Court stays execution of mentally ill inmate

The Texas Tribune
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 4:31pm

TEXAS — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Monday stayed this week’s scheduled execution of Steven Staley, a severely mentally ill inmate who was convicted of a 1989 robbery and murder at a Fort Worth Steak and Ale restaurant.

The stay came after defense lawyers argued that the state was violating Staley's constitutional rights by forcing him to take powerful anti-psychotic drugs so that he could be considered mentally competent for execution. On the heels of the stay, John Stickels, a lawyer for Staley, said that a psychologist on Monday spent three hours with the inmate at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston and had concluded that after two weeks without his medication he was no longer competent.

"He is delusional again. He believes there is a big conspiracy orchestrated by the state and that everybody, everybody, is part of the conspiracy," Stickels said. "He believes that he was wrongfully convicted because of the conspiracy."

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