NC murderer taken off death row

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Marvin Williams (WTVD)

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A Wayne County judge has ruled that a convicted murderer must be taken off death row because he meets state criteria for being mentally retarded.

Judge Arnold Jones announced his ruling Thursday in the case of 50-year-old Marvin Williams. Williams killed Theron Price in 1989 during a robbery at the company where both men worked.

A state law passed in 2001 forbids the state from executing anyone defined as mentally retarded, meaning an IQ of below 70. Williams has repeatedly scored below that number on multiple tests.

Williams is the 17th prisoner to avoid the death penalty since the law was passed. No one who has been removed from death row under the law has been released from prison.

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