A divided state supreme court strongly rejected prison inmate John Middleton’s contention that he is mentally unfit to be executed this evening.

The court  ruled 4-3 in a scathing opinion that a doctor’s opinion about Middleton’s mental condition “even approaches a substantial threshold showing that Middleton suffers from…delusions”.  Instead, says the majority of the court, Middleton “plainly understands he is to be executed as punishment because he was found guilty of murdering his three victims; he simply believes he should not have been convicted.”

The court says the only thing he is delusional about is “his chances of escaping execution.”

Other appeals remain possible. Governor Nixon has not said whether he will allow clemency to Middleton but he seldom does grant it. He won’t make his announcement until all appeals have ended.