Lawyer: John Errol Ferguson is ill, shouldn't be executed

5:01 PM, Aug 3, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida (AP) - A lawyer for a mass murderer who is scheduled to die by lethal injection is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the execution because of his client's history of mental illness.

John Errol Ferguson is set for execution at the Florida State Prison on Monday.

Lawyer Christopher Handman says at least nine state psychiatrists have ruled over the years that Ferguson is mentally ill. Most of those evaluations came when Ferguson was in a state mental hospital in the 1970s.

The 65-year-old Ferguson was convicted of killing eight people in South Florida in two separate incidents.

Gov. Rick Scott initially signed Ferguson's death warrant last fall, scheduling him to die Oct. 16. But appeals at the state and federal level kept the execution from moving forward.

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