Court Deems Killer Not Competent For Execution

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Pennsylvania's highest court has ruled that mass killer George Banks is mentally incompetent to be executed.

The state Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Wednesday on Banks, who killed 13 people with a semiautomatic rifle in northeastern Pennsylvania nearly 30 years ago. The victims included five of his own children.

Banks was convicted and has been on death row since the shootings near Wilkes-Barre in 1982.

In 2004, then-Gov. Ed Rendell signed a death warrant for Banks but the execution was stayed after Banks' mother filed a petition asserting that it would violate the U.S. Constitution.

In the latest ruling, the justices said testimony by medical experts at a competency hearing last year established that Banks suffers from severe mental illness and is delusional about his crimes and punishment.

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