True, and this is why the question has to be resolved case by case. I don’t think one can write a general rule to cover the issue.
This is more than a mental health ‘problem’, he was hospitalised a dozen times in the decade leading up to the murders.
True again, but that doesn’t cover what has been going on since his trial.Panetti sought appellate review in the Texas courts, as well as state habeas relief. All these efforts were fruitless. The U.S. Supreme Court twice declined to review Panetti’s case. Panetti then filed a federal habeas petition, which was denied, and that denial was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court again declined to review the case.
*Once these federal habeas proceedings had ended, the state trial judge, Steven Ables, set an execution date of February 5, 2004. At this point, Panetti claimed that he was incompetent to be executed. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Panetti’s appeal, and Panetti filed another federal habeas petition. On February 4, 2004, the federal district court stayed Panetti’s execution in order to allow the state courts to adjudicate Panetti’s claim of mental incompetence. The state trial court, in turn, appointed two mental health experts to evaluate Panetti. Lawyers defending Panetti were given a one week notice to also acquire mental health experts to also evaluate Panetti. Both of the experts for the state concluded that Panetti was malingering in order to avoid execution. Panetti responded by arguing that the trial court’s procedures did not comply with the procedures set forth in Ford v. Wainwright. ** The state trial court responded by closing the case, ruling that Panetti did not show he was incompetent to be executed. *He did not appeal to either the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.
*Instead, he returned to federal court, where another hearing was held. After the hearing the district court concluded that the state courts had not complied with the procedural requirements of Ford. Nevertheless, it denied relief because, under Fifth Circuit precedent, it was enough that Panetti know simply that he was about to be executed and the “factual predicate” for the execution. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the denial of Panetti’s habeas petition, and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the case. *(Wikipedia)
Given that a court addressed the specific question of his competency, suggestions that he should not be executed because the public, on the basis of pretty much nothing at all, deems him incompetent seems misguided.