“We are gravely disappointed and profoundly saddened that the United States Supreme Court has refused to intervene to prevent tonight’s scheduled execution of Marvin Wilson, who has an I.Q. of 61, placing him below the first percentile of human intelligence. Ten years ago, this Court categorically barred states from executing people with mental retardation. Yet, tonight Texas will end the life of a man who was diagnosed with mental retardation by a court-appointed, board certified specialist.
“It is outrageous that the state of Texas continues to utilize unscientific guidelines, called the Briseño factors, to determine which citizens with intellectual disability are exempt from execution. The Briseño factors are not scientific tools, they are the decayed remainder of an uninformed stereotype that has been widely discredited by the nation’s leading groups on intellectual disability, including the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. That neither the courts nor state officials have stopped this execution is not only a shocking failure of a once-promising constitutional commitment, it is also a reminder that, as a society, we haven’t come quite that far in understanding how so many of those around us live with intellectual disabilities.”
-Lee Kovarsky, Attorney for Marvin Wilson, August 7, 2012
A Texas man convicted of killing a police informant has been executed after the US supreme court rejected arguments that he was too mentally impaired to receive the death penalty.
Marvin Wilson, 54, was pronounced dead 14 minutes after his lethal injection began at the state prison in Huntsville on Tuesday night. Wilson’s attorneys had argued that he should have been exempt from capital punishment because of his low IQ.