Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Legislation Improves Mental Health Services For Mentally Ill Prisoners

19 Nov 2007

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) applauds recent Congressional efforts to acknowledge and improve treatment for the large number of people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders who are currently incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons.

According to a 2006 report by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), entitled "Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates," more than half of the population incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails - including 56 percent of state prisoners, 45 percent of federal prisoners and 64 percent of local jail inmates - were found to have a mental illness. Many of these inmates suffer from treatable disorders such as major depression, bipolar disorder and substance use disorder.

On November 13, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 347 to 62, the Second Chance Act, legislation sponsored by Congressman Danny Davis (D-Ill.). The legislation would provide transitional assistance to ex-offenders in an effort to reduce recidivism. Additionally, the legislation would extend and provide a full continuum of care for treatment of substance use disorders. The legislation also seeks to improve mental health screening and treatment and provides grants for family treatment programs. In August, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved similar legislation, sponsored by Senator Joseph Biden, Jr. (D-Del.).

The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act (H.R. 3992 and S. 2304) aims to improve services for mentally ill prisoners by reauthorizing and boosting funding for a grant program that provides treatment for inmates and training for law enforcement officers who treat them. The House bill is sponsored by Representative Robert Scott (D•Va.) and the Senate bill is sponsored by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Pete Domenici (R-N.M.). On November 7, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 3992, which will now head to the full House for a vote. On November 5, the Senate introduced S. 2304.

In response to the legislative actions, the APA issued the following statement:

"It is a national tragedy that jails and prisons have become the primary mental health care facilities in the United States today.

"People with mental illness, left untreated, can develop symptoms and behaviors that lead to their arrest and incarceration. Mental health and substance use disorder treatment in appropriate settings is often the answer, and adequate funding for such treatment is urgently needed.

"Ending the 'criminalization of the mentally ill' and the inappropriate incarceration of persons with mental illness could prevent unnecessary building of correctional facilities and make room for violent and repeat offenders.

"Providing more adequate funding and cooperative programs between mental health care professionals and correctional agencies is a step in the right direction. Providing these cooperative resources could, in the end, help improve overall public safety."

"We applaud the bi-partisan action taken by both the House and Senate. If enacted, the legislation would represent significant steps forward in improving access to mental health services and substance abuse treatment programs in the United States for those incarcerated within the prison system."

About the American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose more than 38,000 physician members specialize in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at and

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Main News Category: Mental Health

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Psychiatric overhaul urged

Gov. Charlie Crist and the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court called for a major overhaul of the state's mental health system on Wednesday to better address the needs of the severely mentally ill.

Crist and Chief Justice Fred Lewis released a 170-page report that lays out an ambitious plan to help the mentally ill who end up in jails and prisons because they haven't received the treatment they need.

Florida leaders say it's time to change the system to ensure that the mentally ill get the help they need before they get in trouble with the law and wind up incarcerated. Not only will it help the troubled, it will save money and better protect the public.

The report, sponsored by the Supreme Court, envisions using money now spent on mental health treatment for prisoners deemed incompetent to stand trial. Instead, those individuals would be targeted for intensive community-based mental health treatment before they get arrested.

Money for the project would also come from Medicaid, which doesn't cover people in institutions but can pay for treatment before they're institutionalized.

"What we're doing is focusing on this very small group of people who are costing the state a ton of money and are recycling through the criminal justice system," said Miami-Dade County Judge Steven Leifman, chairman of the Supreme Court's mental health subcommittee. "About 80 percent of those people can live comfortably and safely in the community."

Leifman said the project will need about $20-million in general revenue to get started, but after that, it will be able to sustain itself with Medicaid money and the $48-million now being used for the extra forensic mental health beds that he says will no longer be needed.

"You need to have the money up front to develop a system of care for them to move them into the community," he said. "We have people in there on third-degree felonies that don't have to be there."

Leifman said the plan eventually will save money. The state currently spends $250-million per year on 1,700 beds for mentally ill inmates. At this rate, the state will be spending $500-million per year by 2015.

That money is designed to restore competency to inmates so they can be tried for their crimes and then sent to jail or prison, where they continue to cost the state money.

Leifman said treating mentally sick people earlier will prevent them from becoming high-cost inmates.

Leifman led a subcommittee that studied the state's mental health system after the state Department of Children and Families found itself overburdened with the mentally ill. It got to the point the agency couldn't get inmates into treatment beds within the 15 days required by state law. In some cases, inmates languished in jails for months, straining jail guards' resources and, in some, cases harming themselves.

Hillsborough County sued the DCF in an effort to get the agency to follow the law.

Pinellas Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell threatened to fine and even jail then-DCF Secretary Lucy Hadi if she didn't follow the law.

Eventually the Legislative Budget Commission called a special meeting and allocated nearly $17-million to create more beds and $48-million annually to cover the costs.

But the Supreme Court recognized that wasn't the ultimate solution and directed a mental health subcommittee, led by Leifman, to study the issue and seek solutions.

"It's extremely positive, and it's recognizing the impact mental health issues are having on the criminal justice system," said Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger, who pushed for the DCF to
address the inmate issue last year. "It can be done in a way that eventually saves a ton of money."

But the push to revamp how Florida deals with the mentally ill is coming during one of the worst economic downturns for the state in more than a decade.

Even Chief Justice Lewis acknowledged the challenge of Florida's budget situation on Wednesday. "Today I hope we are going to discuss plans and programs and ideas that may be implemented without creating unrealistic expectations," he said.

Crist had not reviewed all the recommendations included in the report, but said that the budget situation won't keep him from pushing for changes in the mental health system.

"We have some difficult times, but my heart is there," Crist said.

Rep. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican and chairman of the House committee that deals with mental-health legislation, said lawmakers would likely consider the recommendations during the 2008 session. He said that despite bad financial times it was apparent to him that the current "system is broken."

"Even in a bad economic year, it may well be worth the fight," Galvano said.

Times staff writer Chris Tisch contributed to this report.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gassed Behind Closed Doors

Michele Gillen (CBS4) Necessary discipline or cruel and unusual punishment?

A controversial practice regarding the treatment of the mentally ill in Florida's maximum security prisons has some attorneys and mental health experts raising concerns over its use.

"Here they are just gassing him. You can see they are just spraying him in the face," said Miami attorney Leon Fresco. "I would describe it as the eighth amendment does - cruel and unusual punishment."

According to lawyers representing mentally ill prisoners who have been incarcerated in Florida prisons, the state allegedly allows guards to spray inmates suffering from mental illness with chemical agents to "discipline them."

"They call these inmates bugs. They say these inmates are bugs. A bug is a term they use for a crazy person. And they gas them and it's just shocking and it's just something we can't allow it to continue anymore," said Fresco who has been investigating the treatment of the mentally ill behind bars.

"If they see behavior they don't like they gas them, just like you'd gas a bug that you don't like," said Fresco.

"They're acting out because of their mental illness and as a result of that they're being punished, pure and simple," said Randy Berg, co-counsel for Florida Justice Institute. "This certainly by anyone's definition, I think, is torture. This is a practice of the Florida Department of Corrections currently to gas known mentally ill inmates who are acting out by banging on their cells."

Jerome Maxime Thomas of Lauderhill says he prays every day that his son Jeremiah, who has been diagnosed with severe mental illness, will survive his incarceration at Starke Prison and the alleged chemical gassings he has been subjected to over a period of years, despite orders from the medical staff that he was not to be gassed given his severe mental illness.

"My son has told me he should have died many times, but the Lord has kept him alive," said Thomas, "Something must be done, because it's going too far."

Lawyers say Thomas, who was convicted of second degree murder and robbery and is scheduled to be released in 2018, has been gassed with an arsenal of chemical agents including pepper spray and CN gas, which is prohibited in many prisons because of a link to inmate deaths.

"He (Jeremiah) was gassed twice a day, sometimes as many as eight days in a row," said Berg.

After the gas, prisoners are usually asked if they would like a shower to wash the toxic chemicals. The water apparently doesn't always do the trick and some inmates suffer burns.

According to Department of Corrections written instructions guards are only allowed to use one second bursts of a chemical agent, but that rule is reportedly not always followed.

Lawyers for former inmate Curt Massie, who suffered second degree burns across his body, says he was gassed with OC and CN gas for making a funny face at a nurse who failed to give him his anxiety medication. Massie's attorneys say he has second degree burns over more than 60-percent of his body from the procedure.

Massie allegedly was gassed repeatedly in his cell despite pleading with the guards to stop. Records show that one guard admitted that his "use of force report" was altered by adding the words "kicking his cell door" to justify the use of the gas on Massie.

"From a taxpayer standpoint it makes absolutely no sense that we're wasting our resources to gas the guy, make him decompensate, send him to the hospital where we are spending tax dollars to attempt to bring him back to mental competency or stability bring them back and gas them again," said Berg.

Attorneys suing the state over the procedure have been able to obtain videotapes of a handful of gassings. Videotaping gassings was instituted to monitor the use of the chemicals but several wardens prohibited the filming.

"It's certainly inappropriate to use chemical agents for mentally ill people who are acting out solely because of their mental illness," said Berg. "We should be sympathetic to their treatment because they're going to get out. If you treat human beings like animals and literally like rats they're going to be that way when they get released to society so it's in our best interest to treat these people like human beings while they're in there."

Curt Massie was freed from prison last month. Jeremiah Thomas is set to be released in 5 years.

"I hope that someone is listening. I hope that those who are viewing will take account. And will tell themselves we can not allow this to continue," said Thomas.

"I would submit that these people are much worse off than when they went in when we release them," said Berg "and some of these people frighteningly enough get released directly from close management from solitary confinement to the street, that as a citizen frightens me quite frankly. We're making these people more and more angry, more and more mentally ill, and then releasing them directly to the street, it makes no sense."

Given the pending lawsuit against the state, the current secretary of corrections cannot discuss any particular cases involved; however, he met with Michele Gillen to address the overall policy of chemical gassing the mentally ill.

According to James McDonough, Secretary of Corrections, "We do not use chemical agents for punishment. We do not use chemical agents for discipline. We only do it to insure the security and reduction of harm."

"The fact that the videotaping was discontinued in prior administrations a concern to you:" asked Gillen.

"Enough of a concern that we have a policy that says you sure as hell better videotape," said McDonough. "We are seeing the incidents of chemical agents and physical force going down, not slightly but deeply."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Council seeks alternatives in treating the mentally ill

Circuit Judge Janet Ferris remembers a case when a mentally ill man was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.

The man was sleeping on a bench at Florida State University when the officer came up him and told him he was trespassing. The man, thinking the officer was the devil and trying to hurt him, struggled with the officer.

He ended up in jail.

Ferris said she's concerned that many people who are mentally ill, like this man, end up languishing in the Leon County Jail without really getting the treatment they need.

"The county jail has become like a mental-health facility," Ferris said. "And that's hard because it's a jail. It's not a mental-health facility. So I think the idea is to try to move them out of the jail as quickly as possible."

The Criminal Justice Mental Health and Substance Abuse Advisory Council, created in mid-September, met last week to discuss its plans to create a mental health court to make treatment more accessible and effective for people who are mentally ill and to reduce their length of stay in the jail. Similar courts have been created in Miami-Dade, Sarasota and Gainesville.

"The big thing is linking them to services in the community," said Kendra Brown, court mental health coordinator. Such services include housing, transportation, treatment plans and medication.

A mental health court would put all criminal cases that involve mental health issues on the same docket, which would be heard by the same judge trained to deal with these issues, said Merribeth Bohanan, assistant public defender.

Council members say many of the mentally ill who have not received the treatment they need are repeat offenders and they place a strain on resources. This population is rapidly growing in Leon County.

In a report, the council showed that the jail's annual expenditures on mentally ill inmates increased from about $128,000 in 2004 to $162,000 in 2006.

In any given month between 20 and 30 percent of the jail's 1,200 inmates are treated by its mental health staff, said Colleen Meringolo, health services administrator for Prison Health Services, which has a contract with the jail. Their conditions range from depression to schizophrenia.

"We do not charge people for services," Meringolo said. "If they don't have the money, they don't have the money. We still see them."

In October, the jail spent about $16,000 on prescription drugs, she said. Staff members include a licensed psychiatrist, who works 12 hours a week, a licensed clinical social worker who works 40 hours a week and a mental health coordinator, who works 30 hours a week.

The council put together a state grant application, which it submitted Nov. 1. The members won't find out if they will receive any money until early next year, but they plan to move forward with the mental health court proposal with or without the money.

In order to establish the mental health court, the council will need Chief Judge Charles Francis to sign an administrative order.

Ferris said the mental health court would be similar to the drug court model in that it would put more of an emphasis on treatment.

"We're trying to lead them to sobriety as opposed to just punishment," she said.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A sick system: Reform Florida's treatment of mental illness

State prisons and county jails throughout Florida are filled with people who suffer from mental illnesses.

That says as much about the condition of our society as it does the inmates.

"On any given day in Florida, there are approximately 16,000 prison inmates, 15,000 local jail detainees and 40,000 individuals under correctional supervision in the community who experience serious mental illness," according to a state report issued Wednesday.

Those troubling statistics were compiled in a report by a legislative Mental Health Subcommittee that recommends substantial changes in the treatment of mentally ill Floridians, especially those accused of crimes. Indeed, radical reform is needed.

The Florida Supreme Court called for the report. As a result, the subcommittee produced a 180-page document that exposes ineffective and outdated systems, treatments and practices.

"The first state psychiatric hospitals were opened in the United States during the 1800s, and were intended to serve as more appropriate and compassionate alternatives to the neglect and abuse of incarceration" that befell the mentally ill, according to the report's executive summary.

Asylums became crowded, lacked staff and "turned into houses of horrors."

By the mid-1900s, a half-million people were held in such places. A belief emerged "that people with serious mental illnesses could be treated more effectively and humanely in the community."

There was some logic in that belief. But mental hospitals released thousands of people and "unfortunately," the subcommittee report says, "there was no organized or adequate network of community mental health centers to receive and absorb these newly displaced individuals."

Promises of sustained increases in community-based funding evaporated. With limited options available, mentally ill men, women and juveniles struggle to cope. Inappropriate behavior, homelessness, substance abuse and minor crimes often lead to arrest and incarceration. Now, the report says, "jails and prisons once again function as de facto mental health institutions for people with severe and disabling mental illnesses. In two centuries, we have come full circle, and today our jails are once again psychiatric warehouses."

The report calls for Florida to develop a system that effectively and humanely treats mentally ill people for their illnesses and prevents them from getting stuck in costly, dangerous jails. Taking these steps won't be easy or inexpensive but they are the right steps to take

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mentally Ill Prisoner Could Be Executed

Insanity On Death Row

Nov. 11, 2007
(CBS) When it comes to prisoners on death row who are insane, the law is very clear: you cannot execute them. The Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional and deemed it "cruel and unusual punishment."

But can medication make a prisoner sane enough to be executed? That question is being asked in the case of convicted killer Greg Thompson.

As correspondent Lara Logan reports, Thompson was originally found competent to stand trial, but prison doctors have concluded he is mentally ill and they give him medication every day.

Thompson's lawyers argue that he is still insane on the medication, which he was taking the day 60 Minutes met with him.


Thompson told Logan he had to stab his food to eat it. "Especially eggs. They be popping up," he said. "Hit me in the face. You got to stab it. And then you gotta eat it quick. Real quick."

60 Minutes met Thompson inside a maximum security prison in Nashville.

He has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and psychotic by both prison doctors and those hired by his lawyers. And he has been medicated by the state for most of his 22 years on death row. Thompson receives a daily cocktail of anti-psychotic mood-stabilizing pills, and injections twice a month.

Asked if he knows why he's getting medication, Thompson told Logan, "Yeah, I’m nuts."

He says he only takes 10 pills a day now.

"What happens if you don’t take them?" Logan asked.

"I go lulu," Thompson replied.

"Tell me what going lulu is for you," Logan asked.

"In a few days I would like lose my mind and it would be trying to explode on me," he replied. "I got in a fight with the guards a lot of times, you know. Tried to kill a few."

"Did you kill any of them?" Logan asked.

"No," Thompson said. "But at the time they was turning into insects. And I wanted to kill them."

"The guards were turning into insects?" Logan asked.

"Yeah, they were giant insects," Thompson said. "They was acting just like the guards, but they were aliens. And I had to kill the aliens. They were attacking the world."

A psychologist who has been evaluating Thompson for nine years says he sees, hears and smells things that aren’t there, and suffers from extreme paranoid delusions and hallucinations.

But when Thompson was put on trial for murder 22 years ago, his lawyers did not raise insanity as a defense. He confessed, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing Brenda Lane. She was 28 years old, well-liked in her community and she had been married just a few months.

The facts of what happened on New Year's Day in 1985 have never been in dispute. Thompson and his girlfriend, a juvenile, wanted to get from Tennessee to Georgia, so they kidnapped Brenda Lane, stole her car and then drove around for an hour and a half on remote country roads, as Thompson searched for a place to kill her.

They stopped along a rural country road near a field. Thompson then stabbed Brenda four times in the back and drove off, leaving her to die alone in the cold and the dark.

"I thought I had to kill to survive," Thompson told Logan.

Thompson told 60 Minutes he heard voices in his head that night.

"You thought people were after you," Logan remarked.

"Yes," he replied.

And then in chilling detail, he described exactly how he killed Brenda Lane.

"She got into the front seat driver's seat. And I had the knife on her. And I sat in the back seat. And…," Thompson said.

"You jumped in the car and pulled a knife on her?" Logan asked.

"Yeah. Uh-huh," Thompson acknowledged. "Knife was already out. It was a butcher knife."

"She must have been scared," Logan remarked.

"Yeah, she was crying," Thompson said.

"She was terrified for her life," Logan said.

"I know. I know," Thompson replied.

Asked what he felt, Thompson said, "She knows she’s going to die."

Why did he kill her?

"There was no reasoning at that point," Thompson said. "It was just get away."

"Tell me how it happened. Describe it for me," Logan asked.

"Just turned her around and she didn't move and I stabbed her four times," Thompson recalled. "I wanted her to die quickly."

Asked why he wanted her to die quickly, Thompson told Logan, "Not in pain. I didn't want her to be suffering in pain."

"You think if somebody stabbed you four times in the back you're not gonna suffer?" Logan asked.

"Not really, no," Thompson said.

"You know she was still alive when you drove away," Logan pointed out.

"I heard her scream," Thompson said.

Thompson managed to escape to Georgia but was arrested there after setting Brenda Lane's car on fire. Frankie Floied, an investigator in the case back in Tennessee, says it could have taken months to find the body if Thompson -- over the telephone - hadn't given such precise, intricate, directions to the place he killed her.

"What was going through your mind at the time when you were talking to him on the phone?" Logan asked Floied.

"How calm he was," the investigator remembered. "There was no remorse. There was no passion. It was just matter of fact. 'If you'll take, you take this road, this road, this road and this road.'"

"So exact," Logan remarked.

"It’s like you telling me how to find a Frisbee that you've tossed and lost," Floied said.

"So what did that mean to you?" Logan asked.

"Cold, impassioned. Just a cruel person," Floied replied.

That was the picture prosecutors painted of Thompson at his trial. But it wasn't a complete picture, according to Thompson’s current lawyers, Dana Chavis and Steve Kissinger, who are appealing his case. They say Thompson had severe mental problems dating back to his childhood and they are fighting to keep him alive.

"If he knew what he was doing at the time, and he was competent to be executed at the time that sentence was given, why shouldn't he die for what he did?" Logan asked.

"I think the evidence points overwhelmingly to the fact that he was insane at the time," Kissinger said.

"But it was never proved," Logan said.

"Of the offense," Kissinger said.

"And it wasn’t raised at the trial," Logan said.

"Right," Kissinger said.

"He told them exactly what he’d done. He even told them where he’d thrown out the murder weapon, so they could find that on the side of the road," Logan remarked.

"I think the fact that Greg Thompson can remember things does not detract from the fact that at the time of the crime he was suffering delusions and he was hearing voices," Chavis said.

"Never brought up at the trial," Logan pointed out.

"That’s correct, never brought up at the trial because the trial attorneys did not consult with the proper people that would have seen those clear signs of Greg’s psychosis at the time, the clear signs of psychosis that everybody agrees about right now," Chavis said.

Three years ago, a federal appeals court ruled that a lower court should examine evidence that Thompson was mentally ill at the time of the crime. One judge called it "powerful mitigating evidence." But then the Supreme Court narrowly overruled the decision, saying it was too late to raise that issue. Barbara Brown, Brenda Lane’s only sister, who sat through every day of Thompson’s trial, is frustrated by the lengthy legal process.

"I don't believe that he was insane at the time he killed her. Uh, now I don't know. He's been sitting on death row 22 years. Almost anyone might be insane after this period of time," Barbara said. "It's just not right that he was given a death sentence and it not carried out."

Brenda Lane is buried on a hillside about a mile from her sister Barbara’s house. Every Sunday, Barbara goes back to the same church where she and her sister played piano, sang and prayed together. Barbara thinks the legal system is protecting Thompson and has forgotten her sister.

"It destroyed my family basically. My mother certainly never got over it," she said. "And my dad absolutely wanted to see him executed."

Both parents and Brenda's husband have all died since she was killed. "Even my husband has now passed away," Barbara said.

"I think our hearts go out to the sister," Chavis said. "And of course, what happened is a terrible tragedy. But the point now is that Greg Thompson is psychotic, that he's delusional, that he does not have a rational understanding of why the state seeks to execute him."

In what could be a last-chance appeal, Thompson's lawyers only have to prove he is insane now and doesn't understand what's happening to him, even when he is on medication, as he was during the 60 Minutes interview. He appeared most of the time to be delusional.

"Well, see I wrote some songs and sent them to Hollywood," Thompson told Logan.

Asked who he'd written them for, he said, "Garth Brooks, Reba McIntyre."

Thompson told Logan he likes country music, and that the first song he wrote was "Dirty Dishes in the Sink."

He also said he had gotten paid twice, and that the last check that was sent to him was for $444,000.

"$444,000? What did you do with that money?" Logan asked.

"I sent it to Brenda Lane's family," Thompson said.

"You sure about that?" Logan asked.

"Yeah," Thompson said.

"What if I said to you there was no check?" Logan asked.

"It’s in my name," Thompson insisted.

"What if I said to you, though, there was no check, it’s in your head, not in your name?" Logan asked.

"No, there was a check. It wasn’t in my head, you know," he claimed.

"Are you a con man? Are you acting for me?" Logan asked.

"No. I’m serious. This is me. This is who I am," Thompson replied.

"How can you be sure that Greg Thompson is not just acting up, that he’s not just pretending?" Logan asked attorney Dana Chavis.

"For over 20 years, prison doctors have administered very powerful anti-psychotic drugs to Greg Thompson. I don’t know of any doctor that would prescribe or force that type of medication upon a person unless they believed they were truly psychotic," Chavis replied.

Asked what the effect of that medication is, Chavis said, "It doesn't take away his mental illness. He's always insane. But what it does is that it hides that insanity."

"But it doesn't actually make him normal?" Logan asked.

"Not at all," Chavis replied.

But does Thompson understand that taking the medication may make him appear sane enough to be executed?

"Well, I had a -- I made a choice years ago. That if I were to get to that point I'd rather be normal than insane," Thompson told Logan.

"Why is that?" she asked.

"Because it hurts. I’m tired of being mentally ill, you know. So if they want to kill me at the end, then they kill me at the end," he replied.

"I think I have to forgive him," Brenda Lane's sister Barbara Brown said. "I am a Christian and we are to forgive people. It's hard."

"But you want him to die for what he did," Logan remarked.

"Yes, I do want to see him executed," Barbara said.

Thompson's lawyers are going back to federal court this month and hope eventually to get a ruling that Thompson -- despite his medication -- is mentally incompetent and should not be executed. The Tennessee attorney general, who declined 60 Minutes' request for an interview, is expected to argue that Thompson understands why he is being punished, is not insane, and therefore should be executed.

Asked if he's afraid to die, Thompson said, "I'm on drugs right now. And I feel good. I'm not afraid. When I -- when these drugs wear off a little bit I'll be afraid again."

"If you were executed what do you think would happen to you afterwards? What comes next?" Logan asked.

"Well, I know that the dead can speak," Thompson said.

"The dead can speak? You think you would die?" Logan asked.

"I think it'd be a horrible ending," Thompson said. "Because if the dead can speak that means you got thought in the grave. You got thoughts going on in the grave. I don't know about that."