Remember the Catch-22 in the book of the same title? To get out of a combat mission, you had to be delcared insane, but you had to ask for the evaluation. But asking for the evaluation was proof you wanted out of the mission, which is the sane thing to want, so you couldn't get out get out of the mission. The perfect gotcha. For some reason, this story made me think of Joseph Heller's classic:
The Georgia Supreme Court delayed the execution Tuesday of a convicted killer who attempted suicide hours before he was to be put to death by injection.
Brandon Joseph Rhode, 31, tried to slit his wrists and his throat, according to his attorneys who want to halt the execution with a new mental competency challenge.
Rhode's attorney Brian Kammer said the attempted suicide proves Rhode was "incompetent" and executing him violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
"He's utterly terrified and just hopeless," said Kammer. "He was very morose, frightened and subdued. This was a product of him just being in terror, of losing hope altogether."
Georgia prisons officials have rescheduled the execution for Friday.
You want to kill my client, but he wants to die, so he's clearly incompetent, so you shouldn't kill him. On the other hand, the state doesn't come off looking too good, either, saving Rhode from his suicide attempt so he can have few more days to brood before they execute him: You can't kill yourself; that's our job, damm it! Ghoulish all around.