Priest: Firing Squad Victim Didn't Understand Fate

Schizophrenic man heard voices telling him things would be OK
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2015 4:26 AM CDT
Priest: Firing Squad Victim Didn't Understand Fate
Angelita Muxfeldt, center, a cousin of Rodrigo Gularte, speaks to the media after visiting him for the final time earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

One of the eight inmates killed by firing squad in Indonesia this week was far too mentally ill to understand what was happening to him until the very end, according to a priest who tried to comfort the Brazilian man before his execution. Rodrigo Muxfeldt Gularte suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and though he initially seemed calm, "when the chains started to go on, he said to me, 'Oh father, am I being executed?'" Charlie Burrows tells the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Burrows says that in Gularte's final days, the 42-year-old heard voices telling him everything would be fine, and "he believes the voices more than he does anybody else."

The priest tells the Sydney Morning Herald that Gularte, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager, had been convinced he was going home next year. Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff expressed "deep consternation" at the execution of Gularte, who was sentenced to death in Indonesia in 2005 for smuggling several kilos of cocaine into the country, the New York Times reports. Brazil pulled its ambassador from Indonesia after another of its citizens was killed in a mass execution of drug smugglers in Indonesia in January, reports the Times. Burrows and another pastor say the inmates, including two Australians, three Nigerians, and a Ghanaian man, refused blindfolds and sang hymns as they were shot down. (More firing squad stories.)

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