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Days From Death, Killer's Violent Psychosis Complicates Closure For Victims' Families

Florida Dept. of Corrections

John Errol Ferguson is scheduled for execution on Thursday for a six-victim murder that  horrified South Florida more than 35 years ago. At the time, as the Miami Herald's David Ovalle reminds us in this backgrounder, it was the worst mass murder in local history.  Is he fit to execute?

“After returning from the hospital, he began to show serious mental instability, irrational thinking, unexplainable hostility and grossly impaired intelligence,” according to a biography prepared by Ferguson’s lawyers. “As time passed, these conditions worsened.” He spent several years in state psychiatric care. One doctor called him “homicidal” and said he “should not be released under any circumstances.”

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