Texas Executes Seventh Man of 2012

Marvin Wilson, an inmate with an IQ of 61 and the reasoning skills of a grade school student, was the latest to die in the Huntsville death chamber.
Wed August 8, 2012 7:03 pm
Associated Press | Pat Sullivan

Marvin Wilson, a 54-year-old inmate whose attorneys insist his low IQ should have disqualified him from the death penalty, was executed last night. He was the seventh man to be taken to Texas’s death chamber this year.

Despite his lawyers’ petition that Wilson’s execution be stayed due to his mental capacity, the U.S. Supreme Court denied his appeal less than two hours before his 6 p.m. lethal injection.

Wilson’s case, in particular, caught the national media’s attention because of the extremely low IQ score—61—that Wilson earned on a 2004 test. The “minimum competency standard” is generally around a seventy IQ, which puts Wilson below the first percentile of intelligence and means he met the “standard clinical definition of mental retardation,” Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, wrote at Salon. Wilson also sucked his thumb as an adult, didn’t know how

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...