Virginia set for 1st execution under more secretive protocol

by Antonio Miles July 7, 2017, 0:37
Virginia set for 1st execution under more secretive protocol

Dawn Davison, Morva's attorney, says the United Nations statement is among 34,000 people who have pleaded with McAuliffe to stop the execution.

Dawn Davison, one of Morva's lawyers, said that as of late Wednesday, 24 state delegates and senators have publicly supported the clemency request.

"I am against the death penalty for religious and moral reasons", Rachel Sutphin wrote in a statement obtained by NBC News. The clemency campaign has attracted local and worldwide supporters who say the jury that sentenced Morva to death was not informed of his severe mental illness.

Before he was captured near Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus a day later, Morva shot Sheriff's Deputy Eric Sutphin in the back of the head.

They added they were also concerned about Mr. Morva's "deteriorating psychosocial condition" in detention.

She said she "has fought and will continue to fight for clemency for all death row inmates until Virginia declares the death penalty unconstitutional".

Governor Terry McAuliffe said examinations by prison doctors since Morva's 2008 conviction had shown no sign that he suffered from severe mental illness or delusional disorder, an ailment akin to schizophrenia, as his lawyers have argued.

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"That diagnosis is inconsistent with the findings of the three licensed mental health professionals appointed by the trial court, including an expert psychiatrist who is Board-Certified in both Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry". He then shot to death Derrick McFarland, 32, an unarmed hospital security guard.

"I have no hatred for this creature who shot him execution-style". The two experts are asking authorities to "annul the death sentence against Mr. Morva and to re-try him in compliance with global standards related to due process and fair trial". "I just want justice for my son", Sutphin said.

Several state lawmakers are also asking McAuliffe to spare Morva's life.

The US Supreme Court declined to hear Morva's appeal in February.

In a released statement, they highlighted Mr. Morva's diagnosis of delusional disorder and stated: "We are deeply concerned about information we have received indicating that Mr. Morva's original trial did not meet fair trial safeguards".

Governor McAuliffe's spokesman Brian Coy said in an email that the governor "takes a decision like this very seriously and that he is careful reviewing all of the materials in this case".


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