Texas man with low IQ slated to be executed today
By JONATHAN WOLFMAN
The United States Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that no state may under any circumstances execute, regardless of the nature of a perpetrator’s crime, a retarded convict.
This has been law for a decade.
Yet in its latest move toward a symbolic secession from the United States, Texas plans to execute on Tuesday Marvin Wilson, convicted in a murder resulting from a drug sale. No trial evidence suggested that Wilson in fact committed the murder.
Wilson’s I.Q. is 61. He does not know how to play simple card games or how to play marbles. Texas, in fact, has not challenged Wilson’s lawyers’ claim that he is, in fact, significantly mentally retarded.
How clear and directive was the very conservative court’s 6-3 2002 ruling?
“…the mentally retarded should be categorically excluded from execution [because] of their disabilities in … reasoning, judgment and control of their impulses.”
If the current Supreme Court refuses to hear his appeal, if it does not order Texas to desist, on Tuesday Wilson will become the most severely mentally retarded person on record put to death in the modern era.
This is not a distinction that any state, even needle-happy Texas, should want. Nullifying, defying the Supreme Court should bring pride to no state.
What Texas is doing is eugenics, not justice.
It sullies us all.
The court has a chance to stop this execution, uphold its own ruling and avoid complicity in its own subversion. It must.
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