Marvin Wilson was executed for his actions, diminished mental capacity be damned. Making news headlines this week is the fact that in Texas they believe it’s okay to execute and carry out the death penalty on mentally impaired people. Honestly, shouldn’t we all be hanging our heads in shame that Marvin Wilson’s execution by legal injection was ever allowed to be carried out? I am outraged and saddened. Did Marvin Wilson even understand what was happening to him when he was taken into the death chamber where his lethal injection would be administered?
On Tuesday night, Texas executed Marvin Wilson, whose IQ score was 61 — low enough that it should have met any standard for “diminished mental capacity.” Shockingly, the court did not intervene to stop the execution despite its 2002 decision in Atkins v. Virginia barring the execution of the “mentally retarded” as “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Wilson played a role in the murder of Jerry Williams in 1992. He needed to be held accountable for his actions, even with diminished mental capacity. But he had the mental capacity of a first-grader, could barely match his socks and was fired from a car wash job for being too slow at drying cars. A clinical neuropsychologist with 22 years of experience concluded Wilson was intellectually disabled.
Texas got away with executing an intellectually disabled person because the Supreme Court allows states to determine their own standards of “mental retardation” and hasn’t bothered to push back when states clearly ignore its ruling.
What the fuck? In my mind, this is bullshit. We have mean, premeditated murderers who we allow the opportunity to live out their days in prison but we execute criminals who do not have the mental capacity to understand what they are being executed for and do not have the capability to reason. Did Marvin Wilson even know what he did was wrong? Was he able to reason why he was being executed? It’s like executing a small child.
This world has monsters like James Holmes who are PhD students, with what I am sure is an advanced intellectual quotient score, and he will spend his life in prison because after all of the appeals, we will never be able to execute him. He murdered 12 people in premeditated, cold blood. Where is the justice?
Granted if your IQ is 61 and you murder someone, you are still a murderer. I get that. I’m sure if Marvin Wilson murdered someone I loved, I’d want justice too but is executing someone who is of diminished mental capacity fair? If the criminal doesn’t understand the concept of right and wrong, should they be punished by death? It seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me. Can you imagine a 6-year-old murdering someone and then being executed because that is the mental capacity that Marvin Wilson had? A child’s mind would not be capable of understanding what was going on. They would not be able to reason and understand that the execution is a direct result of their own bad behavior. In the end, the execution will only serve to frighten the mentally impaired individual. They would not understand that they were being punished for a crime. They will only know that they are scared and alone and that is cruel and unusual punishment.
Throat Punch goes to Texas for it’s sliding scale of execution. By allowing the states to determine their own standards of “mental retardation” we are allowing them too much power to choose who gets executed and who doesn’t. There is no way that Marvin Wilson should have been punished by death without the understanding and reasoning to fully comprehend what was going on. Doesn’t this sliding scale lend itself to becoming a vehicle for genocide for the Marvin Wilson of the world?