On May 9, 2017, Mike Gangloff reports that William Morva was sentenced to death by jurors who were unaware that his crimes were driven by persecutory delusions that were beyond his control as Morva has a delusional disorder, which is a severe #Mental illness like schizophrenia. But Virginia plans to execute him July 6th, unless Governor McAuliffe considers the evidence that jurors did not hear before they sentenced William to death, and commute William's death sentence to life without the possibility of parole. Yet, we can help bring awareness and Mercy for Morva with the power of the people and #Movies.

'Advocating William with a character study of Mike from 'The Whole Truth' movie.'

On the movie trailers app, 'The Whole Truth' movie is about "Defense attorney Richard Ramsay who takes on a personal case when he swears to his widowed friend, Loretta Lassiter, that he will keep her son Mike out of prison.

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Charged with murdering his father, Mike initially confesses to the crime. But as the trial proceeds, chilling evidence about the kind of man that Boone Lassiter really was comes to light. While Ramsay uses the evidence to get his client acquitted, his new colleague Janelle tries to dig deeper—and begins to realize that the whole truth is something she alone can uncover."

While this takes place in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana during modern day times. Moreover, the movie character who best advocates William Morva is Mike Lassiter as Mike appears to want to get off the hook because he has been suspected of murdering his father and if Mike doesn't get it he could go to prison or be executed for something that isn't his fault. Furthermore, Mike seems to get what he wants, by practicing his right to remain silent which makes things more difficult but in the end, he convinces the jury of his innocence.

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Whereas, Mike seems to develop the character strengths of perseverance, honesty, self-regulation, and bravery. Thus, Mike must overcome accusations along with inner and outer conflicts. However, Mike could have a mental disorder due to the trauma that he has experienced as a result of his refusal to talk in court. Likewise, William Morva can be identified with Mike's character in the movie 'The Whole Truth' because of they share the same character strengths and experience for the most part.

'How William can go from misfit to hero?'

For an example, Christopher Reeves once described a hero being "an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." With that said, William can be seen as a hero for his character and perseverance with a mental illness that challenged him to believe in realities that were not true. Which went against Will's character and motived him to commit crimes, by these delusions that were beyond his control. For an example, let's look through Will's story to see how this mental illness began to creep into his life to corrupt his character to cause uncontrollable criminal behavior.

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Whereas, on the mercyformorva.com website. Friends and family members of William would describe him as being "a sweet, sensitive, and compassionate boy. While many other friends and family members have similar memories of Will advocating that all creatures be treated with compassion and respect." Moreover, William's circle of friends grew in Blacksburg with his concern and compassion. As "William was well-loved by this group who was marked by their interests in the arts, including theater and music, and social justice. William also made friends in his church youth group, not to mention, he was a pacifist who would go out of his way to avoid trouble unless he was coming to the defense of his friends as William had a reputation for defending underdogs."

To add, "William took a personal interest in the private struggles of his numerous friends and acquaintances, showing more concern for them than for the challenges in his own life. He encouraged those he cared about, and he rarely talked about himself or his personal problems." While people were drawn to William's personality and William seemed to enjoy being around people, as he was intellectually curious about the world around him. Which led Will to take part in such conversations on politic, social justice, philosophy, religion, and the arts."

In fact, William was known for his radiance of joy. Particularly, a mother of one of William's good friends and English teachers recalls seeing him being radiant with joy "at the age of fourteen years old where he was swinging on swings at a park. There William would throw his head back and his long hair swung in the wind, while Will looked radiant with an expression of pure joy on his face" ("mercyformorva.com" 2017).

Until, later on, "William began to exhibit odd behaviors in his senior year of high school and eventually he dropped out a few months before his class graduated. After Will's parents moved back to the Richmond area, where he stayed in the family’s Blacksburg townhouse by himself. Soon Will began complaining to friends that staying in the house was poisoning him because it was infested with mold and other toxins."

Within five years, William was staying with a series of friends where they claimed "William was very concerned about his physical health, particularly his gastrointestinal health. So Will adopted an odd diet, which consisted of raw or nearly raw meat and large quantities of dairy products, such as cheese. At other times, Will claimed to eat only nuts, berries, and pinecones as he had claimed that these diet modifications were necessary to accommodate his severe stomach problems."

Eventually, "A gastroenterologist diagnosed William with having an Irritable Bowel Syndrome but concluded that not all of the symptoms William described made scientific sense. However, the doctor was also puzzled by William’s claim to have alleviated his symptoms with a diet that should have exacerbated the problem, because of his physical ailments and methods of self-treatment. As a result, William had difficulty obtaining and keeping employment with this syndrome."

During this time period, "William was becoming more rigid in his thinking about certain issues. Friends and Family members of William would describe his views as being inflexible, irrational, and unusual. Due to this thinking, William could no longer engage in a back-and-forth dialogue. While many people would attribute the changes in William to his father’s death that happened in April 2004, but the concrete examples of William’s decline were apparent long before. Like as early as 2001, when the Virginia Tech police found William undressed on a bathroom floor in one of the buildings on campus acting very bizarrely as Will’s explanation was that he needed to use the restroom."

After William became recognized by his old friends and family members as being truly ill, but they didn't know how to help him. During the summer of 2005, "William had fallen out of touch with most of his longtime friends. It was then, William claimed that the local police were conspiring with the Bush Administration against him and Will believed the phones he used were being tapped and that he was being followed."

Simultaneously, "in August 2005, William was arrested for attempting to rob a convenience store. Where William was charged with a string of ill-conceived and poorly executed theft attempts, and he did not bail out of jail. Due to his mother coming to the knowledge of William being sick and concerned that if Will was bailed out of jail, he would not receive the treatment that she recognized he so desperately needed."

Accordingly, "William was held at the Montgomery County Jail for a year awaiting trial. Meanwhile, the jail was overcrowded and the officials refused to treat William’s digestive issues due to the lack of health care. However, multiple family members contacted the jail officials to express concern about William’s mental health, but he still was not evaluated or treated by any psychologist or psychiatrist at the jail. In contrast, William’s symptoms grew worse in this environment and Will believed that he has been wrongfully arrested. To add, William also believed that his physical health was deteriorating dramatically and that he had been jailed in such conditions in order to cause his death." So, it's possible that William could have tried to take the matter into his own hands with what comes next.

Subsequently, "on August 2006, William had complained of an injury and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. While there William was being escorted by a guard that overpowered to take his service weapon, and on the way out of the hospital doors he shot and killed an unarmed hospital security guard. The next day, on a local walking trail during a manhunt, was where a corporal officer was fatally shot by William he approached Will. Later that afternoon, William was captured and returned to custody." However, in conversation with friends, "William insisted that he had acted rationally by escaping custody to save his own life and he maintains that everyone would have done exactly the same thing if they were in his place."

Later, in 2014, "a forensic psychiatrist evaluated William Morva and diagnosed him with having a delusional disorder." Moreover, a person who suffers from delusional disorder is incapable of distinguishing between his delusions and objective reality. Whereas, there are several subtypes of delusions and William suffers from at least three types. Which "are persecutory delusions, grandiose delusions, and somatic delusions."

Unfortunately, "the doctor was unable to account for William’s belief that his strange self-treatment methods alleviated his symptoms but the doctor had noted that 'William clearly has psychological issues that make him think his symptoms are all real. While the doctor also believes that William exhibits symptoms that just aren’t scientifically accurate or reasonable."

Similarly, "like other individuals with this delusional disorder William is able to speak coherently and intelligently about a wide variety of subjects, but becomes irrational and emotional when discussing any matters that touch upon the subjects of his various delusions."

Given these facts, we can clearly see that William Morva only did these crimes due to having a mental illness as on the positive side we can also see that there's a hero on the inside of William that can be found through an exhibit of character strengths. Like creativity, curiosity, bravery, perseverance, love, kindness, teamwork, hope, appreciation of beauty & excellence, humor and spirituality. Not to mention, William has been enduring a mental illness in spite of the overwhelming obstacles that had come his way. On contrary, most people who've been diagnosed with a mental illness like schizophrenia would have died by suicide at an estimate of 6-15%. Consequently, William Morva's story and his perseverance with a mental illness have gained public influence as there has been over 1,186 out of 1,500 supporters petitioning Governor Terry McAuliffe to not execute him on July 6.

So if overcoming an uncontrollable mental illness doesn't make William Morva a hero in spite of the undesirable crimes that were committed by him, then what will? Isn't it obvious that William's 'Mercy for Morva' story is making a difference? Therefore, it's simply not right to kill someone with mental illness whose crimes was a result of it, yet William Morva's legacy will live on for his perseverance, true heart and the person he really was apart from the mental illness. #advocacy