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Texas executes man who claimed he was mentally handicapped

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS (BNO NEWS) -- A Texas man convicted for the shooting death of a police drug informant in November 1992 was executed Tuesday evening, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments that he was mentally handicapped and therefore should not qualify for the death penalty.

Marvin Wilson, 54, was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m. local time at Huntsville Unit in Walker County. He was convicted and sentenced to death in April 1994 in the shooting death of 21-year-old police drug informant Jerry Robert Williams, who had been abducted by Wilson after a physical confrontation.

Tuesday's execution by lethal injection took place several hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-minute appeal in which Wilson's attorneys argued that his execution would be unconstitutional under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2002 which banned the executions of mentally retarded people.

It is widely accepted that someone with an IQ score under 70 is mentally retarded, and a psychological test conducted in 2004 pegged Wilson's IQ at 61. But prosecutors and officials argued that the test was carried out by an inexperienced intern and pointed out that several other tests showed his IQ to be above 70.

As he was laid down on the death-chamber gurney, Wilson told his three sisters and son that he loved them. "Son, get your life right with Christ," he said. "Give mom a hug for me and tell her that I love her. Ya'll do understand that I came here a sinner and leaving a saint. Take me home Jesus, take me home Lord, take me home Lord. [..] I see you Rich, don't cry son, don't cry baby. I love ya'll, I'm ready."

Wilson was the seventh person to be executed in Texas so far this year and the 25th in the United States. According to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), Texas has executed more than four times as many people as any other state since the United States reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

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