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Stay lifted for female serial killer

Wuornos to be executed October 9

Aileen Wuornos, shown in an undated file photo
Aileen Wuornos, shown in an undated file photo

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- Gov. Jeb Bush lifted his temporary stay of execution Wednesday for female serial killer Aileen Wuornos after a panel of psychiatrists determined she is not mentally ill.

"As the result of the finding of competency, I have lifted the stay for death row inmate Aileen Wuornos," Bush said in a brief written statement.

"Aileen Wuornos will be executed on October 9, providing the families of her victims with the justice they have so long awaited. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered because of her crimes."

Wuornos, a hitchhiking prostitute, was convicted in the early 1990s of killing six businessmen along the highways of north and central Florida.

Bush asked three psychiatrists to evaluate her mental competence after her attorney, Raag Singhal, said he had "grave doubts about her competency to be executed."

Under Florida law, if the governor is informed that a person scheduled to be executed might be insane, he must order a psychiatric evaluation.

The order lifting the stay said the psychiatrists' report showed Wuornos "has the mental capacity to understand the nature of the death penalty and the reasons why it was imposed upon her."

start quoteAileen Wuornos will be executed on October 9, providing the families of her victims with the justice they have so long awaited. end quote
-- Gov. Jeb Bush

Wuornos, 46, whose life has been the subject of a number of books and movies, has said she is ready to die. Last year, she fired her lawyers, dropped her appeals and volunteered for execution -- with Bush signing her execution order.

She has insisted she is mentally competent despite the concerns of others.

Singhal was appointed in June to represent Wuornos after she complained about conditions on Death Row.

In a note to the court, she claimed she overheard corrections officers saying they wanted to rape her. She also complained of contaminated food, which she claimed was sometimes cooked in dirt.



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