Here's Why Woman Wants to Save Father's Killer from Death Penalty

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

Here's Why Woman Wants to Save Father's Killer from Death Penalty

I have fought and will continue to fight for clemency for all death row inmates until Virginia declares the death penalty unconstitutional. William Charles Morva is scheduled to be executed July 6.

"We urge the authorities to annul the death sentence against [William] Morva and to retry him in compliance with worldwide standards related to due process and fair trial", said the UN Special Rapporteurs on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, and on right to health, Dainius Pūras, in a news release.

"I have no hatred for this creature who shot him execution-style", Jeaneen Sutphin told The Roanoke-Times on Wednesday.

Morva's death sentence, for killing an unarmed security guard and a sheriff's deputy in a 2006 escape from custody, has triggered renewed debate about capital punishment for the mentally ill.

Morva was in jail in 2006 awaiting trial, when he overpowered a deputy sheriff during a trip to the hospital.

The government of Hungary, where Morva is a dual citizen, and the European Union have also urged the governor to intervene.

More than 34,000 people, along with United Nations human rights experts and the daughter of the slain deputy, had asked McAuliffe to spare Morva's life on grounds that he was severely mentally ill. The next day, before being recaptured, Morva shot the deputy sheriff during a search for him.

Sutphin says she has sent a letter to McAuliffe showing her support for clemency for Morva.

The human rights experts said in a statement Wednesday they are "deeply concerned" that Morva's trial "did not meet fair trial safeguards". Since then, his attorneys have argued that Morva suffers from a serious delusional disorder.

"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".

Dawn Davison, one of Morva's lawyers, said that he was in the grip of a powerful psychosis at the time of the killings and that jurors had not been told that he could be restored to health with treatment.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined in February to hear Morva's appeal. The Governor hasn't made a decision yet, and time is running short.

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