United Nations calls on Gov. McAuliffe to halt William Morva's execution

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Morva's death sentence, for killing an unarmed security guard and a sheriff's deputy in a 2006 escape from custody, has triggered renewed debate about capital punishment for the mentally ill.

The execution is scheduled for 9 p.m. Thursday. "I have sent me own letter to the Governor showing my support for clemency", she told a group of reporters.

Two UN human rights experts have urged [UN report] Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe [official website] to halt the planned execution of a man with psychological disabilities.

"Mr. Morva's petition for clemency states that he suffers from a delusional disorder that rendered him unable to understand the consequences of his actions". After extensive review and deliberation, I do not find sufficient cause in Mr. Morva's petition or case records to justify overturning the will of the jury that convicted and sentenced him.

Morva was sentenced to death for killing two men in 2006. The next day, Mr. Morva murdered Corporal Sutphin by shooting him in the back of the head.

"I have no hatred for this creature who shot him execution-style".

"I am against the death penalty for religious and moral reasons", Rachel Sutphin wrote in a statement obtained by NBC News.

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But the deputy's mother said she does not want Morva's life to be spared. "I have fought and will continue to fight for clemency for all death row inmates until Virginia declares the death penalty unconstitutional", she said. The clemency campaign has attracted local and worldwide supporters who say the jury that sentenced Morva to death was not informed of his severe mental illness.

But the slain deputy's mother, Jeaneen Sutphin, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that she hoped the execution would go ahead.

It is not known when McAuliffe, who had been on a trade mission in Europe until last Friday, will reach a decision Thursday.

A court-appointed psychiatrist diagnosed Mr. Morva with delusional disorder in 2014, and noted that his crimes may have been committed as a result of the delusions he was experiencing.

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".

"I personally oppose the death penalty; however, I took an oath to uphold the laws of this Commonwealth regardless of my personal views of those laws, as long as they are being fairly and justly applied".

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