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Death row appeal is rejected

Pedro Medina, a Cuban immigrant scheduled to go to Florida's electric chair Tuesday for the 1982 murder of an Orlando teacher, Wednesday lost an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

In an unsigned decision, the high court upheld a trial judge who said Medina has some mental problems but understands the fact that he's about to be executed for the murder of Dorothy James.

In the past four months, Medina has avoided two scheduled trips to Florida's electric chair with claims of insanity. Florida law bans the execution of anyone who doesn't understand the effect or reason for execution.

Medina, 39, is scheduled to be executed at 7:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Medina had been scheduled to go to the electric chair in December, but his lawyers invoked a rarely used law that requires the governor to call off a pending execution if insanity is alleged.

A panel of three psychiatrists concluded Medina was acting crazy in an attempt to stay alive.

His execution was scheduled for Jan. 29, but the state Supreme Court gave Medina a stay two days earlier and later ordered a trial judge to hold a hearing over the claims of insanity.