|Roman Colosseum lit to protest an execution|
Mississippi is notorious for appointing unqualified attorneys to represent capital defendants at trial and on appeal, and for failing to provide them with adequate funding. Mitchell's case was no different. His long history of mental illness was not investigated by either his trial lawyer or his post-conviction lawyer. At no time did his counsel try to establish his "intellectual disability" despite the availability of such evidence. The Mississippi state courts subsequently rejected requests for a hearing -- or even funding for an expert -- to prove that he indeed suffered from an "intellectual disability."
This is the eleventh execution in the United States in 2012, the third in Mississippi, and the second in Mississippi this week.