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1970s Florida Killer Granted Stay Of Execution Due To Severe Mental Illness

1970s florida killer stay of execution

The 1970s Florida killer John Errol Ferguson received a stay of execution in the eleventh hour after an appeals court considered the man’s severe schizophrenia as a mitigating factor in the decision to put him to death.

The 1970s Florida killer has been on death row for an astounding 34 years after committing a brutal mass slaying more than three decades ago in the Sunshine State. Ferguson’s crimes were horrific in nature and breathtakingly wide-ranging in scope, resulting in eight deaths that are confirmed and more suspected.

The 1970s Florida killer was involved in the shooting of eight people in Carol City, two of whom survived the massacre. Six months later, two teens on a date were murdered, the girl raped before her death. When arrested in connection with the Carol City crime, the 1970s Florida killer confessed to the teens’ murder as well.

In addition to those cases, Ferguson was also implicated in the shooting deaths of an elderly couple. But while the acts committed by the 1970s Florida killer are undoubtedly the sort for which the death penalty exists, execution has been delayed due to the severe paranoid delusions and schizophrenia from which the convicted mass murdered suffers.

The 1970s Florida killer was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm Tuesday, a deadline that passed due to appeals court wrangling over the ethical implications of executing a mentally ill man.

In a statement, lawyer for the 1970s Florida killer Christopher Handman says:

“A man who thinks he is the immortal Prince of God and who believes he is incarcerated because of a Communist plot quite clearly has no rational understanding of the effect of his looming execution and the reason for it.”

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Families of the victims, however, are not as forgiving when it comes to the fate of the 1970s Florida killer, mental illness or not. Brother of victim Belinda Worley, Michael Worley, told the Miami Herald:

“Outrageous is the fact that for 34 years our tax dollars have been keeping Ferguson alive. Free food, medical care and the ability to communicate with his loved ones and lawyers … My sister was brutally killed at the age of 17. Her murder shattered our entire family. Life was never the same.”

Should severely mentally ill people like the 1970s Florida killer be put to death, or should mental illness of that severity be considered a mitigating factor in applying the death penalty?

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Comments

24 Responses to “1970s Florida Killer Granted Stay Of Execution Due To Severe Mental Illness”

  1. Herb Brady

    this is a travisty. he should be fried. YES WE AGREE HE IS CRAZY. All the reason for putting his lights out. QUESTION,, WAS THE LAW CONCERNED ABOUT THE MENTAL STATE OF HIS VICTIMS..

  2. Steve Cregger

    This guy should have been put to death decades ago. If this happened in texas then he would have been pushed to the front of the line. Is there NO justice for the victims and their families?

  3. Tracey Dupont

    Flip that switch! Damn no wonder people aren't afraid to commit crimes, just sit in jail forever and suck up tax payer monies

  4. Antonio Alvarado

    34 f*cking years I've paid taxes to keep this idiot alive! This country is a joke. The USA…one nation everyone must laugh at…under God!

  5. Anonymous

    What a lame excuse. He was mentally ill 34 years ago with delusions and schizophrenia. The lawyers who have helped keep him on death row should go down with him. IDIOTS. I'd like to know what it cost the people of Florida to keep that killer in jail for 34 years.

  6. Dennis Rafferty

    no no no.. let him stay alive so he can escape and do it again….. ohh wait… he'll eat twinkies and blame it on them…

  7. David Brown

    if someone kills and its not in selfdefense is that person SANE? aren't all these murders and rapists and child molesters ALL insane in 1 way or another–what sane person commits these acts? 34 years is a travesty to the families of the of the victims–its time to let the survivors and families decide his punishment.

  8. Joseph Kane

    your lucky down there, up here in maine they want to let two murders one that killed a 15year old and anther that killed two nuns, live in a half way house.one democrat in the local board is trying to stop it.he says if the guy is doing better mentally he should go to jail now to serve the rest of his life.

  9. Anonymous

    IT IS EVIDENT THAT OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM IS IN NEED OF A HEAVY DUTY OVERHAUL. NOT ONLY ARE WE SUSTAINING THIS GUY FOR A ZILLION YEARS OF JAIL COSTS. LAWYERS, ETC. NOW WE FIGHT TO CONTINUE SUSTAINING HIM, ALIVE FOR ANOTHER ZILLION YEARS BECAUSE HE IS CRAZY.. WHAT ABOUT THE VERY SANE, LAW ABIDING, TAX PAYING CITIZENS AND THEIR FAMILIES WHOSE LIVES HE DECIDED TO CUT SHORT?

  10. Susie Sugg

    Yes, he should be put to death. If I was to flip and kill people, then I deserve to die. He did it sneaky. That means to me that he knew what he was doing. If we don't bring the death penalty back and put it to use people are going to keep killing. That is why so many is on death row. The justice system is the worse than I have ever seen it. 34 years?

  11. Donna Fanatia

    I hate when the lawyers are so dumb, that they let these people, kill innocent people and let them hide behind mental illness. Get the gallows back on the court yards and give them what they deserve.

  12. James D. Haile

    Whoa! Let's get realistic about this. There are a group of lawyers….clerks…..and others reaping a harvest out of this. Thirty-four years of legal service at the tax payer's expense. While this murderous lame-brained fiend wallows in a jail cell…..we pay the freight.

  13. Donna Long

    They will never get realistic. As long as there are lawyers, bleeding hearts and money to be make you can forget it!

  14. Elissa Berman

    I pray that this man has sought forgiveness from Jesus for the murder massacre he committed in the 70's. I pray for the victims family and friends to have peace and rest; their lives were changed forever on those horrific days over 30 years ago. Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted."

    Matthew 5:4 is saying that the progress to happiness, begins with godly sorrow in one's heart over sin. It is sin that robs us of our peace, joy, satisfaction and true rest. The definition of sin is to "miss the mark." God has a way for us to live our lives in a satisfying way and to live at peace with the world.

    However, many miss the mark of having the life God intended by spending one's time on worldly pursues rather putting God first in our lives. That is a worst mistake a person can make. Colossians 1:18 says to give Christ the preeminence in our lives….that means first place.

    Jesus Himself said Matthew 6:33 "But seek yes first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

  15. Stan Silver

    Who cares what this guy thinks? What does it matter if he understands? He will get the picture when they strap him in.