Georgia execution delayed after suicide attempt

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Associated Press

Posted on September 21, 2010 at 3:06 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Supreme Court is delaying the execution of a condemned man who attempted suicide hours before he was to be put to death by injection.

The court's order Tuesday postponed the execution of Brandon Joseph Rhode until Thursday to give the 31-year-old a chance to file a new mental competency challenge.

Defense attorneys say executing Rhode would violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Rhode was scheduled to die for the killings of a 37-year-old man and two of his children during a burglary.

Suicide attempts have occurred on death row, but they are rare. Ohio inmate Lawrence Reynolds overdosed on an antidepressant hours before he was to be taken to the death chamber in March. He recovered in a hospital and was executed a week later.

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