Brandon Rhode Executed After Suicide Attempt Left Him Brain Damaged

Court denied stay over claim that suicide attempt left him brain damaged.

ByABC News
September 27, 2010, 12:14 PM

Sept. 27, 2010 — -- Brandon Joseph Rhode, a man whose recent suicide attempt left him brain damaged, was executed in Georgia tonight, after the state and U.S. supreme courts both denied last minute requests for stays.

Rhode, 31, was put to death by lethal injection at the state prison at Jackson. Prison officials pronounced him dead at 10:16 p.m.

He had been scheduled for execution at 7 p.m., but his lawyers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court claiming that Rhode was subjected to inhumane treatment and was not mentally competent to be executed.

The high court did not decide to reject the plea for a stay until 8 p.m.

Rhode's lawyers appealed to the high court after the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously rejected the last minute argument that the man's recent suicide attempt left him too brain damaged to justify his execution.

The state court's denial of the stay of execution came after a recommendation by the Georgia State Attorney General that the court deny the request shortly after it was filed by Rhode's lawyer, Brian Kammer.

According to the documents obtained by, Kammer referred to Rhode's impending execution as "nothing more than the purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering."

"The execution of Mr. Rhode is nothing less than a descent into brutality," the legal brief argued.

"The threat of execution has pushed Mr. Rhode's limited coping skills to the breaking points," wrote Kammer. "Upon information and belief, he is no longer competent to be executed."

Kammer's appeal came after last week's suicide attempt by Rhode just hours before Rhode was originally scheduled to be executed.

Rhode was found in an observation cell at the infirmary of the Georgia Diagnostic Prison with his arms and neck slashed with "deep gaping wounds," according to court documents.