This is an ongoing story, check back for updates.
UPDATE: Ferguson’s execution will proceed this evening. State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Ann Howard said the execution is set for 6 p.m. at Florida State Prison.
In yet another twist in the complicated saga of John Errol Ferguson, the U.S. Court of Appeals has lifted the District Court’s stay of execution in a divided opinion. The District Court on Saturday put the execution on hold in order to hear arguments on whether Ferguson is mentally competent to be executed. The Court of Appeals’ move now clears the way for the execution to proceed as planned this evening at 6 p.m. ET, unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes.
Ferguson’s attorney, Chris Handman, released this statement following the ruling:
“We are disappointed that a divided panel of the Eleventh Circuit vacated the stay of execution entered by Judge Hurley who had concluded that Mr. Ferguson’s case raises important constitutional issues that merit full consideration. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse this decision because there is no evidence that Mr. Ferguson has a rational understanding of the reason for, and effect of, his execution. 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.”