Warren Hill: GA State Death Row Inmate To Be Executed July 18th
The state of Georgia has scheduled the execution of Warren Hill. Hill sits on death row even though a Georgia state judge found him to be mentally disabled.
A death warrant was signed Monday and calls for Hill to be put to death by lethal injection.The execution is set for 7 p.m. July 18 at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.
Hill is on death row for bludgeoning fellow inmate Joseph Handspike to death with a nail-studded board in 1990. At the time, Hill was serving a life sentence at the Lee Correctional Institution for killing his girlfriend.
“Executing Warren Hill, a 52-year-old man whom a court has found to be more likely than not mentally retarded, would be a terrible miscarriage of justice,” said Brian Kammer, one of Hill’s lawyers. Kammer said he will ask the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Hill clemency.
In 1988, Georgia became the first state in the nation to ban executions of the mentally disabled. Lawmakers enacted the law in response to the 1986 execution of Jerome Bowden, who had been found to have the mentality of a 12-year-old.
In passing the law, the Legislature required capital defendants to prove “mental retardation” beyond a reasonable doubt, the same standard required of juries to convict someone of a crime. Today, Georgia is the only state in the country that sets such a high burden of proof for such claims.