[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----KENTUCKY
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Nov 14 18:03:25 CST 2008
KENTUCKY----impending (volunteer) execution
Ky. judge: Inmate competent in seeking execution
A convicted child killer who insists on being executed for his crimes is
mentally competent and can dismiss his attorneys to speed up his scheduled
lethal injection, a judge ruled Friday.
Marco Allen Chapman's execution is set for Nov. 21 for the murders of 2
children in the northern Kentucky town of Warsaw in 2004.
"I am completely competent and have the ability to make my own decisions,"
the 36-year-old Chapman told Senior Judge Roger Crittenden on the phone
during a hearing at the Franklin County Courthouse.
Dr. Michael Harris, a Louisville psychiatrist, testified that he had
reached the same conclusion about Chapman after examining him at the
Kentucky State Penitentiary earlier this month.
Harris said he found no evidence to suggest a mental disorder or defect
that would render Chapman unable to rationally make decisions concerning
Even though Chapman dismissed his lawyers in 2004 before pleading guilty
to murder and asking for a death sentence, public defenders have continued
to file motions on his behalf, questioning his competency. They have
argued that seeking to be executed is like trying to commit "suicide by
Crittenden's ruling clears the way for the execution.
Chapman admitted to killing the 2 children and attacking their sister and
sexually assaulting their mother, though he has maintained that he has no
memory of the crimes.
Carolyn Marksberry, the mother of the victims and a survivor of the
assault, attended the hearing but declined to speak with reporters. It is
a policy of The Associated Press not to name victims of sexual assault in
most cases; however, Marksberry has discussed her ordeal in national
Chapman said delaying his execution would "drag out the misery" for
himself and the family of his victims.
If the execution is carried out, Chapman would become the 1st Kentucky
inmate put to death since 1999.
Public defender Dennis Burke said Chapman still can decide to back out.
"Certainly, he has the right to change his mind," Burke said.
(source: Associated Press)
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