Want to read more? Subscribe Now or Sign In
Hide ( X )
  • THE CRIME REPORT - Your Complete Criminal Justice Resource

  • Investigative News Network
  • Welcome to the Crime Report. Today is

Crime and Justice News

GA Case Raises Issue: Does State Allow Executions of the Mentally Retarded?

February 21, 2013 07:48:39 am

A Georgia inmate's execution was halted Tuesday night with less than an hour to go, says NPR. Prison officials had already given Warren Lee Hill one of the drugs when a federal appeals court ruled. Hill has an IQ of 70, and his attorneys have long argued that he's mentally impaired. His case is raising questions about Georgia's law, which makes it difficult for defendants to prove they should be exempt from execution.

The 52-year-old Hill is in prison for killing his girlfriend, whom he shot 11 times, in 1986. While in prison in 1990, he used a wooden board with nails to beat another inmate to death. More than a decade ago, three state doctors that examined Hill said he was not what was then called "mentally retarded." All three have changed their opinion. They say their initial evaluations were extremely and unusually rushed. One said it was a close case back then, but after reviewing the record he now believes Hill does meet the criteria for "mild mental retardation." Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes executions, says, "The question is, is Georgia violating the Constitution by basically allowing people with mental retardation to be executed?"

« Article List
No Comments yet

TCR at a Glance

How Red Tape Snarls Prison Rape Act

special report April 10, 2014

The DOJ’s insistence on state compliance with 288 regulatory standards keeps the program’s implementation in limbo, say critics

Rotten Apples—Or a Flawed System?

April 7, 2014

A three-city experiment will test whether fixing the conditions that lead to wrongful convictions and other miscarriages of justice is mo...

Treating Probation Like Social Work

new & notable April 4, 2014

Justice reinvestment should including personalized plans and programs for offenders, according to a new briefing paper by the Criminal Ju...