Staley's Fourth Execution Date Approaches
A paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis could disqualify him
After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to agree to a last-minute stay of execution for Beunka Adams, the 29-year-old became the 482nd person executed in Texas since reinstatement of the death penalty (see "One Slated, One Stayed," April 27). The state has its 483rd scheduled for next week, when it intends to put to death Steven Staley. But whether Staley will actually be executed is, at press time, unclear; his three previous dates with death have been stayed in order to determine whether he is sane enough for execution. Staley was convicted of the 1989 robbery with two accomplices of a Fort Worth Steak & Ale restaurant and the kidnap and murder of the restaurant's general manager, 35-year-old Robert Dorsey Read. Reportedly, Staley suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and has declined to take stabilizing meds because he believes they are poison; at one point a state judge ordered him to be forcibly given the medication, but that was later stopped. If it's determined Staley can comprehend the reason for his execution, the state can go through with the lethal injection scheduled for next Wednesday evening.