Court: Mass Killer Not Competent for Execution - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Court: Mass Killer Not Competent for Execution

Man who killed 13 people near Wilkes-Barre 30 years ago is not mentally competent for execution, court rules.

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    Court: Mass Killer Not Competent for Execution
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    Pennsylvania's highest court has ruled that mass killer George Banks is mentally incompetent to be executed.

    The state Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Wednesday regarding the man who killed 13 people with a semi-automatic rifle in northeastern Pennsylvania nearly 30 years. The victims included five of his own children.

    Banks was convicted and has been on death row since the shootings near Wilkes-Barre occurred in 1982.

    In 2004, then-Gov. Ed Rendell signed a death warrant for Banks but the execution was stayed after his mother filed a petition asserting that it would violate the U.S. Constitution.

    In the latest ruling, the justices said testimony by medical experts at a competency hearing last year established that Banks suffers from severe mental illness and is delusional about his crimes and punishment.