Texas Executes Inmate Despite Low-IQ Claims

Supreme Court rejected his appeal hours earlier
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 7, 2012 7:03 PM CDT
Texas Executes Inmate Despite Low-IQ Claims
A 2006 photo of Marvin Wilson.   ((AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice, File))

A Texas man convicted of killing a police informant was executed this evening after the Supreme Court rejected arguments that he was too mentally impaired to qualify for the death penalty. 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. In their appeal to the high court, his attorneys pointed to a psychological test conducted in 2004 that pegged Wilson's 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 test that may have been faulty and that his mental impairment claim isn't supported by other tests and assessments of him over the years. The Supreme Court denied his request for a stay of execution less than two hours before his lethal injection began. Wilson was convicted of murdering 21-year-old Jerry Williams in November 1992, several days after police seized 24 grams of cocaine from Wilson's apartment and arrested him. He accused Williams of snitching on him. (More Texas stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.