Category Archives: Mental Illness

An Ex-Marine Killed Two People in Cold Blood. Should His PTSD Keep Him From Death Row?

“. . . Thuesen, a 25-year-old former Marine reservist, called 911 and almost immediately expressed remorse. When he was arrested, he repeatedly asked the police about the victims and tried to explain why he’d kept shooting Rachel and her brother: “I felt like I was in like a mode … like training or a game or something.”     Read the article: Mother Jones

Should Veterans With PTSD Be Exempt From the Death Penalty?

On January 12, 1998, Andrew Brannan was driving his truck at 98 miles an hour on a country road near his Dublin, Georgia, home when he was pulled over by Deputy Kyle Dinkheller. Brannan . . . shouted profanities and danced around, yelling, “Here I am, here I am … [s]hoot me.” He then attacked the deputy and a gunfight ensued, in which Brannan shot Dinkheller nine times with a rifle. . . . Every doctor who had examined Andrew confirmed that he was suffering for years before the crime from significant PTSD . . .

Before he made headlines as a convicted murderer, Brannan was a decorated combat veteran . . .  and was awarded the Bronze Star and two Army Commendation medals for outstanding service. . . .  On January 13, he became the first person executed in 2015.
Read Julia Filip’s article: The Atlantic

Veterans with PTSD on Death Row

On Tuesday night, Georgia executed Vietnam War veteran Andrew Brannan for murdering Sheriff Deputy Kyle Dinkheller in January 1998. . . . Brannan was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 1984 and, later, bipolar disorder. His defense team invoked his diagnoses in an attempt to avoid the death penalty. In 1986, the Supreme Court outlawed the execution of the mentally ill.  Read the article at the New Republic

Mental Illness and the Death Penalty

by Sarah Swig for

“Today, at 6pm, the State of Florida is scheduled to kill my brother, Thomas Provenzano, despite clear evidence that he is mentally ill…. By no means do I suggest my brother go free. By all means justice should be done. But I have to wonder: Where is the justice in killing a sick human being?” — Sister of death row inmate, June 2000

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