MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in the case of a mass murderer John Errol Ferguson.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit said Friday that it will hear the arguments in Ferguson’s case on Nov. 29.
He was slated to die by lethal injection in October at the Florida State Prison in Starke. An Atlanta-based federal appeals court blocked the scheduled execution. Then, the Florida Attorney General’s Office appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the stay of execution.
Over recent days, federal judges in Florida, Georgia and Washington have wrestled with the appeals of Ferguson’s lawyers.
The lawyers claim Ferguson suffers from mental illness so severe that he isn’t competent and shouldn’t be eligible for the death penalty. The 64-year-old Ferguson is a paranoid schizophrenic.
Ferguson was convicted of shooting eight bound and blindfolded people execution-style in South Florida in 1977, then killing a teenage couple months later in 1978 after they left a church event.