Governor Timothy M. Kaine today commuted the death sentence of Percy Levar Walton. Walton was scheduled to be executed tomorrow night. Kaine has allowed five executions to proceed. This is the first he has commuted. Press accounts note
“Walton differs in fundamental ways from other death row offenders,” Kaine said in the statement. “He lives in a self-imposed state of isolation that includes virtually no interest in receiving or understanding information. Walton communicates only infrequently, almost invariably in response to direct questions, and those responses are minimal in nature.
“He has nothing in his cell other than a mattress, a pillow and a blanket. He shows no interest in contact with the outside world and has no television, radio, magazines, books or stationery. He has no personal effects of any kind. This minimal existence has been in evidence for the past five years.
“In light of this information, I am again compelled to find that one cannot reasonably conclude that Walton is fully aware of the punishment he is about to suffer and why he is to suffer it.