THE TRUE STORY OF GEORGE EMIL BANKS
Banks continued to try for an appeal of his case from 1987 to 2000. The United States Supreme Court refused to hear the argument that Banks was not mentally competent to stand trial for his crimes. Pennsylvania State Governor Tom Ridge has twice signed Banks death warrant since his trial; however, both times appellate courts have stayed his execution.
Georges home no longer stands, an arson fire destroyed the home shortly after his arrest. The Russian Orthodox Church bought the empty lot in 1987 from Georges brother, with plans of building a church on the location. However, the lot remains vacant to this day. George Banks currently resides at the Pennsylvania State Institution in Green, reportedly dying of liver cancer. Banks was moved from the State Correctional Institute at Graterford in order to obtain better medical treatment.
As of March of 2001, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals is set to decide if Banks deserves a new trial. The latest appeal was heard in April of 2001, and centered on two contentions -- that the 1983 trial court erred when it instructed Banks jury about mitigation of the death penalty, and that Banks did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his right to legal counsel when he acted as his own attorney and admitted photographs into evidence that had previously been tossed out by the court. Attorney Scott Gartley, appellate counsel for the Luzerne County District Attorneys office, is countering that Banks never gave up his right to legal counsel, and that his attorneys stood by him throughout the 1983 trial. Banks is still awaiting a decision by the Third Circuit Court as of this writing.