December 4, 2009

Woods Executed

From the New York Times:
Killer with Low I.Q. Executed in Texas
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.

HOUSTON — Bobby Wayne Woods was executed Thursday evening in Texas after his lawyers lost a battle to persuade the courts that he was too mentally impaired to qualify for capital punishment.

Mr. Woods, 44, was convicted of raping and killing an 11-year-old girl in 1997. He received a lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 6:48 p.m. in the death chamber at a state prison in Huntsville, Tex., after the United States Supreme Court denied a request from his lawyers to stay his execution. His last words, at 6:40, were: “Bye. I am ready.”

Tests administered to Mr. Woods over the years placed his I.Q. between 68 and 86, prompting a bitter debate between his lawyers and the state over whether he was too impaired to face execution. The state and federal courts repeatedly sided with prosecutors.

The debate reflects the gray area left by the Supreme Court in 2002, when it ruled that the mentally impaired were not eligible for the death penalty but left it up to state courts to interpret which inmates qualified as impaired.

Mr. Woods’s lawyers argued that his intelligence scores were low enough that he should be spared because of the Supreme Court ban in Atkins v. Virginia. Maurie Levin, a University of Texas law professor who represented Mr. Woods, said in a pleading that “his I.Q. hovers around 70, the magical cutoff point for determining whether someone is mentally retarded.”

“He’s transparently childlike and simple,” she said before the execution. “It’s a travesty.”

What's more like a child than rapist/murderer?
In its 2002 ruling, the Supreme Court said that to demonstrate that someone is mentally retarded, one must prove that the person has had low I.Q. scores and a lack of fundamental skills from a young age. The court said a score on intelligence tests of “around 70” indicated mental retardation.

But that standard has been applied unevenly by state courts, according to a study by Cornell law professors. Some state courts in Alabama, Mississippi and Texas have held that inmates with scores as low as 66 are not impaired, while an inmate in California with a score of 84 was declared mentally retarded.

How many people in California have IQs no higher than 84? Seven to twelve million?

As I pointed out back in 2002 when the Supreme Court made its ruling, that this decision reflects the lack of realism in elite institutions about the distribution of IQ in America. Any grandchild or nephew that a Supreme Court Justice has with an IQ below 70 is almost certainly organically retarded, with Down's Syndrome or other impairment that makes him what cynical obstetricians call an FLK -- Funny Looking Kid. In contrast, there are large swathes of American society where people with IQs below 70 are more likely just to be the slow one in the family.
Courts in Texas repeatedly rejected Mr. Woods’s claims of impairment, although the state’s highest criminal court halted his execution last year to allow more hearings. That reprieve was lifted in October, and this week, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously to reject a clemency request.

As a child, Mr. Woods struggled in school and dropped out in the seventh grade. He was barely literate and had to copy words from a spelling list to write the simple notes he sent his family.

His intelligence was tested twice in grade school, and he received scores of 80 and 78, but defense lawyers argued that those scores should be adjusted downward to account for the age of the tests. As an adult, he was tested just before his trial and scored 70. A second full-scale test done in prison in 2002 showed him with an I.Q. of 68. He scored higher on two short-form tests.

Still, the Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, argued in a motion before the Supreme Court that the only times Mr. Woods had scored under 70 was when the test was administered by an expert for the defense. He also pointed out that Mr. Woods had successfully held jobs as a short order cook and a roofer.

“The only experts to ever conclude that Woods was mentally retarded did so after he had committed this murder and had motivation to underperform,” Mr. Abbott wrote in his brief.

Mr. Woods was convicted of killing his former girlfriend’s daughter. A jury determined he had abducted the 11-year-old girl, Sarah Patterson, along with her brother, Cody, from the family’s home in Granbury, Tex.. The girl was raped before her throat was slit. The boy was severely beaten and left for dead, but he survived.

I dunno, but I kinda figure that "Thou shalt not kill" isn't that hard to figure out.

By the way, Bobby Wayne Woods was white. That reminds me, when I went to Rice in Texas in the 1970s, I heard that the Houston cops would say that if they could just arrest a white guy named "Wayne" and a black guy named "Charles Williams," there would be no more crime in Houston. That was because every white guy they arrested said, "No, man, it wasn't me, it was Wayne," and every black guy they arrested said, "No, man, it wasn't me, it was that Charles Williams."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

88 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn, for a second I thought you were talking about Tiger! BTW have you looked into that at all - seems to be a classic case of legal blackmail you mentioned recently.

Mr. Anon said...

"By the way, Bobby Wayne Woods was white."

The "Wayne" pretty much gives that away.

Has anyone done a study of the correlation between being a killer and having the middle name Wayne? I bet it would be really high.

ben tillman said...

I dunno, but I kinda figure that "Thou shalt not kill" isn't that hard to figure out.

And I dunno, but anyone who manages to have a girlfriend isn't retarded.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Bobby Wayne Woods was white.

Did you put that at the end to tease "Truth" or all your other readers?

Juan said...

Steve, were you aware that retired L.A. Dodger Pedro Guerrero--a five-time All-Star and co-MVP of the 1981 World Series--was acquitted in 2002 of drug conspiracy charges due to his lawyer's arguing that his client's IQ of 70 prevented him from understanding his role in a drug deal for 33 pounds of cocaine?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/06/06/roundup_ap/

I thought it an interesting factoid, one of which I had not, until recently, been aware.

Anonymous said...

"with Down's Syndrome or other impairment that makes him what cynical obstetricians call an FLK -- Funny Looking Kid."

For real? They call them that?

Middletown Girl said...

If retarded people shouldn't be put to death according to liberals, why is it okay to put down dogs who kill people?

I'd say a man with enough mental faculties to rape and murder a 11 yr old is man enough to be killed for what he did.

Anonymous said...

When I first read the headline, I thought it was referring to Tiger Woods.

On the subject of the picture of the Rapist-Murderer, I think that if you had a Rapist-Murderer in a movie who looked like that you'd be condemned for going over the top to the point of being ridiculous.

If I saw that guy walking down my street, I’d run him over with my car. (Or at least call the cops to report a GLLAP, or guy looking like a psycho murderer.)

Girls, don’t let guys who look like that anywhere near your daughters!

I wish I didn't have to say that, but evidently I do.

Anonymous said...

I guess only smart, well to do, good looking people should be eligible to be put to death. The rest are just too pathetic for any of us to get any satisfaction out of killing them. Yeah,let the arrogant heads roll.

Jimmy Crackedcorn said...

Damn, I thought you meant that Tiger and Elin had another fight.

Faust said...

I recall Samuel Francis said in the wake of the 2002 Supreme Court ruling, by such logic every person with an IQ below 70 should locked if they can held responsible for their actions.

Faust said...

Are Supreme Court justices mentally retarded? By Sam Francis

http://www.vdare.com/francis/retardation.htm

"They're still capable of murdering people, robbing them and causing all sorts of damage and injury. If they're just too dim to avoid doing so, they belong in institutions, not on the streets."

kudzu bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LemmusLemmus said...

Here's one thing I never understood about this: As soon as you know you might be sentenced to death, you know you're supposed to score low, right? And that's not that hard to do, right? So what's the use of administering tests once the testee knows he might be sentenced to death?

Mr. Anon, look:

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/09/28/the-next-time-your-daughter-brings-home-a-new-boyfriend-be-sure-to-ask-his-middle-name/

Anonymous said...

OT, but Razib and David Sloan Wilson discuss group selection and Kevin MacDonald at Bloggingheads.

Kevin said...

Where are all those low IQ people doing the Lord's work? Either they aren't doing it, or it's not being reported. And if they are doing it does it count? Since they are "impared" and all.

rightsaidfred said...

So, the Supreme Court rules that we can't us IQ tests in hiring, but it can be used to beat the rap.

Hmmm.

Simon said...

On what twisted theory of justice should the low-IQ murderer be punished less severely than the high-IQ? It makes no sense.

The severity of the crime is the same.
The deterrent effect is similar.
The incapacitive effect is identical.

Those who are actually severely organically retarded pretty much never commit murder, and if they do they're ruled 'unfit to stand trial'. This doesn't make much sense either. When animals kill people we just put them down, to stop them doing it again.

I don't advocate treating the low-IQ murderers as animals - better to respect their human dignity; try and execute them as men.

Fred said...

"And I dunno, but anyone who manages to have a girlfriend isn't retarded."

Hear that, Whiskey/T-99? 7th grade dropout criminal with a ~70 IQ had a girlfriend -- and he was probably too slow to learn "game". Does that make him a natural "alpha"?

Anonymous said...

"Wayne" works on so many levels.

"Wayne County" Michigan, where Detroit is. LOL.

dearieme said...

"With low IQ" is a clumsy expression: how odd that NY English doesn't have a simple adjective that would do instead.

l said...

Next time I go to court my defense will be: "I'm so stupid I didn't know that what I did was illegal."

John Craig said...

I reacted the way you obviously intended us to with that headline as well. But Tiger's formerly pristine public image has already been executed, and that's good enough for me.

After some of the comments here I Google-imaged Bobby Wayne, and didn't find him to be a FLK (funny-looking kid). He actually bears a slight resemblance to Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork Orange, but with shorter hair and without the smirk.

georgesdelatour said...

Can someone on this post answer me this question. If a US citizen is called for jury duty and a guilty verdict carries a death penalty, will they be excused from the jury if they oppose the death penalty? Are capital crimes decided exclusively by jurists who believe in capital punishment? Last time I checked around a third of Americans oppose the death penalty. Is this third automatically excluded?

Here's a more Steve-friendly question. Is there any correlation between IQ and attitudes to capital punishment?

Anonymous said...

I once did some work on a government database that tracked wildlife-related offenders - typically poachers. I idly wondered how many John Smiths there were in it. None. Then I checked if there were any cases of First Name=Robert, Middle Name=Wayne. There were something like six. Typical case: Bobby Wayne Johnson couldn't explain how the moose got tied to his car.

Gil said...

Uh oh! Sorites Pardox? Someone of 69 I.Q. is safe but someone of 17 I.Q. is doomed?

Anyway if he capable enough to do the crime he capable enough to face the punishment.

sykes.1 said...

The Hebrew text of the Sixth Commandment is, "You shall not murder." There is a very big difference between kill and murder. The Old Testament is full of all sorts of justified killings, but murders are condemned and punished.

Velvetgunther said...

Everybody looks like a psycho in a police mugshot. Even celebrities who get arrested look like that. This guy looks quite ordinary, and not even like a retard.

Pat Shuff said...

Anon said..OT, but Razib and David Sloan Wilson discuss group selection and Kevin MacDonald at Bloggingheads.

~~~~~~~

Excellent! As long time peruser of Gene Expression so refreshing to hear an interviewer knowledgeable and intelligent enough to ask the right questions in the right way and let the guy fully flesh out a response. As contrasted with lamestream (sidecreek?) media seemingly designed to exclude and preclude education and information to the advantage of propaganda points spanned by rhetorical tricks and sophistry. Politically, perhaps only C-Span excluded. Even the better documentary channels give wide berth to the controversial.

Like screw this ClimateGate, AbscamGate, Abramoff-Gate, WhateverGateGate, the omnipresent elephant gate in the room is the UbiquityGate.

jody said...

kind of off topic, but i thought it fit:

in addition to the clear contradiction that white liberals maintain over IQ being not real when testing public school students versus IQ being very real when trying to get murderers out of the death penalty, there is a similar clear contradiction in radar evidence when it comes to...

UFO cases.

radar is a very real, totally accurate, infallible, never wrong, can't be BS'ed, "it's physics" thing when the authorities are convincting you of speeding in a court of law.

but when the US air force or FAA openly admits that they not only had visual but also radar data in a legitimate UFO case, radar is BS, frequently inaccurate, fallible, often wrong, and can be BS'ed.

US military grade avionics are, apparently, so good that they are a generation ahead of every other nation's air force and navy jets, enabling them to see enemy craft without being seen themselves, and to avoid all ground based radar as well. the F22 works so well that barack obama wanted the program cancelled. he can't stand the idea of the US military have a vast, 20 to 1 kill ratio, air superiority over other forces' now-obsolete F15s and F16s.

yet the same multi-million dollar, state of the art avionics are suddenly total crap in those 1 in a million cases where the air force has encountered a UFO that was indisputibly a craft of some kind yet which they could not identify.

Anonymous said...

Damn, I thought you meant that Tiger and Elin had another fight.

I think that was Steve's intention...

Anonymous said...

As well as FLK I believe (male) doctors have another joke code to leave on (buxom female) patient notes.

Performed TUBE - Totally Unnecessary Breast Exam.

Roger Chaillet said...

You might be a redneck...

... if you have 3 names.

Such as Joe Don Baker.

Or Ricky Wayne Williams.

I worked one summer as a roofer here in Dallas. One of the roofers was nicknamed "Repeat." He was mentally slow, and the cousin to Pete. Pete would say something, and Repeat would repeat it verbatim.

Pete told the story about the job Repeat had working in the kitchen of a restaurant. Seems a coworker dared Repeat to snatch a dollar bill out of the coworker's hand. He told Repeat he could have the dollar if Repeat could snatch it from him.

Repeat picked up a butcher's knife, stabbed the coworker in the hand thereby impaling it to the butcher block table, and took the dollar bill.

I had a healthy respect for Repeat after I heard this story.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I've taught, supervised in sheltered workshops and taken physical care of people with varying degrees of mental retardation. Having a low IQ has nothing to do with not being able to tell right from wrong. Whatever aquifer the desire to do the right thing springs from, it's not intelligence. He knew what he was doing, and he knew it was wrong.

Peter A said...

why is it okay to put down dogs who kill people?

It's not, according to liberals.

Dutch Boy said...

The largest single cause of mental retardation currently is autism and autistics are not funny-looking (but they are funny-acting!).

kerdasi amaq said...

So, if you're attacked by an idiot with IQ of less than 80, you can't kill 'em in self-defense.

The next position for liberal idiots to take.

travis said...

"Has anyone done a study of the correlation between being a killer and having the middle name Wayne? I bet it would be really high."

For whatever reason, three names is the norm for many high profile killers: Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wayne Gacy, James Earle Ray, John Wilkes Booth, Mark David Chapman, Henry Lee Lucas, etc.

Maybe there's regular people out there named John Gacy or James Ray that appreciate the use of all three names to identify famous murderers.

Anonymous said...

Pedro Guererro.



Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

Hey dumbasses- Steve wrote the title for that reason. It's supposed to be a subtle joke that you don't have to comment on.... I'm disappointed in a lot of you.


Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

I think Amanda Knox was railroaded in that 2nd world country btw.



Dan in DC

pouffiassei said...

"By the way, Bobby Wayne Woods was white."

The "Wayne" pretty much gives that away.


But See: Wayne Williams

Doc said...

FLK a useful, politically incorrect, tool:

During my pediatric rotation in medical school, I learned of FLK syndrome--Funny Looking Kid Syndrome. It wasn't exactly a diagnosis. It was an indication that we had to delve into the reason for the FLKS. Our attending physicians would always ask the obvious question: "What do the parents look like?" Basically, if the parents were sort of unpretty, we had no need to search for some of the other disorders, either genetic or developmental, that could explain the child's looks. Being that I trained in the midwest (calm down, square staters, it's just a joke...or is it?), there was no shortage of abnormalities--Angelman's Syndrome, Treacher Collins Syndrome, Marfan's Syndrome. I saw it all...

Anonymous said...

Now I'm not so sure about the Knox verdict- it's a fascinating case, usually you can tell guilty/innocent immediately. If she is guilty why didn't Guede implicate her?


Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

On the frequency of people with these IQ's, in Dan Seligman's excellent book, he says that 1 in 5blacks in the US will have an IQ of 70 or below.

albertosaurus said...

I too think that it is an abomination to punish someone who is incapapable of understanding what is being done to him. The remedy is to be more humane.

Any criminal who pleads reduced capacity because of any kind of mental disability should simply be "put to sleep". If a dog is rabid they are not punished. They are humanely euthanized.

Opposition to this sensible policy comes from those who subscribe to some form of mystical world view where humans are completely separated from the rest of nature. Many religious people literally believe in a creator who indulged himself with a special creation for mankind. This special status means than humans are subject to special laws and practices.

In America with our constitutional ban on adopting religious notions as public policy, we are forbidden from acting as if humans have been made special by God. The argument made for not killing this man is fundamentally a religious argument and as such should not be considered in America.

Presumably if a person is too dumb to be exececuted because he doesn't understand the sentence then he will also be too stupid to understand why he is being incarcerated. My dog certainly understands that he shouldn't take a dump on the living room rug. He can make that connection. His lawyers would have you believe that Woods is not as bright as my dog. They argue that it never occured to him that murder and rape were in any way wrong.

If that's the case we should just put him to sleep.

Anonymous said...

"Wayne" is certainly anecdotally correlated with being a murderer. Google "Wayne middle name News of the Weird" and you'll get NOTW's amazing rundown on this obscure phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

I admit that as a judge I myself might find excuses to get people out of the death penalty because the death penalty is against my religious convictions, so if that were a judge's real (tacit) motivation I'd probably be OK with that, but the idea that people, with same rights that I have, have fewer responsibilities, rubs me the wrong way. Equality of rights must come with equality of responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Steve, will you write about the Knox trial so I will know what to thin. Thanks,


Dan in DC

Thomas said...

"The "Wayne" pretty much gives that away."

Yeah, if he was black, it would be "DeWayne". LOL!

What I'm waiting for is the case that deals with whether someone who is "mentally retarded" (at least by the standards we're going with here) can be held responsible enough to serve life in prison. After all, if they really are so lacking in mental culpability that we can't hold them responsible for purposes of the death penalty, how can we say that they're culpable enough to be imprisoned for life?

Mike said...

I recall that "Funny-looking kid" had a medical code that went along with it, that could be used for billing, though I can't find any evidence of this when I googled for the actually ICD code for it. Perhaps it's been phased out, or my memory has a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, but I kinda figure that "Thou shalt not kill" isn't that hard to figure out.


you're correct, it isn't

and neither is "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord"

now, i'm aware that Texas thinks it's the Lord

guess we'll all have to see if they're right or not

Flay said...

OT, but Razib and David Sloan Wilson discuss group selection and Kevin MacDonald at Bloggingheads.

Interesting. Last night, one of the sub-header links of that diavlog that take you to a particular section of the diavlog actually included the name "Kevin MacDonald." I forget what the rest of the link said.

Today it's been changed to "Razib on how a scientist went in a “dark direction."

worldaverage said...

An IQ of 70 is not as low as it sounds. Richard Lynn estimates that the average IQ of the entire world is only 90. He also suggests that just as people have become several inches taller over the 20th century, superior nutrion has has enhanced the development of the brain causing average IQ all over the world to rise by at leats 20 points over the 20th century. So an IQ of 70 by today's standards would be equivalent to an IQ of 90 (the world average) at the start of the 20th century.

Sid said...

It's plausible he was organically retarded, being that he was white and his face looks none too symmetrical in that photo (he's not exactly funny-looking, but his head doesn't look normally formed). It all depends on his family background. If he was from generations of white trash, then it's more likely that he was retarded because of low-IQ genes, whereas if he had lower-to-upper middle class parents, then it's more likely he was "off" altogether.

Dave R. said...

To play devil's advocate on an issue I'm still thinking through: Saying there is an IQ cut-off below which an adult human doesn't know its wrong to rape and murder a child seems to concede that a person below that cut-off point is not truly a moral or intelligent actor. Once they have both offended and been declared incompetent, they must be regarded as inherently dangerous. Or, as Middletown Girl put it, they put down man-killing dogs, don't they?

Steve Sailer said...

I remember in 1981 in LA, two late night disk jockeys got into a dispute over whether the other could compose a poem about Pedro Guerrero. One finally came up with:

Pedro, Pedro, Pedro Guerrero
His brain is as big as a sparrow

Vernunft said...

"In America with our constitutional ban on adopting religious notions as public policy"

Nope.

Anonymous said...

The Hebrew text of the Sixth Commandment is, "You shall not murder." There is a very big difference between kill and murder. The Old Testament is full of all sorts of justified killings, but murders are condemned and punished.

The exact phrasing in English as "Thou shalt not kill" is pretty much a relic of Jacobean terminology, where Anglophones in Shakespeare and Milton's day would have used the verb "to kill" where 21st c. Americans would use "to murder". The understanding of the more general verb "to kill" we have they would have rendered as "to slay".

Obviously the committee translating the KJV from Hebrew did not render it as "Thou shalt not slay", because that would make absolutely no sense in the overall context of an OT where the Almighty clearly condones, if not actually commands, the taking of human life in scores of both penal and military instances.

Anonymous said...

In addition to "FLK", there is "GOK"--"God Only Knows", used by attending physicians to signal to the next doc on rounds that he's totally baffled as to what to diagnose.

Toadal said...

Of course the New York Times story didn't have the detail Peeple Magazine could muster from following Bobby Wayne Woods' case for years. Here are some fascinating excerpts.

"Uh-oh, things are not going so good for me I don't think," Woods was overheard saying to defense attorney Paul Ellis in 1997. "Paul? Did I do something bad? If I did bad, I did not mean to do it."

"If something is really messed up, I didn't do it, okay? It wasn't me. It was probably Charley," said Woods, attempting to deflect blame onto fellow roofer Charles Williams. "He's no good. I do not like him. He should be in trouble, not me."

The week before his execution, Woods said that if he is in as big of trouble as he thinks he is, he hopes to receive his punishment soon so the situation can be over and done with so he can go home to his Gulfton neighborhood.

As he was led to the death chamber Woods said to Huntsville, Texas prison guard Tom Fredricks, "I am sorry for doing what I did, and for all the people who are mad, and for my parents, and my family, and the children I love, and everyone." "Please just let me climb roofs and pound nails again, and do all the things that let me feel good—like looking at TV, drinking beer, and playing with little girls." "I boxed my stuff and washed up and wanna go." "Bye. I am ready."

Anonymous said...

Let's revive gladiatorial combat using condemned prisoners. Eliminate the prisoners pairwise using weapons of diminishing lethality until the finals where the last two standing must duel to the death with ballpoint pens or garrotes made out of dental floss. The one who prevails then chooses between serving a life sentence or playing a game of Russian roulette for his freedom with a trained monkey.

Victoria said...

The Old Testament is full of all sorts of justified killings,

Justified? It's full of killings, but the Great God in the Sky never felt he had to justify his wanton lust for death.

"Go and kill the [fill in the blanks, there are so many]."

"But Lord, why? Those people have done nothing to offend us? Why must we kill them?"

"Never you mind. Just kill, kill, kill."

I'd say that is the primary message of the Old Testament. It far surpasses all that supposed poetry.

Anonymous said...

"For whatever reason, three names is the norm for many high profile killers: Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wayne Gacy, James Earle Ray, John Wilkes Booth, Mark David Chapman, Henry Lee Lucas, etc."

What creates this impression is media's custom of referring to criminals by their full names, to avoid maligning people with same first and last names (well, maligning fewer of them). AFAIK, Lee Harvey Oswald was called Lee Oswald during his life.

sabril said...

I basically agree with the other posters here. If low IQ people are exempt from the death penalty, why should they get to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as everyone else?

Victoria said...

They argue that it never occured to him that murder and rape were in any way wrong.

If this never occurred to him, then why didn't he engage in the practice of raping, slitting throats, and beating children throughout the course of his life? Why wouldn't this seem like perfectly okay behavior to him? If he didn't know right from wrong, what restrained him?

Truth said...

""With low IQ" is a clumsy expression: how odd that NY English doesn't have a simple adjective that would do instead."

Dumb?

Truth said...

"Next time I go to court my defense will be: "I'm so stupid I didn't know that what I did was illegal.""

Dude, I like your chances, I don't even think you'd be on the hook for perjury charges.

none of the above said...

What is the average IQ of prison inmates? My impression is that it's noticably lower than outside, but I didn't find a good number in a few minutes of Google searching. It would be interesting to know how much of an outlier Woods was, among prison inmates.

It makes no sense to refuse to execute someone for low-IQ but to leave them locked up in prison. It might make sense to route them into a completely different system, as with dangerous mental patients. As long as they're not let loose to prey on anyone else, I don't see how any great harm is done. Whatever deterrence is provided by the death penalty probably doesn't work all that well on very stupid people, just as it probably doesn't work very well on crazy people.

Anonymous said...

Another Doctor acronym - when faced with unattractive/dull/irritating patient with unknown but apparently trivial non-life threatening condition:

DKDFC - Don't Know, Don't Fucking Care.

Svigor said...

The exact phrasing in English as "Thou shalt not kill"

Then there's the interpretation that translates several of the commandments as basically one.

G**gled up a bit of discussion here:

http://members.cox.net/deleyd/religion/tencommandments.html

A more modern translation/interpretation might read:

Do not murder, commit adultery against, steal from, falsely accuse, or covet anything belonging to (including his wife), your cotribalist.

Anonymous said...

Let's see... he's a viscous killer, but he's worth saving because he's stupid. I don't know, to me that just looks like a second negative!

If a brilliant scientist killed someone I might be in favor of letting him continue to work from his cell. But what possible benefit does society gain from a stupid person locked away in a cell for life? It's not even clear to me that the stupid person benefits.

James Kabala said...

Victoria: "They worship idols [with attendant rituals such as human sacrifice and temple prostitution] and will try to convince you to do the same" might not be a good reason for the Western liberal mind, but it is a reason.

Kylie said...

"I dunno, but I kinda figure that 'Thou shalt not kill' isn't that hard to figure out."

"Thou shalt not kill" in the sense of "Killing is wrong" may well be too abstract for a retarded person to grasp.

But "Thou shalt not kill" in the more concrete sense of "Don't do this because if you do, you'll be punished" is a notion well within the grasp of all but the most profoundly retarded people.

CJ said...

What is the average IQ of prison inmates?

According to The Bell Curve it's typically 83 or 84 in American prisons.

georgesdelatour said...

albertosaurus

Do you think we should euthanise retarded people who have not yet committed a crime but who might in the future (based on their imbecility / lack of moral understanding)?

Have you heard of Stefan Kiszko? Please read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Lesley_Molseed

There is much to ponder in his case.

saywhat said...

"Whatever deterrence is provided by the death penalty probably doesn't work all that well on very stupid people, just as it probably doesn't work very well on crazy people."

Can someone please explain to me the difference between a stupid person & a crazy person. Both behave in irrational ways. Both misinterpret the world aound them. Both score low on IQ tests (schizophrenics perform poorly on many tests calling for working memory & abstract reasoning). So what is the difference between stupidity & insanity?

Kylie said...

"So what is the difference between stupidity & insanity?"

There isn't any, really, since "insanity" is a legal, not a medical, term that refers to a person's inability to know the difference between right and wrong and to appreciate the consequences of his actions. This inability is due to extreme psychiatric disturbance, not extremely low intelligence, but the effect is roughly the same.

Rephrasing your question using an old-fashioned term, the difference between stupidity and lunacy is, very roughly and unscientifically speaking, the difference between incomplete or deficient circuitry and circuitry that's been wired wrong. Or it's the difference between a dog and a person with a high fever. A dog has very limitted intelligence and will never understand why his human doesn't want him to mess the carpet where a feverish person may rant and rave deliriously but speak and act normally once his illness has subsided.

The symptoms of stupidity cannot be lessened with medication whereas the symptoms of lunacy can be. I've known people with serious psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, bi-polar) who, when properly medicated, earned advanced college degrees and were brilliant conversationalists. I've never had a conversation with any retarded person that wasn't very heavy going nor known one who was able to get through grade school.

Or put another way, a stupid person simply isn't all there while a lunatic is somewhere else entirely.

Am open to corrections and clarifications!

Truth said...

"So what is the difference between stupidity & insanity?"

Well, insanity is a state of one's being unable to connect to the real, concrete world around him.

Stupidity is believing that George Soros and Bill Gates are backing a "communist" who is going to redistribute all of their money, for president.

It really isn't that hard.

saywhat said...

Kylie, insanity may be the wrong word, but lunacy as you say is old-fashioned. Perhaps psychosis or craziness are better terms. Do you think psychosis should be considered a form of stupidity, perhaps temporary stupidity or bizarre stupidity or domain specific stupidity? Or is psychosis conceptually separate from stupidity? As you suggest, a stupid mind is low functioning while a psychotic mind is malfunctioning. But is it the intelligence that is malfunctioning or just the willingness to use it? In other words, do you think psychosis is a cognitive/intellectual impairment or a personality/emotional impairment? If it's the latter then you could say that that a psychotic is intelligent, however they are emotionally compelled by distracting thoughts to not use that intelligence to solve external problems. That is their attention is divided between their reality and their fantasy, so they function at only half their intellectual level. Or is their intellectual level itself impaired because they cognitively process information incorrectly? Is psychosis a mental disorder, a mental illness or a mental disability?

Eric Rasmusen said...

As someone commented, it's funny that the Supreme Court says that you can't execute somebody with a low IQ score, but it's illegal not to hire him unless you can explain (not just conclusively show, right?) specifically why IQ is related to job performance.

Kylie said...

"But is it the intelligence that is malfunctioning or just the willingness to use it? In other words, do you think psychosis is a cognitive/intellectual impairment or a personality/emotional impairment?"

I think psychosis is likely a biochemical impairment that affects both cognitive/intellectual functions and personality/emotional functions.

"If it's the latter then you could say that that a psychotic is intelligent, however they are emotionally compelled by distracting thoughts to not use that intelligence to solve external problems. That is their attention is divided between their reality and their fantasy, so they function at only half their intellectual level."


I gather from talking to lucid psychotics that during florid psychosis, what you call "distracting thoughts" are reality to them. They may retain enough intellectual function to, say, make out a grocery list or even write a short story. But that grocery list might contain items such as "burnt skull" or "dead dog" and the short story might be equally grotesque or nonsensical to a lucid person. It's not a question of their attention being divided between their fantasy and reality; instead, fantasy and reality have become inseparable and indistinguishable to them.

"Or is their intellectual level itself impaired because they cognitively process information incorrectly?"

Again, with florid psychosis as I understand it, you can't really separate the two. An intelligent psychotic might be able to complete a difficult crossword puzzle--but then conclude that it contains a hidden message from the KGB. Or he might be so distracted by auditory or visual hallucinations that he can't concentrate enough to do the puzzle. There are both types and degrees of impairment.

TGGP said...

After Wayne & Charles Williams, they'll also have to track down "Some Guy" and "This One Dude".

Anonymous said...

"Truth said...

Stupidity is believing that George Soros and Bill Gates are backing a "communist" who is going to redistribute all of their money, for president."

No, not all of THEIR money. All of OUR money. Bill and George will be just fine. As the old saying goes, if you propose to rob Peter to pay Paul, you can usually count on the support of Paul.

And are you claiming that George Soros did not support Barack Obama in a big way? It's a matter of public record.

Anonymous said...

"Performed TUBE - Totally Unnecessary Breast Exam."

12/05/2009

do you think female docs have a TUPE?

Anonymous said...

I've always felt that dreams are a good model for psychosis. There have been times when I've woken up and could clearly remember a dream, but when I tried to describe it I couldn't, because important parts of the dream made so little sense that I simply couldn't find a way to put them into words. And yet while I was dreaming it all made perfect sense! Somebody would say something, or something would happen, and it would mean something in the dream that it could never mean in real life.

I think being psychotic has to be something like that -- the things people say, or random events that occur, are all to some degree (depending on just how messed up you are) riddled with meanings that are apparent only to you. It's as if your mind has some sort of governor that disciplines and focuses it when you are awake, but relaxes when you are asleep, and psychosis is an dysfunction of that governor.

saywhat said...

"And are you claiming that George Soros did not support Barack Obama in a big way? It's a matter of public record."

Soros supports the Democratic party, not Obama in particular.

Truth said...

"And are you claiming that George Soros did not support Barack Obama in a big way? It's a matter of public record."

Yes, he did support Obama, and that's my entire point:

Communism is redistributing money from rich to poor so that everyone has the same capital. Why exactly would one of the richest men in America want a communist elected? So that he could give his money to you?