Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

August 8, 2012

Texas executes man despite his low IQ claims

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Attorneys were unable to convince the U.S. Supreme Court their client should be spared from the death penalty because of mental impairment claims.

Marvin Wilson, 54, was executed about two hours after the High Court rejected the last-gasp appeal.

His attorneys argued Wilson did not qualify for the death penalty because he scored a 61 on an IQ test in 2004, which is nine points below the generally accepted minimum competency standard of 70.

The state said the test may have been faulty and his claim wasn’t supported by other tests and assessments over the years.

Wilson was pronounced dead 14 minutes after the lethal dose was administered. He was sentenced to death for the 1992 murder of a 21-year-old man from Beaumont, Texas.

The warden asked Wilson if he had a final statement to make before the execution was carried out and Wilson told his family he loved them. He also said that he was going “home.”

“Y’all do understand that I came here a sinner and leaving a saint,” Wilson said. “Take me home Jesus. Take me home Lord.”

The Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2002 outlawing the execution of the mentally impaired, but left it to states to determine what constitutes mental impairment.

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Details for this story were provided by The Huntsville (Texas) Item.

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