A man who killed his mother and buried her body in her backyard was executed Wednesday in Texas despite his lawyers’ appeals that he should not be put to death because he had a history of mental illness, the AP reports. Tracy Beatty, 61, received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was pronounced dead at 6:39pm CST after a fatal dose of pentobarbital began flowing through needles inserted into veins in his wrists. He was condemned for strangling his mother, Carolyn Click, after they argued in her East Texas home in November 2003. Authorities said Beatty had buried his 62-year-old mother’s body beside her mobile home in Whitehouse, about 115 miles southeast of Dallas, and then spent her money on drugs and alcohol.
Immediately before the procedure started, a prison chaplain placed his right hand on Beatty's chest and said a brief prayer. Then asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Beatty, who was strapped to the death chamber gurney, choked up and sobbed as he began speaking to his wife who was looking through a window a few feet from him. “I just want to thank ...” he said, his voice breaking. “I don't want to leave you, baby. See you when you get there. I love you.” He mouthed a kiss to her. Beatty, who had a long white beard and long gray-white hair, also offered thanks to fellow death row inmates and named several of them. “I love you, brothers. See you on the other side.” As the powerful sedative took effect, Beatty took two deep breaths, mumbled something unintelligible, and began snoring.
Seventeen minutes later a physician pronounced him dead. The US Supreme Court on Wednesday morning declined an appeal from Beatty’s lawyers to halt the execution. In their Supreme Court petition, Beatty’s lawyers said one expert who examined the inmate determined that he was “clearly psychotic and has a complex paranoid delusional belief system” and that he lives in a “complex delusional world” where he believes there is a “vast conspiracy of correctional officers who ... ‘torture’ him via a device in his ear so he can hear their menacing voices.” While the high court has prohibited the death penalty for individuals who are intellectually disabled, it has not barred such punishment for those with serious mental illness.
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