Yesterday I wrote that US District Judge Nancy Atlas issued a stay of execution in the Jonathan Green case. Judge Atlas was concerned that Mr. Green's due process rights were violated by the manner in which a competency hearing was conducted.
That was not the end of the story, however. Today the State of Texas appealed Judge Atlas' ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals who reversed the stay. Mr. Green's attorneys then filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court who decided it didn't really matter whether the competency hearing was fucked up or not. A last minute appeal to the 5th Circuit was then denied.
And now Mr. Green sits in the death chamber waiting for the state to inject him with a lethal dose of pentobarbital.
UPDATE: Mr. Green was murdered by the State of Texas at about 11pm last night. The legal machinations over the last two days highlighted the arbitrary and capricious nature of the death penalty. One judge found that the competency hearing violated Mr. Green's due process rights yet a panel of three more judges decided that it was all good.
The hearing was either flawed or it wasn't. It doesn't matter how many different courts or how many different judges looked at the case, the procedures were either okay or they weren't.