Court halts execution of 'disabled' inmate

2013-02-20 08:02
Warren Hill (File, AP)

Warren Hill (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Georgia - A federal appeals court halted the execution on Tuesday of a Georgia man who killed a fellow prisoner in 1990, granting a last-minute stay to the inmate who defence attorneys argued was mentally disabled.

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling for Warren Lee Hill as corrections officials prepared his lethal injection for later in the evening.

Earlier in the day, the state parole board, the Supreme Court of Georgia and the US Supreme Court had all declined to stop the execution.

"We are greatly relieved that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the execution of Warren Hill, a person with mental retardation. All the doctors who have examined Mr Hill are unanimous in their diagnosis of mental retardation," defence attorney Brian Kammer said in an email.

Hill was sentenced to death for the 1990 beating death of fellow inmate Joseph Handspike.

Authorities say he used a board studded with nails to bludgeon Handspike while he slept as other prisoners watched and pleaded with Hill to stop.

At the time Hill was already serving a life sentence for murder in the 1986 slaying of his girlfriend, Myra Wright, who had been shot 11 times.

Support from former president

Hill's lawyers argue that he is mentally disabled and therefore shouldn't be executed. The state maintains that the defence failed to meet its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Hill is mentally disabled.

Hill has received support from various activists and from former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn.

"Georgia should not violate its own prohibition against executing individuals with serious diminished capacity," Jimmy Carter said in a statement.

Death penalty defendants in Georgia have to prove they are mentally disabled beyond a reasonable doubt to avoid execution, the strictest standard in the US.

Hill's lawyers have said the high standard for proving mental disability is problematic because psychiatric diagnoses are subject to a degree of uncertainty that is virtually impossible to overcome.

But Georgia's strict standard has repeatedly been upheld by state and federal courts.

- AP
Read more on:    jimmy carter  |  us  |  human rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

PHP Developer

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R32 000 - R42 000 Per Month

Head of Information Services

Claremont
O'Brien Recruitment

PR Account Manager

Cape Town CBD
Switch Consultants (Pty) Ltd
R15 000 - R18 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being challenged...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.