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MHV9218

Texas to Execute Man with "Mental Capacity of Child"

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This is the kind of the thing that just sickens you. Texas is six days away from lethally injecting a mentally retarded man for a crime proved with circumstantial evidence. Sometimes America sickens you. HuffPost story: http://www.huffingto..._n_1739342.html

 

Marvin Wilson was always slow.

 

Growing up in extreme poverty in east Texas in the 1960s, he struggled with basic tasks, like tying his shoes, counting money, and mowing the lawn. He fared miserably in school, earning D's and F's in special education classes and failing the 7th grade. The other kids called him "dummy" and "retarded." He was socially promoted to the 10th grade, then dropped out for good.

 

As an adult, he did manual labor and had a son with a common-law wife. But he remained extraordinarily childlike, according to his younger sister, Kim Armstrong.

 

"I couldn't believe it when I saw him still sucking his thumb when his son was born," Armstrong said in a 2003 affidavit. "Marvin was in his twenties."

 

Yet Wilson, now 53, was not slow enough for the Texas and federal courts that authorized his death by lethal injection next week for a 1992 drug-related murder. They have ruled that he is not covered by a 2002 Supreme Court ruling prohibiting the execution of the mentally retarded.

 

Human rights groups, legal experts and a Texas state senator denounced the imminent execution as a clear flouting of the law, while Wilson's attorneys have filed a last-ditch appeal with the Supreme Court, and requested a stay of execution from the Texas Board of Pardons and Gov. Rick Perry.

 

In their bid to halt the execution, Wilson's allies point to a 2004 psychological exam that measured his IQ at just 61. In Texas, the benchmark for mental retardation is an IQ of about 70 or below. Other states use a threshold IQ of 75 or lower.

 

"This case really does very much push the line," said Paul Campos, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, who is not involved with Wilson's defense. "We're talking about a mental child."

 

But Texas prosecutors saw things differently, arguing successfully that Wilson was a street-smart drug dealer who had the acumen to seek vengeance against a man who betrayed him to the police.

 

In 1992, Wilson was arrested and charged with killing of Jerry Williams, a drug informant. Four days before his death, Williams provided information to police in Beaumont, Texas, that led to Wilson's arrest for cocaine possession.

 

Witnesses testified that they saw Wilson abduct Williams from a gas station with the help of another man, Terry Lewis. The three men drove off in the direction of a local oil refinery. The next day, Williams was found dead, with bullets wounds in his neck and head. No forensic evidence or eyewitnesses established who pulled the trigger.

 

Both Wilson and Lewis were tried for murder. Lewis was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Wilson was sentenced to die.

 

The crucial evidence establishing Wilson as the shooter came from Lewis's wife, who testified that Wilson told her that he pulled the trigger, not her husband.

 

"She said Marvin confessed to her," said Lee Kovarsky, Wilson's attorney and a law professor at the University of Maryland. "Her testimony put Marvin on death row, as opposed to her husband."

 

Campos, the professor, said the circumstances of Wilson's conviction left significant room for doubt about his exact culpability in the crime. The lack of any aggravating factors -- the murder was not especially heinous or cruel, and did not involve multiple victims, a child or police officer -- also made it a good case for leniency on the basis of Wilson's mental deficits, he said.

 

"Obviously all murders are serious, but we're talking about a drug murder under ambiguous circumstances," he said. "This is just a very ordinary homicide, with a clearly mentally disabled defendant."

 

Yet in a series of rulings since 2002, Texas courts rejected expert testimony and evidence from Wilson's defense team, including his score of 61 on a standard IQ test, that seemed to establish him as mildly retarded.

 

The courts sided instead with state prosecutors, who argued that the IQ test was improperly administered, and that Wilson's behavior showed a man of normal intelligence. A federal appellate court, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, declined to overturn the state's decision.

 

The 5th Circuit justices did find that the evidence of Wilson's retardation was "mixed" and that "other fact-finders might reach a different conclusion as to whether Wilson is mentally retarded on the evidence before the state." But the court said that under current law it was bound to accept the Texas ruling and allow the execution to proceed.

 

Unless the Supreme Court or Texas officials intervene, Wilson's legal battles will be over soon. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection in the Texas death chamber in Huntsville next Tuesday evening.

 

The Supreme Court has been asked before to revisit its 2002 ruling, known as Atkins v. Virginia, which left it to the states to formulate the standards determining which inmates qualified as mentally retarded, but has repeatedly declined to do so.

 

Kovarsky said a failure of the Court to take Wilson's case will prove that the Atkins decision "has become a hollow rule."

 

Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is also unlikely to step in. In 2001, Perry vetoed a bill that had passed both houses of the state legislature, with bipartisan support, outlawing the execution of the mentally retarded. Perry appointed all of the members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole, which has almost never granted a reprieve to a condemned prisoner during his administration.

 

On Friday afternoon, Rodney Ellis, a Texas state senator who authored the 2001 bill vetoed by Perry, issued a statement denouncing the scheduled execution of Wilson.

 

"We do not execute children in the state of Texas, therefore we should not execute those who have the mental capacity of a child," Ellis said. "The ultimate penalty should be reserved for those that can clearly comprehend why they are going to die."

 

Nice one, Texas.

Edited by MHV9218
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Terribly sad, but it's Texas for Christ's sake, what do you expect...

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I'm autistic and this doesn't sicken me to be honest.

 

He probably suffers a lot in life, I look at it as putting him out of his misery.

 

They should make this a option for disabled people who don't wanna bother living life anymore.

 

This seems better than a 12/9, touching the 3rd rail, jumping off a Bridge etc.. you get the idea.

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Not suprised. Generally speaking many of the mentally disabled are being treated as criminals when in fact what they need is treatment. Many people I've seen who end up locked up for crimes are actually suffereing from some form of mental illness. This is the direct result of de-institutionalizing the system that was in place to treat those who are mentally disabled. Since there are no mental institutions anymore, those who are suffering from mental or emotional disorders are put into the penal system instead, as nobody wants to deal with the problem.

 

Obviously I'm not saying that people should commit murders and get a pass in court for it, that would be stupid. But I think the ruling to carry out the excecution of this man is effin ridiculous. Meanwhile there are people in prison who did much more henious crimes then this man ever did and they are probablky going to get released on parole. What a backwards system, I really have to think this system of justice and the people who run it are more retarded then the man in question, lol.

Edited by Realizm 2012
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Not suprised. Generally speaking many of the mentally disabled are being treated as criminals when in fact what they need is treatment. Many people I've seen who end up locked up for crimes are actually suffereing from some form of mental illness. This is the direct result of de-institutionalizing the system that was in place to treat those who are mentally disabled. Since there are no mental institutions anymore, those who are suffering from mental or emotional disorders are put into the penal system instead, as nobody wants to deal with the problem.

 

Obviously I'm not saying that people should commit murders and get a pass in court for it, that would be stupid. But I think the ruling to carry out the excecution of this man is effin ridiculous. Meanwhile there are people in prison who did much more henious crimes then this man ever did and they are probablky going to get released on parole. What a backwards system, I really have to think this system of justice and the people who run it are more retarded then the man in question, lol.

 

 

 

Bravo. Brilliant comments. People who are mentally ill are short charged in the criminal system. Despite it's many faults, at least NY State is somehwhat progressive in that area. This guy in this case should just be in a specialized (not a so called "country club" low level facility either)jail for those with mental illness for a long time to pay back his crimes. Death Penalty is way excessive in this murder case.

Disclaimer! I support it in very rare cases such as 1st degree murder of Police Officer/Law Enforcement or of a child. Also only for serial multi-person murders.

 

Too bad these days many defendants in murder *Cough cough* Dark Knight Shooter James Holmes exploit this issue and ruin it for those who really are mentally ill.

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he was smart enough to know that by selling drugs he can make fast money, he was smart enough to know why he was arrested and he was smart enough to plan the abduction and murder of jerry robert williams.

 

joe

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he was smart enough to know that by selling drugs he can make fast money, he was smart enough to know why he was arrested and he was smart enough to plan the abduction and murder of jerry robert williams.

 

joe

 

 

Playing devils adovcate Joe (phantom) are you in some cases, for the defendant/convict if clearly shown to have mentally ill or retarded at time of crime to have him/her sent to a specialized jail for those "mentally challenged?" In this story, I agree more with MHV and realizm that a long term i.e 40-50 years or life sentence in a jail that i mentioned above is best sentence for him.

 

And I am not talking for the Dark Knight shooter either who will probably try to use mentally insane or mentally challenged to avoid being sent to death. :angry:

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Playing devils adovcate Joe (phantom) are you in some cases, the defendant/convict if clearly shown to have mentally ill or retarded at time of crime to have him/her sent to a specialized jail for those "mentally challenged?" In this story, I agree more with MHV and realizm that a long term i.e 40-50 years or life sentence in a jail that i mentioned above is best sentence for him.

 

if this was a case of someone pushing a bystander in front of a train, or someone off his meds, grabbing a knife and stabbing random people on the street i would agree with long term incarceration, but this guy, by planning the crime, showed that he understood what was going on, therefore no pass from me

 

joe

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I guess things have changed, I once read several years ago that they can't give the death penalty to a mentally retarded

or mentally ill person. I guess the laws vary from all of the states who have the death penalty.

 

Yes, there still are mental institutions in the United States, not all of them have been closed or abandoned.

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It is illegal to execute mentally retarded people. The Supreme Court ruled this in 2002 under Atkins v. Virginia. Read up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atkins_v._Virginia

 

Texas has some serious issues if it thinks it can go against the SCOTUS. The estate could sue for wrongful death and gain damages in the millions of dollars.

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It is illegal to execute mentally retarded people. The Supreme Court ruled this in 2002 under Atkins v. Virginia. Read up: http://en.wikipedia....ins_v._Virginia

 

Texas has some serious issues if it thinks it can go against the SCOTUS. The estate could sue for wrongful death and gain damages in the millions of dollars.

 

 

That maybe true! However Death Penalty states like Texas can expolit and state the inmate had basic knowledge of the murder and thus can be sent to death. As i said earlier, the death penalty IMO should be used in rare cases only. With that said, there should always be someone from the Justice Department sent to provide an "objective" 2nd view when the question of mental illness is involved w/ inmates before the execution.

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if this was a case of someone pushing a bystander in front of a train, or someone off his meds, grabbing a knife and stabbing random people on the street i would agree with long term incarceration, but this guy, by planning the crime, showed that he understood what was going on, therefore no pass from me

 

joe

 

 

What planning of the crime? There wasn't solid evidence...did you even read the article? Actually, don't answer, I just lose faith in America when I talk with you.

 

I guess things have changed, I once read several years ago that they can't give the death penalty to a mentally retarded

or mentally ill person. I guess the laws vary from all of the states who have the death penalty.

 

Yes, there still are mental institutions in the United States, not all of them have been closed or abandoned.

 

It is illegal to execute mentally retarded people. The Supreme Court ruled this in 2002 under Atkins v. Virginia. Read up: http://en.wikipedia....ins_v._Virginia

 

Texas has some serious issues if it thinks it can go against the SCOTUS. The estate could sue for wrongful death and gain damages in the millions of dollars.

 

 

It is against the law, and they do have serious issues.

 

They killed him today. Governor Perry ignored his chance to stop the execution. I wish I were surprised.

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What planning of the crime? There wasn't solid evidence...did you even read the article? Actually, don't answer, I just lose faith in America when I talk with you.

 

oh i will answer, now unlike you, i dont just read one thing and make a decision, i investigate further. Google is your friend

 

http://murderpedia.org/male.W/w/wilson-marvin-lee.htm

 

i wont paste the whole page but here is the planning part

 

 

Sometime after the incident, Wilson told a friend that someone had “snitched” on Wilson, that the “snitch” was never going to have the chance to “to have someone else busted,” and that Wilson “was going to get him.”

On November 9, 1992, several observers saw an incident take place in the parking lot in front of a grocery store. In the parking lot, Wilson stood over Williams and beat him. Wilson asked Williams, “What do you want to be a snitch for? Do you know what we do to a snitch? Do you want to die right here?”

In response, Williams begged for his life. A friend of Wilson's, Andrew Lewis, was pumping gasoline in his car at the time. Williams ran away from Wilson and across the street to a field. Wilson pursued Williams and caught him. Lewis drove his car to the field and while Williams struggled against them, Wilson and Lewis forced Williams into the car.

At some point during this incident, either in front of Mike’s Grocery, across the street, or at both places, Lewis participated in hitting Williams and Wilson asked Lewis: “Where’s the gun?” Wilson told Lewis to get the gun and said that he (Wilson) wanted to kill Williams.

They drove toward a Mobil refinery. Two other witnesses drove back to their apartments, which were close by, and when they arrived, they heard what sounded like gunshots from the direction of the Mobil plant.

Sometime after the incident, Wilson told his wife, in the presence of Lewis and his wife, “Baby, you remember the n***** I told you I was going to get? I did it. I don’t know if he dead or what, but I left him there to die.” When Lewis's wife looked back at her husband, Wilson stated, “Don’t be mad at him because he did not do it. I did it"

 

 

joe

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