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Steven Kenneth Staleyhas been on death row since 1991 for the 1989 murder of 35-year old Robert Dorsey Read during a robbery of the Fort Worth Steak & Ale restaurant where Read was a manager.
He received a stay of execution the day before his scheduled execution back in December of 2010.
I was working for Steak & Ale (in Waco, while I was a student at Baylor University) at the time of Read’s murder, and had worked with him for a brief time at another store where he was my GM. I remember getting the news from our Waco store manager and being totally floored by it.
There is no doubt about his guilt. Not a single person — not Staley himself, not one of his lawyers, not even the sickest of death row inmate groupies — contends that Staley did not murder Read.
But, sadly, he has received yet another stay from execution, which was scheduled for tomorrow afternoon sometime shortly after 6:00 pm HTT.
The news was reported breathlessly and with an air of joy by the Texas Tribune’s resident anti-death penalty zealot and activist (who pretends to be an unbiased journalist in her spare time), with this remarkably biased headline: Court Stays Execution of Mentally Ill Inmate:
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Monday stayed this week’s scheduled execution of Steven Staley, a severely mentally ill inmate who was convicted of a 1989 robbery and murder at a Fort Worth Steak and Ale restaurant.
The stay came after defense lawyers argued that the state was violating Staley’s constitutional rights by forcing him to take powerful anti-psychotic drugs so that he could be considered mentally competent for execution. On the heels of the stay, John Stickels, a lawyer for Staley, said that a psychologist on Monday spent three hours with the inmate at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston and had concluded that after two weeks without his medication he was no longer competent.
“He is delusional again. He believes there is a big conspiracy orchestrated by the state and that everybody, everybody, is part of the conspiracy,” Stickels said. “He believes that he was wrongfully convicted because of the conspiracy.”
The execution was stayed until the Court of Criminal Appeals takes further action.
Staley’s case presents a unique question for the courts. His lawyers argue that it is unethical and unconstitutional for the state to forcibly medicate Staley so that he can be executed. Prosecutors in Tarrant County, though, argue that Staley’s treatment is in his “best medical interests,” not solely so that he can be executed, and that his condition has improved over the years.
While the rest of us wait for the courts to rule on Staley’s mental condition, Ms. Grissom has already gone ahead and given us her expert medical diagnosis. Though there is one angle of Staley’s mental state that Grissom fails to report on (because it would undermine her anti-DP narrative) — and that is “What was Staley’s mental condition at the time he murdered Read?”
As N2L noted in a comment on the original post:
To me, the fact that he was competent to be executed at the time the crime was committed is what matters, not after he has had 19 years of sitting in a cell contemplating his crimes.
So the asshole is now completely nutz?
Since there are no material facts that alter the jury verdict, his mental condition shouldn’t even be considered.
Let’s put him out of our misery.
Did sitting on death row for 21 years drive Staley crazy? Maybe. Hell, I hope the isolation, the small cell, and the guilt of his crimes did drive him insane. Do I care about his mental state today? Not even a little bit.
He deserves the penalty for the crime he committed, and that is death.
However, if he is reprieved from his death sentence because, as Brandi and Staley’s defense team contend, the “powerful anti-psychotic drugs” that the prison administers to him to allegedly keep him sane should no longer be administered. Let him live out the rest of his pathetic life in prison in a permanent state of insanity.