Texas executes 'low-IQ' killer
Wed August 8, 2012 12:03pm
A TEXAS man convicted of killing a police informant was executed today after a court rejected arguments that he was too mentally impaired.
Marvin Wilson, 54, was pronounced dead 14 minutes after his lethal injection began at the state prison in Huntsville. Wilson's attorneys had argued that he should have been ineligible for capital punishment because of his low IQ.
Before the lethal drugs were administered, Wilson smiled and raised his head from the death-chamber gurney, nodding to his three sisters and son as they watched through a window a few meters away. He told them several times that he loved them and asked that they give his mother "a big hug."
"Y'all do understand that I came here a sinner and leaving a saint," he said. "Take me home Jesus, take me home Lord, take me home Lord!"
He urged his son not to cry, told his family he would see them again, and then told the warden standing next to him that he was ready. He didn't acknowledge his victim's father, two brothers and an uncle who were watching through an adjacent window.
As the lethal drug took effect, he quickly went to sleep. He briefly snored before his breathing became noticeably shallow, then it stopped.
In their appeal to the Supreme Court, Wilson's attorneys had pointed to a psychological test conducted in 2004 that pegged his IQ at 61, below the generally accepted minimum competency standard of 70.
But lower courts agreed with state attorneys, who argued that Wilson's claim was based on a single possibly faulty test and that his mental impairment claim wasn't supported by other tests and assessments over the years.