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Texas Execution

The execution of Milton Mathis, noted in yesterday's News Scan, was carried out yesterday.  The updated AP story (same link) has details.  Even though he murdered two people and paralyzed a 15-year-old girl, Mathis actually had the gall to say this:

"The system has failed me," he said. "This is what you call a miscarriage of justice. Life is not supposed to end this way ... I just ask the Lord, when I knock at the gates, you just let me in."
Mathis's life did not end that way because of the "system."  It ended that way because of the crimes he chose to commit. The miscarriages of justice are the way Travis Brown and Daniel Hibbard's lives ended and the way Melony Almaguer must spend most of her life paralyzed.

As for his retardation claim, the U.S. Court of Appeals noted:

The evidence presented to the state trial court showed Mathis to have a low range of intelligence but all above the threshold for mental retardation. Specifically, the expert's report indicated that Mathis' full scale I.Q. was 79, his verbal I.Q. was 77 and his performance I.Q. was 85. Testing performed by a psychologist for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after his conviction reflect different results. Those results show Mathis to have a full scale I.Q. of 62, verbal I.Q. of 65 and a performance I.Q. of 60.
It is not, however, a "mystery" how scores can vary so much, as the court said.  IQ testing depends for its validity on the subject doing his best.  All you have to do to score low, if that is the result you want, is not try hard.  On the other hand, it is not possible to fake being smarter than you really are unless you cheat, which a person on the low end of the scale is not capable of doing.  So the higher score is the more reliable one.  Mathis's 79 score precludes his claim of retardation.

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