BOISE — Idaho officials have agreed to stop seeking to execute a man who has been in solitary confinement on death row for 30 years because he is too mentally ill to be legally put to death and doctors say he cannot be made well.
The agreement, approved by a federal judge on Monday, means David Leslie Card will instead serve life without parole and will be moved out of the solitary confinement housing of death row. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote in the ruling that if Card ever does regain competence, the appeals in his case may be re-opened.
But medical professionals who have examined Card over the course of the past three decades say such an event would border on the miraculous. Card has paranoid schizophrenia but has refused to take his medications for years. Doctors now say that even if he were to begin taking medication he is unlikely to experience a full recovery.
Card was convicted of shooting Eugene and Shirley Morey to death in 1988 as they sat outside a Nampa convenience store folding newspapers for delivery.