Forced Into Execution: Involuntarily Medicating Ill Inmate To Achieve Competency For Execution

Uniformity is absent in the laws of the United States. Not only do the laws vary from state to state, but punishments vary from county to county. The only way to curtail these variations in punishment is for the United States Supreme Court to take a stance on the issues. One area where the Supreme Court stance is lacking is mental illness, and in particular, as it relates to capital punishment. On September 11, 2013, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decided Staley v. State and held that the trial court’s sanction of involuntary medication is not allowed under the competency to be executed statue. In 1991, Steven Staley was convicted of capital murder in Tarrant County. Staley and his two accomplices robbed a restaurant and killed the manager. Staley was found guilty and sentenced to death in February of 2006.

Photo Source: @Mark Marshall