Court Rules Miami-Dade Mass Murderer Competent, Can Be Executed

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A federal appeals court has ruled that a Miami-Dade mass murderer is mentally competent to be executed.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a 65-page ruling that upheld a determination by the Florida Supreme Court that John Ferguson, 65, could be executed.

The appeal centered on whether Ferguson, who has been diagnosed in the past as a paranoid schizophrenic and has said he believes he is the “Prince of God,” is competent to be executed.

“That most people would characterize Ferguson’s Prince-of-God belief, in the vernacular, as ‘crazy’ does not mean that someone who holds this belief is not competent to be executed,” according to the appeals court ruling.

Ferguson was convicted of killing eight people in South Florida. Six people died in a drug related, execution-style mass killing in Carol City in 1977. Six months later, Ferguson abducted and killed two Hialeah teenagers who had left a Youth for Christ meeting in Hialeah.

Last year Gov. Rick Scott signed a death warrant for Ferguson.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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