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A Texas death-row inmate was executed Tuesday night after the Supreme Court rejected claims that the man was too mentally impaired to qualify for capital punishment.
Marvin Wilson, 54, was convicted of a 1992 murder of a police informant. His defense lawyers argued that his low IQ made him ineligible for capital punishment, the Associated Press reports. In 2004, Wilson tested at an IQ of 61; the generally accepted threshold for minimum competency is 70. State attorneys argued successfully to the lower courts that the IQ test didn't reflect other assessments of Wilson's mental competency.
The Supreme Court rejected his stay of execution request on Tuesday evening, clearing the way for his death by lethal injection.
The high court barred executions of mentally impaired inmates in 2002, as the BBC explains, but left the definition of mental impairment up to the states. Texas' requirements include a reliance on a subjective assessment of the convict's behavior and level of functioning along with an IQ test to prove incompetency. The state, arguing for Wilson's eligibility for the death penalty, claimed that Wilson showed "inventiveness, drive and leadership" in carrying out the murder of the informant.