Warren Hill, an Intellectually Disabled Death Row Prisoner, Is Scheduled to Die Next Week. His Execution Must Be Stayed.

BREAKING 7/15/2013 3:37pm: Fulton County Superior Court has temporarily stayed tonight's scheduled execution of Warren Hill so that a briefing can take place on Mr. Hill's complaint challenging the extreme secrecy surrounding the execution in light of Georgia's new Lethal Injection Secrecy Act. That briefing is scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 18th. A new execution date is expected to be set for Thursday, July 18th at 7 p.m. EST.

In less than a week, the state of Georgia plans to execute Warren Hill, whom experts for the State and the Defense have unanimously found to be intellectually disabled. Killing Mr. Hill would be both unconstitutional and unconscionable.

All experts who have evaluated Warren Hill agree that he fits the diagnostic classification of intellectually disabled (formerly called mentally retarded). It has been more than a decade since the Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that executing intellectually disabled prisoners violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment; the Court noted that their disability "places them at special risk of wrongful execution."

This case is highly unusual in that no State expert disputes that Mr. Hill falls within the definition of intellectual disability. It is thus a constitutional and moral imperative that Mr. Hill's execution be stayed, certainly until the Supreme Court and 11th Circuit can consider the petitions currently before them and issue decisions on the merits.

The American Civil Liberties Union believes the death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection under the law. Executing this indisputably intellectually disabled man would not only violate our Constitution, but it would be cruel and unjust beyond reason.

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I assume that Mr Hill committed some crime. I assume that crime must have been pretty serious. Of course, the ACLU doesn't appear to care enough to tell us what that crime was.


RROberts: What crime he committed or did not commit is irrelevant. The Constitution does not only extend its protections to the innocent and non-incarcerated. You are try to confound a Constitutional question with "well, he's a MURDERER, why should I care?"

You should care because the erosion of ONE Constitutional protection for ONE citizen only spearheads the charge to remove that same protection for ALL of us. We already have police - and courts! - who think that the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply if you are doing something illegal. Now you're advocating that we suspend the Eighth.


Hi RROberts,
He was serving life without parole for the murder of his girlfriend in 1986 before he was sentenced to death in 1991 for the murder of his cellmate in 1990. If you care to search news articles regarding Mr. Hill's crimes were not mentioned in most of them, since that is not relevant for his appeal in my opinion. Good day!


The crime is not the issue. The ACLU cares about the Constitution and the fact that the Supreme Court has held that mentally handicapped persons are not to be executed REGARDLESS OF THE CRIME (Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 [2002]).


Yeah without the info on his crimes - this article is worthless in the decision making process.


wow - talk about missing the point

jesus b ochoa, el paso, texas

Jesus B Ochoa, ...

wow - talk about missing the point -


RROberts: Mr. Hill's crime and conviction is irrelevant to the point of this article. If his disability deems that it is unconstitutional to execute him then it doesn't matter. Please reread the article with this in mind to make any judgment or determination about what should be done..


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