Lawyers say federal death row prisoner has Alzheimer’s

November 27, 2019 - 9:27 pm

Lawyers for a federal prisoner scheduled to be put to death next month are asking a judge to halt the execution because the prisoner has Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

Wesley Ira Purkey’s lawsuit was filed late Tuesday in Washington. His execution is scheduled for Dec. 13.

Purkey, 67, is among five men whose executions were set by Attorney General William Barr in July. A judge has temporarily halted the executions. The Justice Department is appealing.

The suit alleges that Purkey isn’t competent enough to be executed. His lawyers say his condition is so far progressed that he doesn’t understand why he would face the death penalty.

Purkey, who’s from Kansas, was convicted of raping and killing a girl, 16, before dismembering, burning and dumping her body in a septic pond.

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