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OT: Attention Legal Eagles!


Sepiatone
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Recently, on a rerun of "Law and Order: SVU", A man Stabler was interviewing on death row jumped up and attacked him and the FBI shrink in the holding cell they were talking to him in. Guards came in and clubbed the guy into a coma. Stabler was told later that the man's execution was put on hold because, "They can't execute a sick man. It's the law."

 

It made me wonder...IS this the law in states that have the death penalty? And what constitutes "too sick to execute"?

 

Let's say, for instance, that I get a death sentence. As is the case, there's usually anywhere up to 15 years or more until many on death row actually get executed. Let's also hypothesize that within that period I develope ALS, MD, non lymphonic Hodgekin's or any other "terminal" type disease. Would my state commanded execution then be commuted to life without parole? Would I, with ALS, be considered "too sick" to execute, even though it may take many years PAST the planned execution date for me to die of the disease?

 

Inquiring minds want to know...

 

Sepiatone

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The article stated that his being fat wasn't the reason for staying his execution, but rather the poor legal representation he recieved during trial.

 

But his lawyer's reason was a hoot!

 

"...could cause him physical and psycological damage..."

 

Ya THINK?

 

Sepiatone

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I believe the application of the death penalty (or having the sentence being put on hold) varies from state to state (would the state with 5 letters, starts with a "T" care?) . One sure way to avoid the death penalty in any state; have money.

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Sepiatone, I vaguely remember an episode of "Law and Order SVU" when they had arrested a murderer who they all believed was mentally disturbed. But he was also wanted in another state (Mississippi I believe) and that state wanted to extradite him. If they got him back he most definitely would get the death sentence. So it came down to the states contesting with each other. Sort of like *I Was A Fugitive From A Chain Gang* story.

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I never practiced criminal law, but in order for a death sentence to be carried out, there generally must be a "perfect storm". A life-threatening illness appears to disrupt the "perfect storm", so I would guess that it might constitute a valid reason for commutation of the sentence. If you want me to further research the issue, I'll have to charge you $200 an hour.

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