Taliban Texas Still Executing Mentally Retarded Prisoners

Friday, January 15, 2010

Why won’t Texas just get on with it and secede from the Union? Despite the fact it is unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded prisoners in the United States, Texas has found a loophole to the law, according to a published report.

According to a new report in The Texas Observer, psychologist George Denkowski, an expert witness often used by Texas prosecutors, practices a form of “junk science” to erroneously boost the intelligence evaluation scores of mentally deficient death row prisoners,

In a 2002 Supreme Court decision, Atkins v. Virginia, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, “Because of their disabilities in areas of reasoning, judgment, and control of their impulses … [the mentally retarded] do not act with the level of moral culpability that characterizes the most serious adult criminal conduct.”

Because of this, the justices found it “cruel and unusual” to put the metally deficient to death, leaving it to the states to establish a framework by which such individuals could be identified in capital cases.

However, Texas Gov. Rick Perry rejected a bill that would have established rules to determine who is mentally retarded. Left grasping, courts invented their own criteria, turning to psychologists for the complicated evaluations.

Having played a key part in two-thirds of the state’s Atkins appeals, Dr. George Denkowski has built a lucrative practice off ensuring the mentally retarded are executed, his critics say. Denkowski’s reputation for declaring prisoners fit to die has earned him “almost Dr. Death status,” attorney Robert Morrow told reporter Reneé Feltz.

For $180 an hour, the 30-year veteran psychologist would evaluate a prisoner’s mental standing. For an additional $250 an hour, he would testify. And Denkowski almost always worked for the prosecution, the Observer noted.

After his evaluation of mentally retarded prisoner Daniel Plata was thrown out by a Texas judge, who called Denkowski’s methods “fatally flawed,” his critics became emboldened. Dr. Jerome Brown, who had worked on several of Denkowski’s cases in the past, filed a complaint with the state licensing board for psychologists, charging that Denkowski was unethically altering testing methodologies to drive adaptive behavior scores higher.

“It’s essentially junk science,” Brown argued.

This entry was posted in Human Rights, News, Southern Loon Watch, Texas and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Taliban Texas Still Executing Mentally Retarded Prisoners

  1. Big Hank says:

    Texas is devolving.

    The state is run by men and women who would find life in Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan, comfortable because of the theocratic nature of those places.

    Texas is a death culture. From hunting to execution, as long as they can claim a Biblical component, they’re happy.

  2. Joe in Colorado says:

    This is a no-brainer. Dr. George Denkowski must be licensed — even in Texas. What haven’t human rights advocates filing complaints with the APA and the state board to investigate and hopefully, pull this quake’s license? Stop the crime at the root. As for Rick Perry, he speaks their language. I didn’t think he stood a chance of being reelected governor but the papers say he’s raised a staggering $7 million in donations.

  3. retahyajyajav says:

    I don’t know.

    The thought of life in a Texas prison without parole seems to me to be the epitome of “cruel and unusual” punishment. I think I would rather die.

  4. $180-250 an hour? Imagine how much he’d be raking in if he was a unionist or a welfare queen. Godspeed, Texas!

  5. libhomo says:

    Don’t Texans have any shame?

  6. VicoDANIEL says:

    Joe in Colorado is correct.

    Human rights and prisoner rights groups need to file a formal complaint against this Dr. George Denkowski with the APA.

    He is basically engaging in human sacrifice in order to pocket $180 an hour of state money. I know Texas is the closet thing we have to a third world country in the USA but, professional standards and practices are still regulated.

    Even in Taliban Texas.


  7. JollyRoger says:

    The “culture of life” flourishes nowhere like it does in Texas, Holy Republic of Jesusistan.

  8. Rachel says:

    Did you know since 1990, only seven countries have reportedly executed juveniles: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Yemen, Pakistan and the United States. There have been 22 executions of juveniles since 1976, 13 of them in Texas. In 2005, the Supreme Court abolished capital punishment for juvenile offenders yesterday, ruling 5 to 4 that it is unconstitutional to sentence anyone to death for a crime he or she committed while younger than 18.

  9. feminazi says:

    I feel confident that if they could get away with it, the state of Texas would be executing 7 and 8 year old children too. There is something terribly wrong with the people living in the Lone Star State. I just read a piece about their governor, Rick Perry, who declined Federal stimulus money for education because Perry argued it would mean Texas wouldn’t have control over their classroom curriculum. This is a specious argument at best. What a dreadful place, that’s all I know.

  10. bradfrmphnx says:

    Texas is big on the pro life movement because of the biblical crowd. Should the unwanted child grow up abused, and angry enough at society to commit murder, they would execute it, even if it is mentally retarded. Mighty Christian of them.

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