Stranger than fiction: the state of Texas uses Lenny from Of Mice and Men as criteria for the death penalty

John Steinbeck’s Lennie in Of Mice and Men is being used as a point of reference when determining which mentally handicapped defendants should be given a death sentence. Steinbeck’s son, Thomas, condemns the criteria saying, “I had no idea that the great state of Texas would use a fictional character that my father created to make a point about human loyalty and dedication, ie Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men, as a benchmark to identify whether defendants with intellectual disability should live or die.”




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