Stop death-row inmate's execution, say rights experts

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Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, made the joint appeal along with Danius Puras, Special Rapporteur on physical and mental health. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The imminent execution of a man on death row in the United States should be halted to take account of his mental disability, two UN human rights experts said on Wednesday.

In their appeal to the authorities, Agnes Callamard and Danius Puras said that Hungarian national William Morva's delusional disorder was not made public during his trial.

Daniel Johnson has more.

William Morva's death sentence is scheduled for Thursday 6 July and follows his conviction in 2008 for the murder of a hospital security guard and a Sheriff's deputy.

His illness was diagnosed in 2014 and a court-appointed psychiatrist noted that this may have been behind his actions.

In a statement, the UN experts expressed concern for the 35-year-old's "deteriorating" condition, before calling on the Governor of Virginia to hold a re-trial.

The UN Special Rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and physical and mental health, said that condition is such that he has ceased all communication with his legal team, gravely hampering their ability to defend him as his execution approaches.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 0’48″

 

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