Governor Tim Kaine has delayed the execution of a triple killer set to die tonight.
Kaine’s decision comes just over an hour before 27-year-old Percy Walton is scheduled to die by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center.
The governor delayed the execution for six months to allow for more mental evaluation to determine competence. Walton had originally requested that Kaine grant him clemency.
Walton was sentenced to death for the 1996 murders in Danville of Jessie and Elizabeth Kendrick, a couple in their 80s, and 33-year-old Archie Moore. His attorneys claim he is insane and mentally retarded.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to stay the execution.
The Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional to execute the insane and mentally retarded, but left definitions up to the states.
Walton’s attorneys argue their client is suffering from schizophrenia and is incapable of understanding the concept of death. In a clemency petition to the governor, they also argue that Walton is mentally retarded.
Read Governor Tim Kaine’s full statement below: