LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas's attorney general has determined that the appeals have been exhausted for a death row inmate who is forcibly given antipsychotic drugs that make him mentally competent to be executed, the governor's office said yesterday.
Charles Singleton's most recent appeal failed in the US Supreme Court in October, when the justices refused to review a lower court ruling that the forced medication was acceptable. That court determined it was an appropriate treatment for Singleton's paranoid schizophrenia.
Attorney General Mike Beebe delivered a letter to Governor Mike Huckabee on Monday certifying that there are no other obstacles to Singleton's execution, Huckabee's office said.
Singleton's lawyer, Jeff Rosenzweig, has said it is in the inmate's best interest to take the medicine until the resulting sanity puts him on the path to execution. He argued that, at the point an execution is set, it becomes unconstitutional to keep Singleton artificially sane. A divided US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, in St. Louis, disagreed, 6 to 4 to 1, and the Supreme Court refused to consider the argument. Singleton, the longest-serving inmate on Arkansas's death row, was convicted in the 1979 stabbing death of a grocer.