Va. Gov. Halts Execution, Commutes Death Sentence
Percy Levar Walton was scheduled for execution tomorrow. Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine today commuted his sentence to life without parole.
Walton has a history of mental isslness that has gotten progressively worse while in prison. Kaine determined Walton is mentally incompetent, not fully aware of the punishment he is about to suffer and why he is to suffer it. While Kaine issued temporary stays for Walton in the past, today he issued his final decision and commuted the sentence.
Gov. Kaine's statement is here.
"After reviewing the information, I was compelled to conclude that Walton was seriously mentally impaired and that he met the Supreme Court's definition of mental incompetence. Because one could not reasonably conclude that Walton was fully aware of the punishment he was about to suffer and why he was to suffer it, I decided that his execution could not proceed at that time.
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