Here is one the might have slipped through the media cracks. This week, a Florida judge has come to the conclusion that convicted murderer John Ferguson can be put to death. What makes this case stand out is that Ferguson, unlike most convicts, believes that he is the second coming of Jesus and will be God’s right-hand man in the next life. And somehow, Florida judge Peter Grant thinks this is a totally normal Christian belief. From The Guardian:
It is safe to say that one of two things is happening here. First (and most probable) is that somebody — whose name rhymes with Feter Pant — wants this criminal dead and by golly, he’s gonna get him. Or second, the public at large has completely lost any grip on Christian doctrine and a guy claiming to be Jesus is mistaken for basic orthodoxy.
Astoundingly, the judge goes on to say that the prisoner’s “grandiose delusion” of himself as being akin to Jesus at the point of his resurrection is in fact “relatively normal Christian belief.” He writes: “There is no evidence that Ferguson’s belief as to his role in the world and what may happen to him in the afterlife is so significantly different from beliefs other Christians may hold so as to consider it a sign of insanity.”
Whatever the case, a man who is clearly schizophrenic is being put to death against the law and Christian doctrine is being publicly mistaken for clear schizophrenia.