UN urges Gov. McAuliffe to halt inmate’s execution


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) — The United Nations is asking Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt the planned execution of William Morva, a man convicted of killing two people during an escape in 2006.

“We are deeply concerned about information we have received indicating that Mr. Morva’s original trial did not meet fair trial safeguards, which include reasonable accommodation in all stages of the process, and may, therefore, have breached international standards,” recalled the UN Special Rapporteurs on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, and on right to health, Dainius Pūras.

Related: Case raises questions of fairness in executing mentally ill 

“We are concerned at Mr. Morva’s deteriorating psychosocial condition. The denial of reasonable accommodation in detention can be considered a form of discrimination against him because of his mental health condition,” stressed the UN human rights experts. “We urge the authorities to annul the death sentence against Mr. Morva and to re-try him in compliance with international standards related to due process and fair trial.”

William Morva’s attorneys said on June 20 that they have filed a clemency petition urging the Democratic governor to stop the man’s execution. His attorneys say jurors didn’t know that Morva suffers from a severe mental illness that they say led to his crimes. They asked McAuliffe to commute his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Morva was in Montgomery County Jail, awaiting trial when he overpowered a deputy sheriff during a trip to the hospital. Authorities say he used the deputy’s pistol to fatally shoot an unarmed security guard and killed another deputy during a manhunt the next day.

He execution date is scheduled for July 6.

Copyright 2017 WRIC/AP. All rights reserved.

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