Warren Hill Faces Execution In Georgia Again

Georgia is set to carry out an unconstitutional execution while the prisoner’s case is still pending at the US Supreme Court. The high court, as a guardian of the rule of law in this country, must not let this happen. They must stay the execution.

warren hill

Warren Hill

In 2002, the US Supreme Court banned execution of prisoners with “mental retardation” as unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. Warren Hill, with an IQ of 70, was ruled by a judge to be “mentally retarded” by a preponderance of the evidence. But in Georgia, as in no other state, prisoners must prove their “mental retardation” beyond a reasonable doubt. Defining and measuring “mental retardation” is not an exact science – even IQ scores can vary based on the type of test given – so proving it beyond a reasonable doubt is virtually impossible.

By using this unreasonable “reasonable doubt” standard, Georgia has found a way to evade the spirit of the Supreme Court’s important 2002 decision, and to continue killing intellectually disabled prisoners.

Mental health and disability groups like the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities oppose Mr. Hill’s execution.  And, as the Georgia Council’s Executive Director Eric Jacobson points out this week in the Huffington Post, several jurors and the victim’s family also object to the state’s continued efforts to put Warren Hill to death.

Last summer, Richard Handspike, speaking for the victim’s family, wrote in a letter to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles: “I and my family feel strongly that persons with any kind of significant mental disabilities should not be put to death.”

The Georgia Board, however, rejected calls for clemency.

So the Supreme Court needs to step in. Prohibiting execution of the “mentally retarded” should mean just that. And with Warren Hill’s case the Supreme Court can make that clear.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

11 thoughts on “Warren Hill Faces Execution In Georgia Again

  1. I suppose I don't understand the difference between killing someone with a 60 IQ or a 150 IQ. Perhaps this execution is technically unconstitutional, but is it any worse than the execution of any other criminal? Not in my mind. Both are wrong.

  2. This is why death death penalties are raciest. And also why we need to institutionalized those people who are a threat to society in State Mental Hospitals, instead of them being homeless and wondering in the streets in dark desperation.

  3. If that was happening in Australia he would not be executed have a heart whoever is doing this I’m sure if it was you you would be thinking differently.

  4. Let's tell the whole story (which of course you'd prefer your readers and followers were unaware). 1. Hill GRADUATED High School. 2. Hill was accepted, enlisted, and served in the U.S. Navy — even being promoted at least once. 3. In 1985 he brutaly murdered his 18 year old girlfriend shooting her more than 20 times. 4. He was sentenced to life in prison. 5. In 1990 while serving his life sentence Hill was intelligent enough to obtain a 2 by 4 with nails sticking out and use it to beat to death another inmate. 6. Hill is convicted and sentenced to death for his SECOND murder. 7. His attorneys hire a clinical psychologist to the defense team – he determines and testifies Hill has a 77 IQ. (threshold for retardation is 69). 8. A competent defense team file appeal after appeal but the conviction and sentence stand. 9. After other appeals fail – his defense team plays the "mental retardation" card. His IQ is suddenly dropped to 70. I for one hope 5 Supreme Court Justices never buy it. Your framing these issues with selective and cherry picked info cracks me up.

    • Serving the Navy and graduating High School doesn't not make any difference, my uncle God rest his soul, was mentally disabled, and served Vietnam in the Army, he graduated H.S. as well, have ever heard of special education. Anyway he also had a stable job until his retirement. However, there were some things he could not comprehend or understand, but with the assistance of other, it can be done, I am sure Warren Hill had such assistance, but unfortunately he like many others like him will be taking advantage of, and do not know how to handle such situations.

  5. I served in the Navy and as a recruiter. If what I read is correct and he was a Recruiter he would have had to be a E-5 and pass through a pretty intense training school before he would be assigned. You have to memorize a lot of stuff just to get promoted let alone be a recruiter. Interesting how no one give a crap about the people he’s killed. No voice for them and now he’s mentally retarded, sorry but pull his ASVAB test and his Military record and see what those reflect.