Alabama Executes Mentally Ill ManBy: Tanya Rice - July 26, 2013
“Come sit down and let me pray for you” were the last words spoken by Charlie Newman an 80 year old World War II veteran. He was speaking to a close friend of his grandson who was attempting to rob him. Andrew Lackey was looking for gold and the robbery attempt ended in murder with Newman being beaten and shot to death on Halloween 2005.
According to court records Newman’s grandson had mentioned to Andrew Lackey that his grandfather owned a “vault filled with gold bars”. On the recordings you can hear Lackey demanding the location of the gold bars.
Andrew Lackey a 29 year old was put to death on July 25 at Alabama’s Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama. This was the state’s first lethal injection since 2011.
Controversy was sparked as to Lackey’s mental stability. Alabama’s prison doctors were treating Lackey with multiple psychotropic medications and his mental illness is reportedly longstanding. At his trial his mother testified that he “lives in Andrew Land” and that she knew that “something was wrong with him” since he was in infant. Lackey attempted suicide and failed. He then appealed to the State of Alabama to execute him.
A Montgomery-based prisoners’ rights group, The Equal Justice Initiative argued the Lackey was mentally ill and issued a statement before the execution. The prisoner’s rights group attempted to stop the execution by going to the court. Their opinion was that the judge should have properly evaluated Lackey’s mental capacity before allowing him to waive his appeals which he had not exhausted. The appeals court upheld the judge’s ruling. Bryan Stevenson, the Equal Justice Initiative’s director, said on Thursday that a family member had intervened on Lackey’s behalf to expedite the execution.