John Errol Ferguson is a monster. Between 1977 and 1978, he killed eight people around Miami-Dade in a vicious, cold blooded robbery and murder spree. But Ferguson is also severely mentally ill. He truly believes he is the "Prince of God." He thinks the state wants to execute him because he can "control the sun."
Despite his diagnosed schizophrenia -- and the fact that state courts used a test since rejected by the Supreme Court -- Florida is set to kill Ferguson at 6 p.m. today.
Ferguson has been on death row for 34 years now as his lawyers have argued that he's too mentally ill to understand his crimes or his capital sentence. His latest stay of execution came ten months ago.
The evidence that Ferguson is bat-shit crazy is just as strong as the proof that he went on a two-year killing spree around Miami.
The killings started in 1977, when Ferguson executed six people during a Carol City home invasion robbery, then the worst mass killing in Dade history. The next year, he robbed a teenage couple from Hialeah, shot 17-year-old Brian Glenfeldt and then raped and killed his gilfriend, 17-year-old Belinda Worley.
As Fred Grimm reported in the Herald last year, Ferguson was only out on the streets able to rape and murder because of the state's failure to keep him locked up and treated for his dangerously unstable conditions. He'd been diagnosed more than 40 times with serious mental problems, with one state doctor writing, " This man is dangerous and cannot be released under any circumstances."
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Today, the state will atone for that mistake by executing him, thanks to a ludicrous lower court ruling that just because "most people would characterize Ferguson's Prince-of-God belief, in the vernacular, as 'crazy' does not mean that someone who holds that belief is not competent to be executed."
The pending execution earned a New York Times editorial yesterday pointing out the un-Constitutional nature of killing someone with such serious mental problems.
Ferguson's lawyers have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.