- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Va. inmate who asked for death set to be executed
Question of the Day
“May God have mercy on his soul,” Strickland told AP. “I’ve been praying and will continue to pray that his family can heal from this ordeal.”
Gleason, 42, was born in Lowell, Mass., a proud Yankee who still signs his letters “Bobby from Boston.” After going to art school in North Carolina, Gleason became an award-winning tattoo artist in shops up and down the East Coast. He settled down for a while outside of Richmond, owned a tattoo shop and embraced religion. He later said he was feigning interest in religion to benefit his tattoo business.
In court papers, attorneys detail his “profoundly disturbed and traumatic life” marked by abuse as a child and depression and other mental health problems as an adult. Gleason starting drinking alcohol as a teen and later abused cocaine, meth and steroids, among other drugs. His long criminal record dates back to armed robberies as a teen. He looked up to an older brother who died in a Massachusetts prison during a botched escape attempt.
Attorneys who continue trying to intervene on his behalf claim Gleason is severely disturbed. They argue his competency has deteriorated over the year he’s been in isolation on death row, and that he suffers from extreme paranoia, delusional thinking, severe anxiety and other mental afflictions that leave him with “a nearly overwhelming urge to end his own life.”
“…his mental illness is causing him to be suicidal, and he is enlisting the government’s help to end his life,” attorney Jon Sheldon wrote in court documents asking a federal appeals court to require a new competency evaluation. Two other evaluations deemed Gleason capable of making his own decisions.
While those closest to Gleason acknowledge he’s had a troubled life, they also describe a man who dressed up as a big, purple dinosaur for his young son’s birthday and comforted him when he was scared of the costume, who organized a motorcycle run to raise money for a child with cancer and who is fiercely protective and supportive of those he loved.
“It’s a shame,” one friend told attorneys of Gleason’s death sentence, according to court papers, “because there’s a lot of goodness in him.”
But there’s no mistaking Gleason’s dark side.
Prison and jail officials have intercepted letters and calls in which he either discussed killing or directly threatened judges, attorneys, jurors and mental health experts tied to his criminal cases. He told investigators that killing was “like tying a shoe” or “going to the fridge to get a beer.”
Those on both sides of the death penalty debate have seized on Gleason’s case to prove their point.
Gleason agrees with death penalty opponents on at least one point: that it’s likely individuals feel immense pain during a lethal injection. That’s partly why he chose electrocution.
The other reason: He just can’t imagine going out lying down.
“I can’t do that,” he said. “I’d rather be sitting up.”
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq