Moral Low Ground

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Texas Executes Mentally Retarded Milton Mathis by Lethal Injection

Milton Mathis, a mentally retarded man convicted of killing two people and paralyzing a third in a drug-related shooting in Houston in 1998, was executed by lethal injection Tuesday evening.

Although the US Supreme Court banned the execution of the  mentally retarded– those generally defined as having an IQ below 70– in 2002, that ruling, Atkins v. Virginia, allowed for the execution of those individuals already on death row. Mathis was sentenced to die in 1999.

According to Reuters, multiple intelligence tests, including one administered by the Texas Department of Corrections, proved that Mathis was indeed retarded. He scored in the low 60s in those tests, including a 62 on the Department of Corrections IQ exam.

Mathis, who was 32, has suffered from serious mental disabilities since he was a child. He also started doing heavy drugs at a very young age, smoking PCP and marijuana soaked in formaldehyde, known as “fry,” at the tender age of 12.

“Mathis has suffered from obvious mental disabilities since childhood. He failed the first, fifth and eighth grades and dropped out of high school in the ninth grade,” former Texas Governor Mark White, a Democrat, wrote in a Dallas Morning News editorial urging current Republican Governor Rick Perry to temporarily halt the execution.

But Perry, who has overseen the executions of over 230 individuals– more than any other US governor in modern history– has proven himself an eager killer of retarded people time and time again. He even vetoed a bill banning the execution of the retarded in 2001, a year before the US Supreme Court ruled such killings violated the Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Perry, who is considering running for the Republican nomination for US President, governs a state in which the vast majority of citizens support capital punishment.

Mathis was convicted in 1999 of the shooting deaths of  Travis Brown and Daniel Hibbard in a Fort Bend County home. Fifteen-year-old Melanie Almaguer was also shot in the head and paralyzed, and Mathis was going to shoot her mother as well, but he ran out of bullets. He robbed the house, set it on fire and fled.

Mathis faced Almaguer, who was present as a witness at his execution, and told her he “never meant” to hurt her. “You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

According to Reuters, Mathis’ last meal consisted of two burgers with bacon, fried pork chops, fried chicken, fried fish, chili cheese fries, regular fries, and fruit punch.

A last-ditch effort by his lawyers for a stay of execution and a review of his case was turned down by the state Supreme Court.

Before dying, Mathis decried Texas’ capital punishment system as “mass slaughter” and declared that “the system has failed me. This is a miscarriage of justice.”

Milton Mathis was pronounced dead at 6:53 pm local time.

He was the sixth person to be executed in the state of Texas this year, and the 23rd in the United States. Texas, by far, executes the most people of any state in the US. The Lone Star State has put 469 people to death since capital punishment was reinstated in the US in 1976.

The United States, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and Japan are the only countries that execute the mentally retarded.

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. Randy PlummerJune 22, 2011 at 10:33 amReply

    The part about Mathis being exempt from the mental retardation claim is false.
    The case Atkins v Virgina was made retroactive, applying to all inmates on death row at the time. The Supreme Court allowed the execution of Milton Mathis because they believed he was not retarded. The United States does not execute mentally retarded people.

    • Brett WilkinsJune 22, 2011 at 10:57 amReplyAuthor

      I have changed the wording of the post to be more clear on the nature of Mathis’ execution vis-a-vis Atkins v. Virginia. Thank you for the clarification. As for your statement about the US not executing mentally retarded people, it is patently false. Mathis, was, after all, retarded, as was Teresa Lewis, murdered by the state of Virginia last year. William Garner, murdered by the state of Ohio, was borderline retarded as well. James Lee Clark, murdered by Texas in 2007, had a maximum IQ of 68. These are just the examples I can think of off the top of my head.

      • VikingJune 22, 2011 at 1:40 pmReply

        Good to see that not all americans are barbarians. You americans prefer little interference from the goverment, yet you saloute goverment sponsored murders. The western world dosnt look up to you anymore, we laugh at you and scratch our head in disbelief.

  2. MarieJune 22, 2011 at 3:18 pmReply

    It wad long ovr due. Justice has been served for my cousin!!

    • Brett WilkinsJune 22, 2011 at 4:04 pmReplyAuthor

      “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” ~Jesus Christ.

      “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” ~Gandhi.

      No justice has been served. What the state of Texas did to Milton Mathis is every bit as barbaric as what he did to your cousin, maybe more so, since the State of Texas isn’t retarded… well…

  3. All4MiltonMathisJune 22, 2011 at 4:33 pmReply

    Brett Thank You As I Sit & Read All These Comment About Milton On All These Blog Its Sicken Me Milton The Media && Newspaper Will Do Anything For A Story && For Ppl To Read And Pass Judgement

    Milton We Love U

    The State Of Texas Committed Murder No One Other Than GOD Should Decide Ur Departure Day

  4. MarieJune 22, 2011 at 4:39 pmReply

    Well it is justice for her. Why dont u live ur life not being able to walk and have to live everyday like this. Those quotes may be true. Milton knew what he was doing before he did it. I dont feel sorry for him!! You get what you give! Hes dead and now only God can judge him!! My cousin has gone threw alot and still is. This is Justice For HER and this family!!!!

    • Brett WilkinsJune 22, 2011 at 4:50 pmReplyAuthor

      How sad and pathetic that Americans, alone in the industrialized world except Japan, still cling to the barbarism of state-sanctioned murder. How on earth can killing a human being be considered justice? Caveman justice, perhaps, but that is insulting cavemen because even they did not have capital punishment.

      Marie, can you please explain to me the logic by which we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong???

      • MetalGoddessSeptember 11, 2011 at 6:41 pmReply

        Hell, she doesn’t even know how to spell or punctuate correctly. You expect her to be able to reason? Now, that you got your so-called justice, go back to school and learn how spell. This guy was no angel to be sure, but murder is murder. Killing is killing. Either it’s acceptable or it’s not. Make up your mind. Can’t have it both ways.

  5. All4MiltonMathisJune 22, 2011 at 5:02 pmReply

    Marie Milton Has Apolgize To Melanie On Several Occassion He Accepted Responsiblity For His Action Like I Stated Above No One Should Decide No One Fate Other Than God He is A Child Of God Just As Well As You And I Are I Apolgize Also To Melanie But The Media Is Saying Milton Is A Menace To Society Did Drugs && Etc. When He Didnt No I Dont Know Why This Occurred But Just Like U R Defensing Your Cousin I Shall Do The Same For Milton And Will Continue To Do.He Never Had A Chance From The Beginning Ppl Are Quick To Pass Judgement Based Off Hearsay I Wish Melanie The Best && I Also Hope She Get The Proper Care She Needs

    GOD BLESS

  6. All4MiltonMathisJune 22, 2011 at 5:13 pmReply

    Brett
    No justice was served Texas Committed Murder Of A Mentally Disabled Person

  7. MarieJune 22, 2011 at 6:54 pmReply

    U all are intitled to ur own opinion. This is the way I feel about it. If u dont like it I really dont care. This is her justice, u do the crime u do the time. He chose his fate when he walked,in that door with my family in it and pulled that trigger. You all have.no f,ing idea whay happen that day! I do he was not mental he was sane. To ask my cuzim to get dwn on her knees and pray. So dont sit there and oh its barbaric. U ALL only knw wht the media says and they make it sound like they wamt u to feel sorry for this monster!!! Thats all I have to say!!

    • Brett WilkinsJune 22, 2011 at 7:12 pmReplyAuthor

      Goodbye. May you grow and evolve as a human being and not wish harm unto others, even a fly. You have hatred in your heart and that is very unhealthy.

      • All4MiltonMathisJune 22, 2011 at 8:51 pmReply

        Strongly agree w/ u Brett@ Marie u need to seek god and let him be ur leader,no one has the right to take others lifes and the state shouldnt have that right either.My cousin accepted responiblity for this no he didnt ask her for forgiveness but in court he did ask her and apolgized countless time because he knew he had to answer before god he ask the lord to accept him and so did we, he didnt just walk in they home (crackhouse) or whatever you want to call it and decide to kill them nor was Daniel or Travis his best friend the media is tryna paint a picture of Milton that he was some menace to society everyday people sin kill steal cheat and etc I guess we all are menace to society then huh?? His name is Milton not monster but like i stated above god bless you and passing judgement by wat you read u have no idea of my cousin mental state so please dont pass judgement because back in 1998 when the houston chronicle posted in the paper that your cousin was a 15yrs old hoe and crackhead or why was a 15yr old in a crackhouse i didnt pass judgement because i dont know her you be bless regardless of what you think about MILTON MATHIS remember he is god child and god got him now we all here on borrowed time god is loaning you to your family and tommorrow is not promise sweetie learn to forgive and again i hope her get the care she needs GOD BLESS

  8. ShellJune 23, 2011 at 5:32 pmReply

    The thing that bothers me most about this story is that it’s not true. He had an IQ over 80 and who’s to say he didn’t fake it to appear more Rain Man.
    We reap what we sow!

    • Brett WilkinsJune 23, 2011 at 6:28 pmReplyAuthor

      How do you know it is not true? Did you know Milton Mathis? Do you think the Texas correctional authorities are not experts on detecting fakers? Mathis would have to have an IQ of more like 130 in order to pull off such a subterfuge.

    • TyHarrisJune 23, 2011 at 10:55 pmReply

      Girl hush u didnt no my fucking cousin move around w/ the bullshit as a child Milton didnt understand and learn like others he was always slower than the rest plz dont down talk on my cousin he never had a iq test until four yr after being locked up u going base off the wat the media and newspapers and since u no Milton so well name a couple of street we stayed on?? sweetie Milton was like my brother and my blood cousin i spent every weekend summer and holiday w/ him so plz no ur facts win it come to MILTON WUZEAL MATHIS boo and u dispute urself by tryna get on a website && talk bout my blood wrong mfin fam believe that

  9. All4MiltonMathisJune 24, 2011 at 11:32 pmReply

    ♥ I thought of you today, but that is nothing new. I thought about you yesterday and days before that too. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have is memories and a picture in a frame. Your memory is a keepsake in which I’ll never part. God has you in his keeping, I have you in my heart … R.I.P MILTON WE MISS YOU

  10. saraAugust 22, 2011 at 8:15 pmReply

    I might not know your cousin Milton but I do know the little girls father. This girl was sold in to prostitution by her crack head mother. She had no choice. She was not “In the wrong place at the wrong time” like Milton said. He was a POS crack head that decided one morning to kill every one in that house, steal and then set the place on fire to cover up his crime. Milton is not mentally retarded, just read his letter asking for pen pals. If you kill you will be killed. Milton confessed. If his family was so concerned about him why didn’t they try to intervene? and get him some help. He’s now with his savior SATAN! One more loser gone! I don’t have hate in my heart only happiness!

  11. GilgameshOctober 12, 2011 at 7:19 amReply

    For a mentally retarded person, he sure did have a high level of intelligence in order come up with the following sentence as he was being excuted : “this is man slaughter”and declared that “the system has failed me. This is a miscarriage of justice.”

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