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Court: Death Row Inmate Can’t Be Forcibly Drugged

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File photo of a gavel. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

File photo of a gavel. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (AP) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that a convicted killer with a history of mental illness cannot be forcibly medicated for the purpose of making him competent for execution.

The court ruled Wednesday in favor of 51-year-old death row inmate Steven Staley, who was convicted for the 1989 shooting death of a Fort Worth restaurant manager during a botched robbery.

The same court in May 2012 granted a reprieve for Staley two days before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection.

Prosecutors have argued Staley is competent for execution, but his attorneys have countered that this was accomplished only because a state judge in Fort Worth improperly ordered Staley be given drugs to make him competent so the state of Texas could kill him.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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