Monday, August 6, 2012

Marvin Wilson: His lawyers are petitioning the Supreme Court today (August 6, 2012) for a stay of execution - as time is running out.

STORY: "Texas set to execute death row inmate diagnosed as 'mentally retarded," by reporter Ed Pilkington, published in the Guardian on August 5, 2012.

GIST: "If Wilson is executed on Tuesday, Texas will be rendering the US supreme court's Eighth Amendment prohibition on the execution of mentally retarded prisoners a prohibition in name only," said Lee Kovarsky, Wilson's lawyer. Kovarsky will be petitioning the supreme court on Monday for a stay of execution to give time for Texas's out-lying approach to intellectual disability to be confronted. The supreme court has a growing problem in this area with states coming close to open defiance of the will of the highest judicial panel in the land in relation to the execution of people with learning difficulties. Last month Warren Hill came within 90 minutes of execution in Georgia. The prisoner had been diagnosed by the state's own courts as being "mentally retarded" in all probability, but Georgia is the only state in the union that insists on a standard of proof of intellectual impairment that is "beyond a reasonable doubt"."

PUBLISHER'S VIEW: As Publisher of the Charles Smith Blog, I add my voice to those who are protesting the pending execution of Marvin Wilson - a man who received a 61 on the standard Wechsler full-scale I.Q. test, a score placing him below the first percentile of human intelligence and far below the I.Q. threshold for mental retardation. Let me make this clear: I am utterly opposed to capital punishment and am pleased to be a citizen of Canada, a country which abolished capital punishment many years ago. So it's all the more disturbing that Texas is brazenly perverting scientific criteria relating to mental retardation so that it can frustrate the U.S. Supreme Court's intentions and take this "child- like man's" life. Mr. Wilson's lawyers have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to consider whether the approach taken by Texas to redefine Marvin Wilson's mental status represents an unreasonable application of the Supreme Court’s rule against executing offenders with mental retardation. The execution is set for August 7. I truly hope they succeed. Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

The entire story can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.