news from ekklesia

news from ekklesia

By staff writers
7 Jan 2004

Mentally ill man executed in Arkansas

-7/1/04

A mentally ill man whose lawyers had argued the state could not legally execute him was put to death in Arkansas early today for the murder in 1979 of a grocer who befriended him.

Despite the efforts of ant-death penalty campaigners including many Christians, Charles Singleton, 44, was pronounced dead after receiving an injection of drugs.

ìI was going to speak but I wrote it down,î Singleton said when asked for his last words. ìIíll leave it up to the warden.î

Prison officials later provided a copy of Singletonís rambling statement.

ìThe blind think Iím playing a game. They deny me, refusing me existence. But everybody takes the place of another. You have taught me what you want done ñ and I will not let you down. God bless you,î it read in part.

Lawyers had argued he should not be forced to take anti-psychotic medication if drug-induced sanity made him eligible for execution.

The Supreme Court has said it is unconstitutional to execute the mentally ill if they do not understand why they are to die. But the high court let stand a lower courtís ruling that said the forced medication was appropriate treatment for Singletonís schizophrenia.

Mentally ill man executed in Arkansas

-7/1/04

A mentally ill man whose lawyers had argued the state could not legally execute him was put to death in Arkansas early today for the murder in 1979 of a grocer who befriended him.

Despite the efforts of ant-death penalty campaigners including many Christians, Charles Singleton, 44, was pronounced dead after receiving an injection of drugs.

ìI was going to speak but I wrote it down,î Singleton said when asked for his last words. ìIíll leave it up to the warden.î

Prison officials later provided a copy of Singletonís rambling statement.

ìThe blind think Iím playing a game. They deny me, refusing me existence. But everybody takes the place of another. You have taught me what you want done ñ and I will not let you down. God bless you,î it read in part.

Lawyers had argued he should not be forced to take anti-psychotic medication if drug-induced sanity made him eligible for execution.

The Supreme Court has said it is unconstitutional to execute the mentally ill if they do not understand why they are to die. But the high court let stand a lower courtís ruling that said the forced medication was appropriate treatment for Singletonís schizophrenia.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License. Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.