Monday, September 18, 2006

 

Now is the Time!

The execution of Daryl Holton is now only 16 hours away. The state continues to insist that a man suffering from major depression and PTSD, who has a history of suicidal tendencies, who killed the children that he loved because he thought it was saving them, and who voluntarily has chosen to die in the electric chair is mentally competent and rational. I know that claim sounds pretty ridiculous, but that is the archaic understanding of mental illness written into our legal codes.

Holton's competency to drop his appeals and assist the state in killing him is still at issue in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court, which is expected to rule some time today. The court could issue a stay since the U.S. District Court refused to allow the Federal Public Defenders to person expert witnesses who had evaluated Holton and found that he met the threshold showing of mental incompetence. The testimony of such witnesses should be guaranteed to Holton.

However, we aren't going to sit on our hands and wait for the Sixth Circuit to make up its mind. Instead, it's time for us to take action! So, if you haven't done so already, call the Governor at (615) 741-2001 or (615) 741-3673 or (615) 532-4562. Tell the Governor:

"I am a resident of the state of Tennesse and we should be treating people with mental illness, not executing them. Please stay the execution of Daryl Holton and order a full competency hearing."

If the Sixth Circuit rules against Holton, he will be without representation and there will be no one to make a formal request for clemency to the Governor. So we, the citizens of Tennessee, need to make our voices so numerous and so loud that they cannot be ignored. Now you may have already received a call from a TCASK volunteer last night as we phone banked, calling our supporters all around the state asking them to call the Governor with that same message. Or you may have found a TCASK action alert in your email this morning asking you the same. If you've already called the Governor, thank you. And have all your friends? Forward the email or pass along the message. Make sure that the Governor hears our voices loud and clear!

Then come gather with us at Legislative Plaza at 4:30 to rally against the execution and make sure that the Governor can't continue to ignore us! The power of all of us working together can stop this execution and one day end the immoral and unjust practice of state-sponsored killing in our state.
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