The Atlanta Journal-Constitution posts the AP breaking news report, "Warren Hill stay of execution stands."
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the Georgia attorney general’s request to lift a stay of execution a federal appeals court issued less than an hour before Warren Hill was to have been executed Tuesday evening for a 1990 murder.
The justices in Washington offered no reason, simply writing Thursday that the application to vacate the stay was denied.
A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 Tuesday to stop Hill’s execution to consider his appeal based on “new evidence” that the experts who testified in 2000 that he was not mentally retarded and was eligible for the death penalty had now changed their opinions. A psychiatrist and two psychologists who worked for the state recently told Hill’s lawyer that they had been rushed to make an evaluation 13 years ago, that they are now more experienced than they were then and there had been advances made in the profession’s understanding of mental retardation.
Today's Supreme Court Orders List is available in Adobe .pdf format.
Hill's attorney, Brian Kammer, has just released the following statement:
“The Eleventh Circuit briefing schedule will now be followed over the next month to determine whether Mr. Hill can litigate a second federal habeas action on his claim of mental retardation given the newly available evidence which establishes consensus among every doctor who has evaluated Mr. Hill that he is mentally retarded.”
Earlier coverage of Warren Hill's case begins at the link.
As I often point out, mental retardation is now generally referred to as a developmental or intellectual disability. Because it has a specific meaning with respect to capital cases, I continue to use the older term.