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Now, a Killer is Incompetent for Execution
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On Friday, an Ohio state court judge ruled that a man sentenced to death for the murder of his estranged wife and her brother is not competent to be executed. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Stuart Friedman declared the convict Awkal incompetent to be executed before a two-week stay on the execution as granted by the Governor ran out. The stay was scheduled to expire this Wednesday.

Prosecutors held that the convict had been successful in manipulating the court and they would appeal the decision, though that would only cause more delay. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said in a statement, “Unfortunately, Judge Friedman’s decision will likely cause even more delay in this case and prolong the suffering of the victim’s family.”

The court ordered that Awkal be sent to an institution so that his competency for execution may be restored. Awkal’s lawyer said that he would be seeking an indefinite reprieve from Kasich.


There was a moratorium for months on executions in Ohio after a federal judge found that the state was not following its own protocols. The present convict, Awkal, murdered his estranged wife and brother-in-law in a Cleveland courthouse basement in 1992 while they were waiting for a custody hearing of Awkal’s 15-month old daughter.

Awkal told each doctor who examined him that he understood that he was in prison for the killings but it was his belief that he had worked for the CIA and that the agency was blocking his appeals because he was not helping it to fight against terrorism. So, four out of the five doctors who examined Awkal found that he did not understand the reasons of his execution and therefore incompetent to be executed.

In the beginning, he was held incompetent to stand trial, but was convicted and sentenced to death in 1992. He tried to give up further appeals in 2005, but even in that he was found incompetent. Last month, doctors found him competent for execution at the first go, but again found him incompetent after re-examination.

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It is a legal necessity for execution that the convict understands the reason for which he/she was being executed.



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