A Vietnam veteran declared as “100% disabled” with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who killed a sheriff’s deputy was executed by lethal injection in Georgia the night of Jan. 13.
Andrew Brannan, 66, was put to death less than an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an argument that his combat-related PTSD should preclude him from receiving capital punishment.
In court documents, Brannan’s lawyers argued that “the very impairments which must now render Andrew Brannan and other combat veterans like him ineligible for execution were trained into them by our government in order to make them better soldiers on the battlefield.
“They should not face the ultimate punishment when the damage done by these experiences contributes to catastrophic violent behavior at home.”
Brannan was convicted in the 1998 murder of a local Georgia deputy, Kyle Dinkheller, who had pulled Brannan over for speeding. A video camera mounted on the dash of Dinkheller’s cruiser showed Brannan saying “shoot me” in the street before reaching into his car, grabbing a rifle, and shooting the cop.
Brannan reportedly suffered from depression and had struggled with suicidal thoughts. A Veterans Administration physician diagnosed him with bipolar disorder in 1994. Brannan’s lawyers said he stopped taking his medications five days prior to the shooting.
A decorated Vietnam veteran who killed a sheriff’s deputy in 1998 was the first person to be executed in the U.S. in 2015 after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his argument that the post-traumatic stress he suffered from combat should make him exempt from capital punishment.
Andrew Brannan, 66, was put to death in Jackson, Georgia, the state attorney general’s office said, less than an hour after the high court denied his petition without comment.
Brannan’s lawyers had argued in court papers that “the very impairments which must now render Andrew Brannan and other combat veterans like him ineligible for execution were trained into them by our government in order to make them better soldiers on the battlefield.”