February 19th, 2013
Update: Less than 30 minutes before Warren Hill was to be executed on February 19, 2013, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of execution, stating “further review is needed of recent affidavits by doctors who changed their minds about Hill’s mental capacity.” The state court of appeals also issued a stay to allow more time to consider a challenge related to Georgia’s lethal injection procedure.
Tonight at 7:00 p.m. (EST), the state of Georgia plans to execute Warren Hill, an inmate on Georgia’s death row who has an IQ of 70 and is considered intellectually disabled. According to the 2002 U. S. Supreme Court decision Atkins v. Virginia, people with intellectual disability are to be excluded from execution because of their reduced culpability, but the state of Georgia seems determined to ignore that decision in Hill’s case.
Since his conviction and death sentence, the three state experts that testified that Mr. Hill did not meet the standard for intellectual disability have all reversed their earlier views and now agree that he is intellectually disabled beyond a reasonable doubt.
But Mr. Hill’s execution is still on, and the clock is ticking. How does the state of Georgia execute a man not legally eligible for execution according to the highest court in the land? How do the courts continue to deny Mr. Hill a stay? How do we continue to utilize a system that is so arbitrary and inconsistent when a life is on the line?
(Photo courtesy of The Raw Story)