Skip to comments.Warren Hill Spared Minutes Before Scheduled Execution (Georgia)
Posted on 03/18/2013 7:47:09 PM PDT by nickcarraway
His death warrant was signed, and he had already taken an anxiety-calming sedative and said his final goodbyes to his loved ones. But supporters of this Georgia death-row inmate soon became elated after learning that Atlantas 11th U.S. Circuit of Appeals Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals both granted temporary reprieves just a half hour before Warren Hills state-sponsored murder was slated to begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19.
In a 2-1 decision, the federal judges decided that more reviews of the doctors statements were necessary. Still, Hill faces strict requirements to get his case reconsidered.
If this were easy, it would have been picked off months ago and not at 6:30 [Tuesday] night, stated Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. The fact that it was so late, I think, means that its going to be a hard fight. But the 11th Circuit said at least theres some way that he could still prevail. With a reported IQ of 70, Hills family says that the 53-year-old has displayed symptoms of impaired mental capacity since childhood. He was sentenced to death for the fatal beating of his cellmate, Joseph Handspike, in 1990. He was already serving a life bid for the 1986 slaying of his girlfriend, Myra Wright, who was shot 11 times. Before the stay of the execution, ex-President Jimmy Carter exclaimed: Georgia should not violate its own prohibition against executing individuals with seriously diminished capacity. Back in 1988, Georgia passed a law prohibiting mentally disabled people from being eligible for capital punishment, and in 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the execution of mentally impaired offenders was unconstitutional.
If you can prove that youre in a class that the Supreme Court has excluded from the death penalty, its like proving your innocence, Dieter said. I think one thing DNA and all the innocence cases have taught us is that sometimes there just is new evidence that ought to trump procedural bars.
Three weeks ago, newly sworn statements were provided by the three doctors who diagnosed Hill in 2000 as not being mentally disabled; they had changed their views.
In their new statements, the doctors declared that they were rushed in their initial evaluation, that they had acquired additional experience since then and that more scientific advances have been made in the intervening years.
In other words, all of the expertsboth the states and the petitionersnow appear to be in agreement that Hill is in fact mentally retarded, the 11th Circuit judges wrote.
Hills attorney, Brian Kammer, released the following statement: As new affidavits in our recent petition show, Mr. Hills diagnosis of mental retardation is now unanimous among all the doctors who have examined him.
The state questioned the doctors credibility, saying they hadnt seen Hill in over a decade.
Lily Hughes, the national director of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, commented: Georgia law apparently requires defendants to prove their mental retardation beyond a reasonable doubt. However, IQ levels are just one factor used to determine someones mental capacity, and there are often no clear procedures or even guidelines to make these critical determinations. States use this vagueness in the law to continue to execute people with demonstrable mental retardation in a gross mockery of justice in the United States. The following Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Georgia attorney generals request to lift the stay of execution.
This is the cruelest thing imaginable, to put the prisoner and his family through this emotional roller coaster, said Sara Totonchi of the Southern Center for Human Rights. The disgrace that is the death penalty in Georgia was abundantly evident on Tuesday night.
Justice is not being served ...
This is supposed to be "news"?
And of his victims and their families? The Liberal mind is that the killer is the victim in society.
And never will be. At this point, cruel and unusual is
I'm strongly in favor of capital punishment -- but the bait and switch thing is just not right. And, yeah, I realize that the real victims were not treated "fairly", but we execute people so that we can be rid of them; we do not strive to make them suffer on their way out. It's wrong.
You can thank liberal bleeding heart lawyers and activists for the endless appeals process, instead of swift, deadly justice with no “bait and switch.”
Yes, I do blame them. And I am also cynical enough to think that the “last minute reprieve” may be an attempt by bleeding hearts to be needlessly cruel so as to “demonstrate” how wrong the death penalty is. I hate Liberals. They do everything wrong and often do it intentionally.
Well look at it this way - he gets an extra “last meal” of fried chicken or whatever.
"It's a message....from the Kremlin.....the Central Committee......it says.......'Carry on with the execution.'"
Isn't this from a Negro paper?
Lower IQ doesn’t automatically mean they didn’t understand what they did, or that it was wrong.
And seriously, we cannot let people get away with murdering others if they are low IQ.
IF they are that low IQ, they ought to have to be locked up, period, unable to murder the rest of the citizenry.
Otherwise, I am all for them being required to live in judges houses, district attorney’s houses, police officers’ houses, politicians’ houses, mandated by law.
He beats another prisoner to death after getting life for shooting his girlfriend 11 times and they stop the execution because he is stupid.
He aint near as stupid and the 11th. Circuit and the US court of appeals.
Not by a long shot.
I had a friend in high school whose daddy wouldn’t be too pissed if his sons made an “F”. But if they got a “U” in conduct he would go ballistic. His creed was “You might be stupid but don’t talk about it.”
Liberals are odd: They love convicted, double murderers, but don’t give a damn for the unborn.
They hate the 2nd Amendment and refuse to agree to the same armed guards—that their Masters use to protect their children from murderers—in schools for our own children.
On second thought, that’s a lot more than “odd.”
I’ve seen more than a few episodes of “Lockup” on MSNBC and I’m convinced that most of those guys ain’t playing with a full deck.
That stuck out for me as well. They give them sedatives???? Well, isn’t that special.
Not certain, but I think the sedative is also to protect the guards
and others who need to physically control the condemned on his
way to the death chamber.
“IF they are that low IQ, they ought to have to be locked up, period, unable to murder the rest of the citizenry.”....
Being locked up didn’t save that other prisoner he snuffed out by beating him to death in their cell. Unless you consider that the now dead inmate was NOT a citizen. (sarc)
Very good point!
Yes, that’s what I’d imagine, but these days > who knows !
“just a half hour before Warren Hills state-sponsored murder was slated to begin”
State-sponsored murder? Not going to read further than that, since the bias of the author is apparent.
States often give the condemned the date rape drug Ativan. It's to make things go easier for the government hirelings. Union rules don't allow for disruptions that might cut into their TV break time.
“state-sponsored murder” sets out the paper’s orientation, doesn’t it?
He already dodged the bullet when he got a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend. Then had a high enough level of intelligence to figure out how to murder his cellmate. He is not *that* impaired.
Has there ever been anyone you have known for long who you thought WAS “playing with a full deck” who suddenly committed a crime and went to prison?
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