Time.news – The US state of Idaho has set the execution of the 65-year-old Italian-American Gerald Ross Pizzuto jr, sentenced to death for the double murder of Berta Herndon, 58, and her nephew Del Herndon, 37, which took place in 1985.
The execution, the first in nearly nine years in Idaho, was scheduled for next June 2nd despite Pizzuto having end-stage bladder cancer and other chronic diseases including diabetes.
The non-profit journalistic project The Marshall Project, which deals with controversial criminal justice cases, denounced his situation by pointing out that the man has been prescribed 42 different drugs in the last year and the level of suffering suffered is already very substantial. . Over the past year, his lawyers have reported constant episodes of memory loss and some of general disorientation.
Pizzuto, armed with a .22 caliber rifle, tied the wrists and legs of the two victims to rob them before beating and killing them. On appeal, Pizzuto’s lawyers tried to play the mental disability card since chand federal law of Idaho prohibits the death sentence in these specific cases. In 2019, the 9th US Court of Appeals upheld the first ruling, stating that the accused had failed to prove this type of disability.
The case of Pizzuto, according to The Marshall Project, raises the question relating to the costs associated with executions in America since, as in the case of Pizzuto, the probable death of the condemned would come soon and for natural causes. The number of death row inmates decreases every year in the country but those who risk this type of final sentence are almost always very old or terminally ill.
Pizzuto’s lawyers will try to stop the execution claiming that the lethal injection would violate the constitutional rights of their client, disregarding his medical condition and causing him excessive pain. In the past, however, the Supreme Court has generally rejected this type of appeal.