McAuliffe Denies Clemency To William Morva

Virginia Department of Corrections shows convicted murderer William Morva at the Greenville Correctional Center in Jarratt Virginia

UN experts urge US state of Virginia to halt execution of man with mental disorder

The United Nations is asking Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt Thursday's execution of William Morva, who is convicted of killing two people during an escape in 2006. I have fought and will continue to fight for clemency for all death row inmates until Virginia declares the death penalty unconstitutional.

William Morva, a 35-year-old dual US-Hungarian citizen who human rights activists say suffers from a mental disorder akin to schizophrenia, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 9 pm on Thursday (0100 GMT Friday).

A jury sentenced him to death in March of 2008 for the capital murder of a police officer. He then shot to death Derrick McFarland, 32, an unarmed hospital security guard.

The following day, Morva shot and killed Sutphin with a bullet to the back of the head.

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"I have no hatred for this creature who shot him execution-style. I just want justice for my son", Sutphin told The Roanoke Times on Wednesday. He had been locked up on attempted robbery charges, and was sent to the hospital in Blacksburg, Virginia to get treated for an injury.

"As my team and I gave Mr. Morva's mental state the consideration it deserves, we also consulted with the Virginia Department of Corrections, whose mental health staff have monitored him weekly and assessed him quarterly for the past nine years and have never reported any evidence of delusional disorder or severe mental illness".

McAuliffe, a Catholic who said he personally opposes the death penalty, but is obliged to uphold the law as governor, commuted the execution of Ivan Teleguz to life in prison.

But the slain deputy's mother, Jeaneen Sutphin, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that she hoped the execution would go ahead.

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Virginia's Democratic governor says he won't spare the life of an inmate whose lawyers say was under the influence of delusions when he killed two men during an escape in 2006.

"Mr. Morva's petition for clemency states that he suffers from a delusional disorder that rendered him unable to understand the consequences of his actions".

Among those urging McAuliffe to stop Morva's execution are UN Special Rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Dainius Puras.

"We are concerned at Mr. Morva's deteriorating psychosocial condition".

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"The denial of reasonable accommodation in detention can be considered a form of discrimination against him because of his mental health condition".

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