Court Questions Fla. Supreme Court's Go-Ahead To Execute 'Prince Of God' Inmate

Oct 25, 2012

A Florida man who was scheduled to be executed on Tuesday is being given the chance to prove his insanity. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency stay of execution for convicted eight-time murderer John Ferguson late Tuesday evening.

The appeals court’s order came down two hours after the execution was originally scheduled to happen. The order says the court would like more time to consider whether Ferguson was mentally fit for execution. The judges are weighing whether the Florida Supreme Court erred when it found him sane enough to be killed. Ferguson lawyer Ben Lewis says, they were wrong.

This is a man who believes he is the prince of God and the savior of the nation from a communist plot. If he is found insane, then he cannot be executed because the Eighth Amendment prohibits his execution," Lewis said.

Lewis said, the Florida Supreme Court ignored federal Supreme Court decisions that said a prisoner must be aware of why he’s being killed and understand that he will not be revived. The circuit court has set a November 6 deadline to receive all briefs in the case.