John Muhammad Executed Tuesday Night

Posted Nov 11, 2009 by Carol Forsloff
John Allen Muhammad was executed by lethal injection Tuesday night. His death and the killing rampage for which an Army Psychiatrist has been accused, raise serious issues about mental health and extremist views.
Muhammad was found guilty of masterminding the sniper attacks that brought terror to Washington D.C. and surrounding areas for approximately three weeks in October 2002. reported his execution occurred at 9:11 p.m. at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia. News reports of the event indicate Muhammad had no final words before his execution.
The sniper, who shot and killed 10 innocent people in a rampage, was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was executed for the crime of killing Dean Harold Meyers, whom he shot in the head while Meyers was at a gas station in Manassas. Meyers was one of 10 people killed by Muhammad during his rampage.
The rampage ended Oct. 24, 2002 when Muhammad and his teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, were captured in a car parked at a Maryland rest stop. Malvo was sentenced to life in prison.
Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the State of Virginia turned down Muhammad's requests for clemency. His attorneys declared him too mentally incompetent, however Governor Timothy M. Kaine denied requests to stop the execution.
The news today ends the final chapter of Muhammad's life. There were, however, cries for help, according to Muhammad's wife. The cries concerned his mental health needs that his former wife had been fearful about prior to the violent episodes for which Muhammad was eventually executed.
The New York Times published a series of articles concerning Muhammad's background and motivations, including one just before his execution that summarized much of what had happened during his life. He was a veteran of the Gulf Water who converted to Islam, sympathized with Al Qaeda and was said to be angry with America, according to reports of acquaintances. He also had marital problems that were said to be part of his motivation to kill.
John Sheldon, Muhammad's attorney, said of his client, in his attempt to obtain clemency, that he was mentally incompetent.
The Daily Press reported Sheldon saying, "He is delusional, paranoid and incompetent. He was angry at the government after he came back from the Gulf War. And he has delusions of racist conspiracies."
Both Nadal Hasan, the Army Psychiatrist who is accused of killing and wounding fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, and Muhammad were said to be angry with the way Muslims are treatment in America and expressed anti-American views with respect to the country's involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WFAA Fort Worth/Dallas News reports Hasan argued with his fellow soldiers about America's involvement with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Muhammad's attorney sought mercy for Muhammad's mental health problems even as Hasan, a psychiatrist, remains at the center of debates about mental health and extremist thinking.