Georgia State Stays Execution of Intellectually Disabled Man, Warren Hill
The Guardian reports:
Warren Hill, a death row prisoner in Georgia who has been diagnosed intellectually disabled, has been granted a stay of execution 90 minutes before he was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection.
The Georgia supreme court unanimously decided to postpone the death sentence in a case that has caused an uproar nationally and around the world.
Hill was set to be executed despite the fact that the US supreme court has banned executions for “mentally retarded” criminals on grounds that they constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
The stay of execution was ordered on the basis of a dispute over the technique of the killing, not the fact that it was to be carried out in itself. The state has recently moved from a three-drug lethal injection procedure to a single fatal dose of the sedative pentobarbital.
The judges said they would now consider whether the switch in procedures amounts to a violation of Georgia’s administrative procedure act that governs executions.
The ruling has spared Hill’s life for now. But it leaves hanging in the air the question of whether Georgia should be allowed to execute “mentally retarded” prisoners despite the US supreme court ban.
It doesn’t seem like they are too concerned that he was been diagnosed as mentally challenged but only that the injection procedure was the real reason for the stay.