Barring a late, favorable court ruling or clemency from Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana on Wednesday will execute a fifth person this year, reports the Associated Press. Indiana has executed 15 inmates since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, far fewer than many states. Texas has put 348 people to death since then, and Virginia, Oklahoma, Missouri and Florida have each executed 60 or more people, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
But the murders that Arthur Baird II is scheduled to die for involve more perplexing issues and circumstances. He was condemned for killing his parents in September 1985, and was sentenced to 60 years for killing his pregnant wife the night before. Evidence showed that Baird believed he would get $1 million from the federal government for advice on erasing the national debt and planned to buy a farm. The money never came, he was in debt, was laid off from a factory job, and then strangled his wife, Nadine, in their mobile home. He strangled his parents the next day. He said forces manipulated his hands to commit the murders, something his advocates say is proof that he was mentally ill. He also says God will bring his victims back to life, an argument his attorneys made to the Indiana Supreme Court in hopes it would rule him incompetent to be executed.