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Florida Justices Deny Death Row Inmate’s Appeal

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South Florida Crime

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — This month’s execution of a convicted murderer will continue as planned after the Florida Supreme Court ruled  that a judge properly denied a mental competency hearing.

The justices unanimously denied the appeal Monday from 64-year-old John Errol Ferguson, a convicted mass killer scheduled for execution on Oct. 16th.

Circuit Judge Nushin Sayfie of Miami acknowledged Ferguson “undoubtedly suffers from mental illness” but ruled he waited too long to ask for a clemency hearing.

The high court agreed in an unsigned opinion.

It rejected other issues raised by Ferguson’s lawyers after finding they, too, were untimely filed.

Ferguson was convicted of killing six people in a 1977 drug-related, execution-style mass killing in Carol City. He also was convicted of killing two Hialeah teenagers on their way to a church meeting in 1978.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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