Thursday, 5 April 2007
Texas to execute Mentally Retarded
Man on April 11, 2007
Since April 11th is only a week away, I suggest that people telephone,
write or visit Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis.
Rodney Ellis has repeatedly introduced Texas State Legislation to deal
with how the Texas courts are to handle Atkins v. Virginia, but for
whatever reason those proposed laws have yet to get enacted into law.
Texas is set to execute James Lee Clark on April 11, 2007 even though
the only two psychologists to examine Mr. Clark swear that Mr. Clark is
There are many serious problems with this case. These are three
1) The Denton County District Attorney was allowed to hire and fire
psychologists until he found a psychologist who would say that James
Clark is not mentally retarded. It's important to note that this
psychologist who says James Clark is not mentally retarded only read some
background information and chatted with James Clark for about two hours.
There was no comprehensive testing.
2) The Texas courts were allowed to ignore the two psychologist who
swear that James Clark is mentally retarded. These were the only two
psychologists who actually examined James Clark according to the American
Association on Mental Retardation testing requirements.
3) The Texas courts were allowed to use faulty science. In 1993 the
U.S. Supreme Court decided Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509
U.S. 579, the landmark case on how expert scientific testimony is to be
used in all legal proceedings. In short, expert scientific testimony must
fit the facts of the case (relevancy) and must have been derived from
accepted scientific method (reliability). However, in James Clark’s case
the Texas courts were allowed to ignore the accepted scientific methods
(as set by the American Association on Mental Retardation) for diagnosing
mental retardation. For example, the Texas Courts were allowed to ignore
the standard error of measurement, even though every professional on
intelligence testing knows that the standard error of measurement must be
Detailed information is available online at