February 20th, 2013
Yesterday the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied death row inmate Warren Lee Hill clemency, and both the Georgia Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court denied him a stay of execution, despite his well-documented intellectual disability. Within 30 minutes of his scheduled execution last night, Hill was finally issued a stay by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the appeals court ruled that further review is needed of affidavits released last week by doctors who testified in 2000 that Hill was not mentally disabled but have since changed their minds. The Georgia Court of Appeals also issued a stay, saying it needed more time to consider a separate challenge to the state’s lethal injection protocol.
This is the second time in seven months that Hill has come within minutes of being executed. His case is just one example of why the use of the death penalty must end. And we have a real chance of seeing that happen in Maryland. The first vote on the Maryland death penalty repeal bill is tomorrow in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. If they vote yes, the bill could get to the senate floor within days, and we could see the end of the death penalty in that state by the end of the weekend!
You can help! Please take a moment to thank Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley for sponsoring the repeal legislation and ask him to use his influence to get the Senate to say YES – with no amendments. Send Governor O’Malley a message here.
There’s also great news in Montana! Their first vote on their death penalty repeal bill is this Friday. If you know anyone who lives in Montana, ask them to contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote YES on repealing the death penalty.