Rejecting a state board’s rare request for a delay, Texas Gov. Rick Perry allowed the execution last night of death-row inmate Kelsey Patterson, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, the Dallas Morning News reports. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 5-1 Monday to recommend that Patterson’s sentence be commuted to life or that the governor grant a 120-day reprieve. Patterson’s attorneys argued that he suffers from mental illness and should not be executed.
Perry said he denied commutation because no court had found any reason Patterson should not be executed. The governor said one reason he denied clemency was because “the defendant is a very violent individual. Texas has no life without parole sentencing option, and no one can guarantee this defendant would never be freed to commit other crimes were his sentence commuted.”
As the warden asked if he had a final statement, Patterson responded, “Statement to what? Statement to what? I’m not guilty of the charge of capital murder.” He was condemned for a 1992 double slaying. J. Gary Hart, Patterson’s attorney, said he was outraged by the governor’s actions: “I’m disappointed, I’m angry.”