Remember bell bottom jeans and love beads? Many here won't. Kent and I do. So does John Errol Ferguson, a spree killer who did it because he enjoyed it. He killed at least eight people in 1977 and 1978. No sane person doubts his guilt.
For 34 years, that's T-H-I-R-T-Y F-O-U-R, he's been gaming the system. He gamed it again this week. This time, he has discovered that he's crazy. Or so his lawyer says. Of course his lawyer knows there will be no consequences if he's lying about it, because "I'm just trying to keep the state from killing my client," have become the magic words that insulate capital defense lawyers from the normal requirements of honest behavior.
On Monday, a federal district court granted a stay. Earlier today, it was dissolved by a panel of the Eleventh Circuit. It's now back on again, apparently because of the Circuit's en banc vote. The state of Florida says it's going to the Supreme Court. The story is here.
What can I say? A system incapable of executing an unquestionably guilty, sadistic mass killer after more than three decades of every dragged-out procedural dipsy-doodle on the face of the planet makes a mockery of victims, itself, and the rule of law.
UPDATE: I see that Kent had a part of the story before I got to it. What we now know, I think, is that defense counsel must have started the ball rolling all over again. Last I looked, the Eleventh Circuit does not reverse the Supreme Court in the same lawsuit.
[Editor's Note: See also follow-up post here. -- KS]