Governor McAuliffe won't stop execution plan

Governor McAuliffe won't stop execution plan

The mother of deputy Eric E. Sutphin, who was shot and killed by Morva, said she hopes Morva is executed, while Sutphin's daughter is among those asking the governor to spare his life.

More than 34,000 people, along with United Nations human rights experts and the daughter of the slain deputy, have asked McAuliffe to spare Morva's life on grounds that he is severely mentally ill.

"I am against the death penalty for religious and moral reasons", she wrote in an email sent to members of the media on Wednesday. "I have fought and will continue to fight for clemency for all death row inmates until Virginia declares the death penalty unconstitutional", she said.

Morva's execution is set for 9 p.m. Thursday.

He received his death sentence in a 2008 trial.

Before he was captured near Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus a day later, Morva shot Sheriff's Deputy Eric Sutphin in the back of the head. "I just want justice for my son", Sutphin told The Roanoke Times on Wednesday.

"There is no question that, in a carefully orchestrated effort to escape custody while awaiting trial for burglary, robbery and firearms charges, Mr. Morva brutally attacked a deputy sheriff, stole his firearm and used it to murder Mr. McFarland, who was unarmed and had his hands raised as he was shot in the face from a distance of two feet".

Morva's lawyers have argued that he suffers from delusional disorder, an illness akin to schizophrenia. Morva's attorneys say jurors weren't informed that his crimes were the result of a severe mental illness that prevents him from distinguishing between delusions and reality.

Two United Nations human rights experts have urged the USA state of Virginia to cancel the planned execution on Thursday of a man with psychosocial disability.

"We are concerned at Mr. Morva's deteriorating psychosocial condition".

Others have written McAuliffe on Morva's behalf, including local politicians and even global diplomats (Morva has dual citizenship with both the United States and Hungary).

McAuliffe, a Catholic who said he personally opposes the death penalty, but is obliged to uphold the law as governor, commuted the execution of Ivan Teleguz to life in prison.

McAuliffe said Thursday that he would not be swayed by the views of others.

Morva's attorney, Dawn Davidson said, "The UN has added its voice to the more than 34,000 people who have pleaded with Governor McAuliffe to stop this senseless execution".

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