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George E. Banks
George E. Banks
PENNSYLVANIA. JUDGE BARS EXECUTION, CITES MENTAL ILLNESS

February 28, 2006: a judge has ruled that a former prison guard convicted of killing 13 people in a 1982 shooting rampage can't be executed because he is mentally ill.
George E. Banks is delusional, psychotic and has no capacity to assist in his own defense, Luzerne County President Judge Michael Conahan ruled on February 27.
"Banks cannot make rational choices because of his major mental illness, cannot rationally comprehend his death sentences, has a hopeless prognosis and will not improve to any acceptable degree," Conahan wrote.
The U.S. Supreme Court held in 1986 that it is unconstitutional to execute the insane.
Banks picked up his AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on September 25, 1982, and began shooting. He killed seven children -- five of them his own, along with his three live-in girlfriends, an ex-girlfriend, her mother and a bystander in the street.
The state Supreme Court halted Banks' execution in December 2004 and ordered a competency hearing. Banks, disheveled and seemingly oblivious to the proceedings, sat in a cell adjacent to the room where the hearing was held.
Psychiatrists testified that Banks believed his death sentences were vacated by Jesus or God, that nurses and other staff are witches and devils, and that he was illegally incarcerated because of a conspiracy involving the Department of Corrections, the "Islamic government of the U.S." and others.
His lawyers have said mental illness played a role, though the trial jury rejected an insanity defense.
Psychiatrists testified at the competency hearing that Banks has the delusional belief that he has been pardoned and that his psychosis prevented him from making sound decisions.
District Attorney David Lupas said he will likely appeal. Prosecutors already have appealed a previous ruling by Conahan that barred one of their witnesses from testifying at the competency hearing. (Sources: Ap, 28/02/2006)

BANGLADESH. 22 MILITANTS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR BOMBINGS
UNITED STATES. DEATH SENTENCES IN 2005 REACHED RECORD LOW
CHINA. PROVINCE TAPS THIEVES WITH EXECUTION
YEMEN. MAN EXECUTED FOR US MISSIONARY KILLINGS
CHINA. 8,000 EXECUTIONS EVERY YEAR, SCHOLAR AT THE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
VIETNAM. LAOS MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
AFGHANISTAN. COURT SENTENCES FORMER SPY CHIEF TO DEATH
CHINA. DEATH PENALTY CASES TO BE HEARD IN OPEN COURT
IRAN. MAN HANGED FOR RAPE
THE PHILIPPINES. ARROYO: I'LL WORK TO SCRAP DEATH PENALTY
CHINA. TWO TAIWANESE EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
UNITED STATES. CALIFORNIA HOLDS OFF MORALES EXECUTION
UNITED STATES. SUPREME COURT REJECTS NEW ALIBI EVIDENCE AT SENTENCING
ARIZONA, US. LAWMAKERS APOLOGIZE TO THE 100TH PERSON FREED FROM DEATH ROW
HANDS OFF CAIN. STOP WITH THE HYPOCRISY OF THE HUMANENESS OF LETHAL INJECTION
PAKISTAN. 11 MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT
SOUTH KOREA. JUSTICE MINISTRY TO RECONSIDER DEATH PENALTY
JAPAN. CULT LEADER FIT TO APPEAL AGAINST DEATH SENTENCE
TURKEY. PROTOCOL NO. 13 RATIFIED
IRAN. 22-YEAR-OLD MAN HANGED IN PRISON
VIETNAM. PRESIDENT COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCES OF TWO AUSTRALIANS
IRAN. EXECUTION OF MINORS TO CONTINUE
ITALY. HOC PRESENTS REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN IRAN AND APPEAL TO SAVE NAZANIN
IRAN. TWO MEN EXECUTED IN SOUTHERN CITY
RUSSIA. BESLAN SUSPECT'S LAWYER APPEALS FOR 'FAIR' SENTENCE AMID CALLS FOR EXECUTION
CALIFORNIA, USA. CALIFORNIA TURNS TO MEDICS FOR NEXT EXECUTION
JORDAN. NINE SENTENCED TO DEATH IN TERROR PLOT
IRAN. 15-YEAR-OLD SCHOOLBOY SENTENCED TO DEATH
THE PHILIPPINES. PRESIDENT COMMUTES 280 DEATH SENTENCES
TEXAS, USA. TEXAS CARRIES OUT ITS FOURTH EXECUTION OF THE YEAR

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