As of this writing, the U.S. Sixth Circuit has still not ruled on the appeal and application for a stay brought on behalf of Daryl Holton by the Federal Public Defender’s Office. While Holton has been diagnosed with major depression and PTSD, the state has consistently maintained that he is mentally competent to waive his appeals and “volunteer” for execution.
But, as abolitionists, we’re not going to sit around and wait on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. We have work to do (check out our schedule below and see when you can help out). This case demonstrates how vast the gulf is between our scientific understanding of mental illness and the legal definition of competence. The state doesn’t deny that Holton suffers, both now and at the time of the crime, from mental illness, but it still maintains, just as it did in the cases of Paul Dennis Reid and Gregory Thompson, that individuals with serious mental illnesses are competent to make legal decisions or to be executed. With around 25% of death row inmates suffering from severe mental illnesses, this is a serious issue that must be addressed, and TCASK intends to continue to bring it to the public attention.
But for right now, get ready to hit the streets, because we aren’t going to wait around and do nothing. Come out and join us at one of the times listed below and then everyone get ready for Monday when we’ll rally at the capitol and then march to Holy Name to make our opposition to an immoral and ineffective public policy as clear as day!
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