mens wallets with money clip Competency Hearing Set for Whitlock
A judge wants to know if an accused Charlottesville killer is fit to stand trial because of an unusual request the murder suspect has made.
Waverly Whitlock says he plead guilty to capital murder but only if he can be sentenced to death. Friday, the judge said before things can go any further he wants to make sure Whitlock is competent to make such a major and final decision.
Whitlock is charged with killing 11 year old Aziz Booth in June 2008. The idea of having him admit he guilty only if he can die was brought up about a month ago.
Law professors say it hard to determine why he would make such a deal. They say it possible Whitlock simply can live with what he alleged to have done.
On the other hand, he may not be competent to make the decision, which is why the court it taking extra precautions.
The last option is he trying to get out of standing trial.
UVA criminal law professor Josh Bowers said,
“I have to say that this is a highly unusual case, in fact I never heard of another case in which someone has structured a plea deal, conditional on receiving the death penalty. ”
Bowers said this case also brings up the idea of assisted suicide on the part of the defense attorneys. He said a lawyer trying to help their client be put to death is no different than a doctor helping their patient die.
Two doctors are expected in court for the competency hearing within the next two weeks. The concern the Commonwealth had Friday is that if the plea deal is not accepted, Whitlock trial date is pushed back even further.