Shawn Maxam on the execution of Marvin Wilson.
Tonight, Texas aka America’s Death Penalty capital executed Marvin Wilson who reportedly had an I.Q. of 61. Initially there was a belief that the Supreme Court would intervene but that didn’t happen. Honestly why would it? When has the criminal justice system been kind to racial minorities or any group that is deemed inferior, abnormal or on the fringes of mainstream society.
Lee Kovarsky who was Marvin Wilson’s attorney released the following statement below. You can read about the case at The Nation.
We are gravely disappointed and profoundly saddened that the United States Supreme Court has refused to intervene to prevent tonight’s scheduled execution of Marvin Wilson, who has an I.Q. of 61, placing him below the first percentile of human intelligence. Ten years ago, this Court categorically barred states from executing people with mental retardation. Yet, tonight Texas will end the life of a man who was diagnosed with mental retardation by a court-appointed, board certified specialist.
It is outrageous that the state of Texas continues to utilize unscientific guidelines, called the Briseño factors, to determine which citizens with intellectual disability are exempt from execution. The Briseño factors are not scientific tools, they are the decayed remainder of an uninformed stereotype that has been widely discredited by the nation’s leading groups on intellectual disability, including the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. That neither the courts nor state officials have stopped this execution is not only a shocking failure of a once-promising constitutional commitment, it is also a reminder that, as a society, we haven’t come quite that far in understanding how so many of those around us live with intellectual disabilities.
This case is sad on multiple levels. Every single day there is a media story about a man of color losing his life. Next time you think about why Black men are “so angry” in this country it is because we are constantly afraid. We never feel safe. Not from each other, not from the law, not from government institutions, not in this country we love and call home.
Please share this with friends, enemies and temporary allies alike.
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