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Mental Health Experts Urge KY Supreme Court to Consider

Death 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 advocates.

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."

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Catholic Conference of Kentucky

1042 Burlington Lane

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

502-875-4345 502-875-2841 Fax cckstaffATccky.org

Last modified: October, 2010