Mercy sought for ‘severely mentally ill’ man to be executed in Virginia

/ 06:49 PM July 06, 2017

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A “severely mentally ill” man from Virginia is set to be executed with a lethal injection that simulates drowning, reports The Guardian.

According to the human rights organization Reprieve, William Morva has been mentally ill since he was a child and was also a victim of domestic violence. He engaged in criminal behavior after dropping out of high school and was arrested on robbery charges.


Reprieve reports that while he was in custody, he became delusional and shot and killed a hospital security guard and a sheriff’s deputy last 2006, believing that he was in danger.

Initial diagnosis of Morva’s condition was that he only had a personality disorder, and a jury sentenced him to death.


If the execution pushes through July 6 in the United States, Morva will be subjected to a “cocktail of three medical drugs,” the report stated.

The autopsy report of Ricky Gray, a Viriginia criminal executed six months ago, indicated that “the upper airways [contain] foamy liquid”, his lungs were “severely congested” and that there were “red cells present in the airways.”

After reviewing the autopsy report, Mark Edgar, an associate professor of pathology at Emory University school of medicine cited that the findings indicated “acute pulmonary edema” which is caused by “acute heart failure or actual drowning.”

Reprieve aims to prevent the execution, arguing that Morva can still get help for his mental illness. Morva’s lawyers aim to have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Niña V. Guno/JB


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TAGS: death penalty, human rights, lethal injection, William Morva
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