Judge: Pennsylvania mass killer too unstable to be executed

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania judge says mass murderer George Banks is too mentally ill to be executed.

Banks killed 13 people in a 1982 shooting rampage in northeastern Pennsylvania. Five of the victims were his own children.

Judge Michael Conahan agrees with defense attorneys that Banks is psychotic and unable to comprehend his death sentence or participate in his defense.

Conahan issued the ruling Monday, several weeks after a hearing on Banks' mental state.

The judge had decided once before that Banks couldn't be put to death. But the state Supreme Court ordered a fresh hearing after finding that Conahan improperly barred a prosecution psychiatrist from testifying.

Prosecutors concede Banks is mentally ill but maintain the execution should go forward.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 27997259 - local8now.com/a?a=27997259