The Indiana Supreme Court stayed the execution Wednesday of a man scheduled to be put to death Friday in the 1993 slaying of an Indiana State trooper.
The court, in its 3-2 decision, stated that the arguments raised by Norman Timberlake's attorneys that he should not be executed because he is mentally ill are similar to those in a case the U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing in the case of a condemned Texas man.
Timberlake's lawyers have actually used just about every excuse there is in their attempts to stop the execution, including: 1. He didn't do it, 2. He's mentally ill and, 3. Lethal injections are cruel and unusual. It seemed like a risk to me to argue both 1 and 2, since his mental state is irrelevant if he didn't even do it. But this just shows that if you throw enough against the wall, something is bound to stick once in a while.
But it's valid to consider the mental-illness question, if we're talking about illness so severe that the person is divorced from reality. Courts have already said it isn't right to execute children who haven't formed the concept of right and wrong yet, and the mentally retarded, for the same reason.