Will Rick Perry Execute A Mentally Disabled Man Tonight?Rick Perry would execute a basket of kittens so long as you put the paperwork in front of him; he doesn't spend a lot of time pondering these things. And neither does the entire state of Texas, which is how we find ourselves in a position where Texas is going to execute a man who, by supposed rule of law, may not be executed.
“It is an outrage that the State of Texas itself has worked to frustrate Mr. Campbell’s attempts to obtain any fair consideration of evidence of his intellectual disability,” said Robert C. Owen, an attorney for Mr. Campbell. “State officials affirmatively misled Mr. Campbell’s lawyers when they said they had no records of IQ testing of Mr. Campbell from his time on death row. That was a lie. They had such test results, and those results placed Mr. Campbell squarely in the range for a diagnosis of mental retardation. Mr. Campbell now faces execution as a direct result of such shameful gamesmanship.”State prosecutors didn't disclose that Campbell was severely mentally handicapped, despite at least three separate tests demonstrating it. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals didn't give a crap when it was discovered, because when it comes to capital punishment each of the various states has bent over backwards of late in order to skirt whatever scant limits the law supposedly imposes (see: Oklahoma, etc.) The Fifth Circuit doesn't give a crap, though we presume if the defense suddenly discovered that their client was a corporation they would get right on that. And as for Rick Perry, the presidential contender who got applause for executing more of his state's citizens than anyone else? The odds that Rick Perry is going to voice his concerns for the rule of law seem rather scant.
And so that is why, yet again, it looks like America will execute a man with obvious mental impairments. Partly because many people don't see a particular problem with that, despite the Supreme Court saying that technically you are not allowed to, but mostly because following those bits of the law when executing someone would be, for the supposed law-and-order crowd, too damn inconvenient for the state to bother with. (This is also why Texas, like other states, is refusing to disclose how it even obtained the drugs to be used to put Campbell to death.)
Jeebus, people, at least pretend to not be barbarians. The whole premise of the capital punishment fetish is an obsession with maximal revenge under color of law; dodging the law in order to better exact that revenge is a sentiment not very far afield from the original crimes themselves.