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A man convicted of fatally shooting two people and paralyzing a third near Houston in 1998 is scheduled to be executed in Texas on Tuesday despite evidence that he is mentally disabled.
Milton Mathis, 32, has mental disabilities that should exempt him from the death penalty, according to officials who say he should be spared the death penalty. He was sentenced in 1999, before a Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to execute inmates with mental disabilities.
Mathis, who had an eighth-grade education when he was convicted, has scored in the low 60s on several IQ tests - including a 62 on a test administered by the state's prison system, according to an essay on the Stand Down Texas website by Mark White, a former Texas governor who opposes Mathis' execution. Stand Down Texas supports a death penalty moratorium in Texas.
Psychology experts have routinely put the standard for mental disabilities around a 70 IQ and lower.
"his current cognitive functioning appears to be a function of drug use . . ."
Such judicial adherence sends a message that the mentally ill would do better to refrain from taking risk-creating actions, unless they exercise a heightened degree of self-restraint and precaution, if they intend to avoid liability.
Without commenting on capital punishment - let me just ask this: If the man in question has been shown to have an 8th grade education and it was or can be shown that a person of 8th grade education does understand what murder (or related crime) is, should the person be held accountable?
reply to post by LadySkadi
You do know I can counter with the thousands of people who finish all 12 years of high school yet cannot read a single word... to often our education system is bent on just getting them on to the next school system so they will become another persons problem while never addressing the underlying problems..