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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Marvin Wilson Executed in Texas for the Murder of 21-year-old Jerry Williams in November 1992

A convicted murderer has been executed by lethal injection in Texas after the US Supreme Court rejected claims he was too mentally impaired to qualify for the death penalty.

Marvin Wilson’s lawyers argued that his IQ of 61 – below the generally accepted minimum competency standard of 70 - should have made him ineligible for capital punishment.

The Supreme Court denied his request for a stay of execution less than two hours before his lethal injection began.

The 54-year-old smiled and nodded to his three sisters and son, told them he loved them and asked them to give his mother "a big hug".

He said: "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."

Wilson was convicted of murdering 21-year-old Jerry Williams in November 1992, several days after he had been arrested for cocaine possession. He accused Williams of snitching on him about the drugs.

In his Supreme Court appeal, Wilson's lead lawyer Lee Kovarsky said his language and maths skills "never progressed beyond an elementary school level" and that he was unable to manage his finances, pay bills or hold down a job.

But lower courts had dismissed his IQ, arguing that it was based on a single possibly faulty test and that his mental impairment claim was not supported by other tests and assessments over the years. Read more