Donald Giles would appear to have the trifecta of mental incompetence arguments against execution. He is a paranoid schizophrenic with an IQ of 61 and a history of suicide attempts and depression. However, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Martin McDonald has ruled that Giles, 41, may be put to death if the jury so rules in his trial for the 2003 murder and robbery of Charles Goodlett.
Kentucky law statutes actually ban the execution of a person with an IQ of 70 or below but McDonald ruled that Giles should have been given an IQ test as a child to claim such an exception.The law giveth and the law taketh away. After all, without an IQ test as a child, establishing that Giles fell below the normal range of intelligence, what used to be called mentally retarded before such words were taboo, how can McDonald be assured that this isn’t some cleverly crafted scam to deny him the opportunity to put someone to death? Recent fabrication is always a problem when there’s a potential execution on the horizon, and to deny the people of Kentucky an execution would be wrong unless the defendant can prove that he’s unworthy of death, Don’t blame the judge; after all, there was nothing stopping Giles from having an IQ test long before this whole mess happened.
Except maybe the fact that most parents don’t anticipate that their child will eventually face execution but for neuropsychological testing. Which is why you need to know this. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want your child to be executed because you didn’t plan ahead.
Judge Martin McDonald, however, is of the opinion that disclosure of this preparation secret is wrong. From the Louisville Courier-Journal :
Senior Judge Martin McDonald criticized The Courier-Journal on Friday for an article the previous day about Donald Giles, who is legally mentally retarded but facing the possibility of the death penalty along with Robert Holt in the 2003 murder and robbery of Charles Goodlett.
“I don’t like The Courier-Journal blasting something in the media about a case we’re getting ready to start jury selection on,” McDonald said Friday, as the trial was set to begin. “I mean, it’s counterproductive.”
I mean, seriously, if the newspapers go and blast the trick to beating an execution, how do they think they’re ever going to execute any mentally retarded defendants in Kentucky? Counterproductive indeed.