"Last Chance for Warren Lee Hill," is Lincoln Caplan's post at the New York Times Taking Note blog.
Last Friday, the lawyers asked the Georgia clemency board to review his case and presented the new evidence to a state trial judge in Georgia, in a plea for a stay of execution. On Monday, when the state trial judge dismissed the plea, the lawyers immediately appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court.
The state trial judge dismissed Mr. Hill’s plea because “the ‘new evidence’ does not establish a miscarriage of justice.” That’s exactly incorrect.
Mr. Hill’s fate is in the hands of the Georgia clemency board, the Georgia Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. They should remember that, in any other state, he would not be facing execution and that this is their last chance to prevent a grievous wrong.
The Georgia Supreme Court has rejected a stay this afternoon. Hill's attorney, Brian Kammer issued the following statement:
“We are profoundly disappointed that Georgia’s Supreme Court has refused to stop tonight’s execution of Warren Hill, a person with mental retardation, which we believe is at odds with the Unites States Supreme Court’s protection of the mentally retarded. More than a decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that persons with mental retardation must not be executed. As new affidavits in our recent petition show, Mr. Hill’s diagnosis of mental retardation is now unanimous among all the doctors who have examined him.
“The state of Georgia remains an extreme outlier in requiring that defendants prove they have mental retardation ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ This is the strictest standard in any jurisdiction in this nation. Even Warren Hill, a man with an I.Q of 70, who is diagnosed as mentally retarded by every doctor who has examined him, finds it impossible to meet this standard of proof. The U.S. Supreme Court must intervene in this case and prevent a mentally retarded man from being put to death tonight.”
Brian Kammer, attorney for Warren Hill
Laurel Bellows, the President of the American Bar Association, has issued a statement, "ABA President Calls for Stay of Execution for Warren Hill."
The Carter Center has also issued a statement from former President Jimmy Carter and his wife calling for a commutation of the death senctence due to Hill's mental retardation.
All eyes are now on the Georgia Board of Pardons and the Supreme Court.
Earlier coverage of Warren Hill's case begins at the link.