Updated Tuesday, August 7, 7:42 pm
If 54-year-old Marvin Wilson is put to death on Tuesday, it will not
be because Texas denies that he is intellectually disabled, or as the
legal literature puts it, “mentally retarded.” This much, the state
recognizes. It just does not believe that Wilson is disabled enough not to be executed in Texas—a flagrant violation of the 2002 Supreme Court ruling in Atkins v. Virginia, which held that “the mentally retarded should be categorically excluded from execution,” period.
Thus, barring a last-minute intervention, a man who has been
diagnosed with an IQ of 61 and who sucked his thumb well into adulthood
now faces the prospect of being strapped to a gurney and injected with
lethal chemicals until he is pronounced dead. “It doesn’t usually get to
this point when you have an Atkins claim this strong,” his
lawyer, Lee Kovarsky, told me over the phone on Sunday. “This claim is
really sort of the worst of the worst.”
Read more at The Nation.