” and who seeks his own execution to escape from this torture, is capable of making rational decisions is disingenuous and patently false. The state’s attempts to block a full evidentiary hearing on Paul Reid’s competence violate every civilized standard of justice.
According to Sita Diehl, Executive Director of NAMI Tennessee, ‘It is unethical to execute people with disabilities. Paul Dennis Reid clearly has a psychotic disorder. It would be inhumane to execute Paul Dennis Reid, because he does not understand.’ The National Alliance on Mental Illness, the American Psychological Association, the National Mental Health Association, and the National Association of Social Workers all oppose the execution of the mentally ill.
While we applaud the decision of the Sixth Circuit to allow a full competency hearing, we grieve for the families of Paul Reid’s victims. Each of these families has suffered a terrible loss and our thoughts and prayers are with them. However, TCASK believes that the execution of a man so severely mentally ill would be a gross miscarriage of justice.”
Alex Wiesendanger, Associate Director
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