A convicted mass murderer who thinks he's the "Prince of God" is set to be executed at 6 p.m. tonight after 34 years on death row.
John Ferguson, 64, was convicted of killing eight people between 1977 and 1978 in South Florida, and he was suspected of killing more. Lawyers for the paranoid schizophrenic say he's mentally incompetent and should not be put to death by lethal injection, but Ferguson's fate was sealed Monday when appeals court lifted a last-minute stay.
His attorneys are still fighting to keep him alive, arguing that a man who believes he is the "Prince of God" and that's he's the victim of a communist plot isn't competent to identify the consequences of his actions.
Lawyers believe this was a cruel and unusual punishment and have wrangled with the court system over his death sentence, reports Daily Mail.
Chris Handman, one of Ferguson's lawyers, told the Miami Herald that he's "hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse this decision because there is no evidence that Mr. Ferguson has a rational understanding of the reason for, and effect of, his execution." A panel of psychiatrists, appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, testified that Ferguson is competent to be executed despite his paranoid schizophrenia.
In 1978, Ferguson's victims were 17-year-old Belinda Worley and her boyfriend, who were on their way to an ice cream shop. Ferguson, 21 at the time, stole an officer's gun, shot Belinda's boyfriend in the head and then chased the young woman, raped and shot her in the head four times. In 1977, Ferguson allegedly found an elderly couple, murdered them and tied them to their motel bed — but he was never convicted of that crime.
Belinda's brother, Micheal Worley, is relieved that Ferguson will finally be executed and only wishes that his parents were alive to see the victory, he told the Daily Mail:
'Outrageous is the fact that for 34 years, our tax dollars have been keeping Ferguson alive. Free food, medical care and the ability to communicate with his loved ones and lawyers. My sister was brutally killed at the age of 17. Her murder shattered our entire family. Life was never the same.'