Mental Health Experts Urge KY Supreme Court to Consider
Row Inmate’s Illness and Grant New Trial
Frankfort, KY (April 18, 2001) – Mental health professionals and
citizen advocates for the mentally ill will release a statement urging Kentucky’s
Supreme Court to consider evidence of the severe mental illness of death row
inmate, Eugene Thompson and grant him a new trial.
A spokesperson for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) – KY
Chapter, Jim Dailey, will release a resolution calling on the Supreme Court to
grant a new trial in the case of Eugene Thompson. Mr. Dailey stated, "The
case of Eugene Thompson is a mental health tragedy and he deserves a competency
hearing. Persons suffering from mental illness must be provided with appropriate
treatment and care, not simply incarceration." The NAMI resolution has been
signed by more than twenty mental health professional associations and citizen
Mr. Dailey and Ms. Chiles will be present in front of the Kentucky Supreme
Court chamber on the second floor of the State Capitol at 10:00 A.M. on
Thursday April 19, 2001 to release the resolution and speak with the media.
The defendant, Eugene Thompson, is presently on Kentucky’s death row for
the 1986 murder of Department of Corrections Officer Fred Cash, a prison guard
at the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex, a medium-security facility in Lyon
County. Mr. Thompson has been diagnosed as suffering from brain injury, a low IQ
(86), genetic antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder,
and paranoid delusional disorder.
Jane Chiles, Executive Director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky
stated, "Justice will only truly be served when persons like Mr. Thompson
who suffer from severe mental illness receive proper treatment." She also
stated that in the 2000 General Assembly law makers passed legislation
recognizing the parity of mental health issues as significant as physical health
conditions. She noted, "As a matter of public policy, it would be
inconsistent if the Judiciary branch fails to recognize the precedent
established by the General Assembly in the 2000 session."